Shirley Temple Bar gets cosy with comedian Gearóid Farrelly ahead of his December tour of Ireland with Neil Delamere
Recently the other kids at school have been comparing me to Donald Trump. I try not to let it go to my head, but I suppose it’s because I’m a natural born leader. Looking older than my actual age (13), helps, but I put most of my success down to hard work and determination (along with my promise to build a wall around the Northside if I get elected hall monitor).
Someone else who doesn’t shy away from hard work is my old buddy, Gearóid Farrelly. Back in 2008, Gearóid decided to give a comedy career a lash and not only did he manage to become a finalist at the So You Think You’re Funny? competition in the UK, but he also won the Best Newcomer Prize at that year’s Bulmer’s Comedy Festival in Dublin.
Since then Gearóid has been a regular fixture at all the top Irish comedy spots as well as producing solo shows for the Edinburgh and Dublin Fringe festivals. He’s worked with some of the biggest names in comedy, like Joan Rivers, Tommy Tiernan, Sarah Millican and Jason Byrne, and makes regular TV and radio appearances. If that doesn’t sound exhausting enough, Gearóid also produces and hosts his own podcast called Fascinated.
I’m fascinated with his work ethic, and I’ve decided to call and sound him out. He might make a great vice hall monitor, if this election isn’t rigged and the voters have their say.
Hi Gearóid! What are you doing up this early?
It’s 1pm, Shirley.
I know! Who knew comedy was such hard work?
To be honest, I never really thought I wanted to be a comedian. I wanted to be an actor or a singer. I’m not a very good singer, so there was a fair bit of self-delusion there. I think you need a fair bit of self-delusion if you’re going to stand up in front of a room of people and try to make them laugh.
I know nothing about self-delusion, Gearóid, and frankly I don’t know why you’re bringing it up.
In the beginning I was performing as different characters but I soon gave that up. I actually thought doing a priest character was groundbreaking! I decided to try doing stand-up for a gig and it went down well, so I was asked to do another gig. And then another one. I really believed that I was going to stop. For a long time, each gig was my ‘last gig’.
That’s how addicts talk. And Veda.
I really got into it. I think I was just thrilled to have found somewhere that I felt I belonged. I didn’t feel like I belonged on the gay scene, so to have found a place where I could be ‘me’ and do well was great.
For feck’s sake, Gearóid, the comedy circuit is practically the gay scene these days. Everyone is a gay comedian.
I was one of the first! I was certainly one the first to speak openly about my sexuality in my shows. It just comes up naturally. There’s rarely been any issue and I’ve toured every comedy venue and arts centre up and down the country.
Do you get gay groupies hanging outside the stage door, wanting to bang your brains out?
Not really, no! Besides. I have a boyfriend so…
And he wasn’t a groupie?
No. I met him in a pub in Galway! We were with a mutual friend and I really thought he didn’t like me at first. That was five years ago. It was a long distance thing for a while, so that made it quite intense.
Another thing for you to fit in to your schedule. I bow to your work ethic.
Thanks, Shirley! At first it was because I was trying to fit everything in. I had a full time job in IT, which I only gave up a couple of years ago, so everything else – gigs, writing, podcasts – had to be planned well in advance. These days, I do a 40-hour week at my desk at home.
I adore your podcast. You’re almost as good at rooting out quirky Z-list ex- celebrities as I am.
I have a bit of a fixation on 1990s popstars – particularly the ones who disappeared from my radar. I want to know what happened to them… and it’s usually something really interesting. For example, I loved Naimee Coleman’s music back in the day and wondered where she’d gone.
It took me ages to find out where she was, so that search became a recent podcast. It takes five day’s work to get an episode together so needless to say, they don’t always appear when they’re supposed to.
Now, that’s more like my work ethic.
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