1710, 2017

Zoom, What was that?

I was on the phone with my nephew Jarlath to tell him the Breeders gig we were going to see last night had been cancelled because of hurricane Ophelia when he said, “it just came up on the BBC news that Sean Hughes died” . It’s just one of those weird ridiculous sentences that you can’t process immediately. Sean Hughes dead? Dead? What? But Sean Hughes or the fella who used to be called John Hughes was a wide eyed youth with his life ahead of him only yesterday. I was in a band called Guernica and he was in a comedy double act called the Short and Curlies. This was in a time when everyone was in a band and comedy was something Maureen Potter or Brendan Grace did. I can’t remember anything the Short and Curlies did. I think I was too concerned with my own front man ego to concentrate on what the support act did. I did see Sean do his own act one night in Liberty Hall at some gig that went on for ages with all sorts of random acts on. I don’t think he was well received. I was there with Paul Tylak and we loved him. I met him a couple of times outside Kehoe’s and realised he was a big fan of Guernica. He chatted with wide eyed enthusiasm about the band. He was a proper fan. Then he disappeared off the scene and someone said he was doing alright in London and before you knew it he had won some big prize at the Edinburgh festival and came back a hero selling out two or three nights in The Project theatre with his one man show.
Then there was the Sean Show. Amazing what could happen over in London. Young people got their own TV shows and it turns out we were talented. It was the start of the Irish becoming trendy in London. I met Sean back in Dublin one night down in Sides night club. I told him I had started doing comedy. He was disappointed that the band had broke up or that I hadn’t formed a new band. I was disappointed that he was disappointed. I met him another night in Edinburgh during the festival. He was seriously pissed out of his head and he started singing an old Guernica song word for word; a song that had never been recorded and he still remembered the words. I didn’t even remember them.
Then I would meet him occasionally back in Dublin when he was working on something or other for RTE usually with Billy Magra and he was always a mixture of friendly and grumpy. That was his thing. I met him last May while we were working on one of Billy’s RTE radio panel shows. I thought I should interview him for my podcast but I never got round to asking as I was busy doing a play at the time. I mean I knew he would be such a good interview, He would have such a story to tell and I was there at the very beginning. And now I can never interview him. Just like that he is gone and I remember this young enthusiastic bloke who I met outside Kehoe’s one night and who kept babbling on about how great he thought the band were. What the fuck happened? `I mean it’s so sudden.
Zoom. What was that? That was your life mate. Oh do I get another? Sorry mate, that’s your lot.
sean hughes

1206, 2017

I want to practise thespianism!!!

It’s been two weeks since I treaded the boards in the Gaiety Theatre. It seems to have flown by. I was cast in the part of the “loud” missionary and a couple of other minor roles in John B Keane’s The Chastitute back in April. It was something that came out of the blue and was an absolute brilliant challenge and joy to do. The first day we all met up to do a reading I was, as we say in the business “bricking it”. You see, all the other actors were seasoned ones, not covered in herbs and spices, but experienced thespians to my mind anyway. I had been in one other play, a stage version of The Shawshank Redemption which coincidentally had also played in the Gaiety Theatre after a four week run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Two plays and both in a one thousand seater venue; what a lucky backstard! It’s a desperate feeling waiting for your lines to arrive when sat around the table at the first reading. The heart starts pounding but you try to keep a calm exterior. The inner voice saying, “they’ll find out you are not a real actor”. The thing is most of the time I am doing stand up and though I do believe there is a fair bit of acting when doing stand up it’s not like you have to stick to the lines verbatim and you can chop and change your set as you see fit so it’s not the same thing. Of course I’ve done lots of film and TV acting but in that case you always have a second take if you screw up. When acting on stage, you can’t forget a line or say, “sorry, can we do that again?”  In the heel of the hunt though I rose to the challenge and once the first three or four performances were done I began to relish it. Two weeks after the last performance I am beginning to miss it even more than ever. The camaraderie of working with a big cast and then going back out on my own as a comedian for hire is quite a contrast plus the lack of structure I usually have compared to going to the same venue everyday at the same time makes a feel a bit askew. It’s like going back to being self employed after eight weeks at a nine to five job. It takes a bit of adjusting. Anyway I know it feels the same even for experienced actors. After we did the last performance of The Shawshank, the oldest and most practised actor of the lot Ian Lavender who played Pike in Dad’s Army was by far the most upset that it was over.

There’s one thing that it is difficult to get used to in a play. We all know that different audiences have different reactions and we can never figure out why a particular audience is better or worse than another. We sit backstage voicing predictions, “oh Tuesday is always good; if you go out on a Tuesday then you want to be out” and then Tuesday will turn out to be rubbish. So in a play you may have a passage or line that one night will get a laugh or a round of applause but a night or two later will be met with silence. If you are doing stand up you tend to mine those laughy bits; “oh there’s a laugh there. Can I get more out of that bit?” Of course in a play you can’t be doing that. You’ve just got to play the part and let the audience decide. So as a comedian that is just something that takes a bit of getting used to at first. Of course it’s a weight off too because it’s not your responsibility to worry about the reaction but to play the part for real but at the same time there is an ego boost when you do get a reaction. It’s something that could inform my stand up too though because I have to remember that sometimes the audience just want to sit back and enjoy and not be applauding and whooping or laughing out loud and sometimes they want a bit of you just revealing something of you so when the funny bits come they are funnier cos they come from someone they have gotten to know and care about. I hope this makes sense and isn’t a load of codswallop.

So hopefully there’ll be another play down the road. I would love to do something more meaty character wise. I am definitely going to look into doing something with small cast and who knows maybe even write one. Watch this space!! 18922457_10156380750763747_2353013224947707945_o

1704, 2017

Try Pod!

Roughly every two weeks I put out a new podcast. My podcast is called PodaRooney. I thought it was a good name; y’know like whackarooney, smasharooney, bloggaroony. I have been podarooneying now for nearly two and a half years. The format is fairly straight forward mostly in that I interview someone and have a bit of a rambling intro and outro either side of the chat. I sometimes do the intro and outro while I’m out for a walk in the countryside with my dog but then Adam Buxton started a podcast and did exactly the same thing. My dog is called Rosey and so is his and he is far more famous so I felt it would look like I was copying him. So I have decided to not mention Rosey on my podcast anymore.

So in the last couple of years I have chatted to lots of well known people such as Ardal O’Hanlon, Des Bishop, Dave John’s and Christy Dignam and lots of not so well known people. I say “chatted to” and not “interviewed” because I prefer to have a chat rather than have a list of questions and stick to them. Sometimes it is the less well known people who have the more interesting stories to tell or perhaps they are less guarded. I love listening to people’s stories and I love chatting to people who aren’t trying to project an image or sell themselves as something they are not.dav

When I started out I felt very self conscious about approaching people to interview them. I thought “who the fuck am I to be asking people to reveal themselves to me for an unknown podcast?”. Some people didn’t even know what a podcast was. They would ask, “ When will it air? How do I listen to it? What station is it on?”  (If you are one of those people read the notes at the end of this blog…arooney)

So since I have started out in February 2015 lots of podcasts have come and gone or just seemed to mysteriously stop. I am not surprised as what may seem like a short cut to fame and fortune is nothing like that. It takes up at least one full day of editing and producing and then there’s the research and travelling to and from the interview. Since I started I have purchased decent portable equipment and I’ve gotten used to the idea that I am a semi professional podcaster so I travel as a rule ready to record a chat or to even record atmosphere (traffic, rivers, laughter) which I might insert somewhere. I love it to be quite honest. I love putting different chats together with bits of music and sometimes sound effects. It’s a bit like when I started out doing stand up. I have control and I think I do really good job. It’s not a stepping stone to something else. It is what it is and I just love doing it. The same as stand up I can’t see myself wanting to stop or give up. It fits in well with the stand up and occasional acting I do too because I get to travel and meet people in dressing rooms and TV studios and I can then whip out my equipment (ahem) and have a quick chat or arrange to have a chat at a later date.

If you are a podcast virgin then here is how you listen to a podcast. On iPhone there is the Apple Podcasts app. and on an Android you could try Pocket Casts app or Castbox app. Just download the app and start searching for podcasts you would like to listen too either by name or subject matter such as comedy, documentary, sport etc. Then if you subscribe to that podcast the app will update it when a new episode comes out. On the laptop just search for a podcast on iTunes.You can find my podcast PodaRooney on these apps. Its also here on my website. Happy listening.

903, 2017

I AM FATHER DAMO FROM FATHER TED

About twenty years ago I played the part of Father Damo in Father Ted. Father Damo was to Father Dougal the kind of bad influence you try to keep your son or daughter away from but they will inevitably gravitate towards. Father Damo wore an earring, smoked and stole and told his superiors they were, “not the boss of me”. I was on the Father Ted set in County Clare for about three days and spent five days in London rehearsing and one evening shooting in front of a live audience. Little did I know that twenty years later Father Ted is still the biggest influence on my professional life. At least five times a day I will get people  coming up to me saying, “Who do you prefer, Oasis or Blur?” I don’t even think about it anymore. I am Father Damo to most people and that’s fine with me. People ask me if I get annoyed considering I have done six years on the RTE sitcom Killinaskully with Pat Shortt, performed stand up all over the world for the last twenty years and acted in TV3’s Red Rock, BBC’s Roy and countless films but the one thing I get recognised for is one episode of Father Ted. I am not at all annoyed. I am proud that Father Damo is still remembered. I am proud to be part of the phenomenon that is Father Ted. Father Ted is now being watched by people who weren’t even alive when it first came out and although there are many one off characters featured in the entire series, Father Damo is one that sticks out. I love Father Ted myself. When I got the part of Father Damo and read the script I broke my shite laughing (not literally).  Most scripts are hard to get through but the writing of Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan was brilliant and meant the part was easy to play. Ardal O’ Hanlon as Father Dougal was brilliant to work with. I felt we hit it off really well on screen. The football scene under the credits was totally ad libbed. I tour on a regular basis now with Patrick McDonnell (Eoin McLove) and Michael Redmond (Father Stone) from Father Ted and all over the country we meet people who just adore Father Ted. I know I am proud of lots of work I have done over the last twenty years and before that but Father Damo is the part that I’ll be remembered for and I’mstory_11059_fatherdamo happy with that.

2502, 2017

Booking A Comedian For Corporate Events

I know, lets book a comedian for our corporate event! Yep, that’s a good idea. No seriously, that is a good idea but where do you go to find one? Well you can Google search, ” book a comedian” and no doubt a raft of booking agents will come up and they will be able to source a comedian. Along with a jumble of all sorts of entertainers from Zazoo the unicyclist juggler to tribute act Lady Goo Goo, they will have a few comedians on their books and they may set you up. I have no quibble with booking agents; they are providing a valuable service. I do believe however that you have a much better chance of a stand up comedian having a successful performance if you hire a comedian directly. I have been a stand up comedian for 20 years and I know I have a lot more to lose than a booking agent if things go wrong on the night.

So what could possibly go wrong? Surely all the comedian needs is a microphone and away he goes; not really.

  • First off,  hotel sound systems are generally inadequate. I don’t know who installs these pieces of crap but they are the bane of my life. When ever I hear the phrase, “sure the hotel say they have their own sound system” my heart sinks. They are tinny, unreliable and have a tendency to cut out just as you are delivering a punchline; …..and he said, “that’s my ————“.  I have my own sound system that I bring everywhere just in case I need it and as I use a guitar in my act I usually do need it.
  • Secondly, lighting must be good. All comedians are visual comedians even if they appear to be deadpan. The facial expression tells whether a line is sarcastic or to be taken seriously. Some comedians deliver every line with wide eyed innocence, others employ fake anger. All of these subtleties are lost if he/she is backlit or lit with constantly changing disco lights.
  • Comedy works better early in the night, after the meal but before all the speeches and the dreaded obligatory raffle. Comedy requires audience attention. Its not like a music gig where people can chat away during the song knowing that when they hear a song end it is time to applaud. Once an audience get used to chatting its very hard to get them back and invariably that’s what they will start doing during the drawn out raffles and speeches.

Some of these requirements get lost in the conversation between comedian, agent and client. It’s much better if you talk directly to the client but the agent may not want this to happen because then you or the client may find out that the agent is sticking 50% onto your fee. The majority of corporate gigs are great but every comedian has their nightmare corporate event stories and yet with a bit of planning and conversation there is no reason why they should go wrong. Entertainment booking agents never send anyone to the event to experience why some go so well and others don’t but the comedian is the one that leaves an event feeling satisfied or with that awful feeling in the pit of their stomach when the opposite happens. So lets start asking the comedian how best to make comedy work at a work party, corporate or charity event.

 

2102, 2017

PINTBABY!!!

Here is my PintBaby song which has received the official approval of PintMammy!!

 

1502, 2017

My Show Reel

https://youtube.com/watch?v=-Kte8i7xGTsframeborder=0allowfullscreen

I am not just an Irish stand up comedian y’know! I am an actor and writer too . Here are a few films I have done recently and quite a few years ago including; Father Ted, Red Rock, South, Lean On Me, Adolf and Eva and Flying Saucers, Rock n’ Roll.

1402, 2017

Happy Dead Flowers Day!

I just noticed a leak in my website

I just noticed a leak in my website

1302, 2017

#actorslife #noonecares

I spent the weekend running around the small town of Drumlish dressed as a priest having a panic attack. It was cold and obviously it was a rehash of the Father Damo character I played in Father Ted but there are worse ways of making a living. Anyway at no point did I feel the urge to Tweet about it with the hashtag #actorslife. Although I just have now obviously. I could have tweeted ” just spent the day pretending to be someone else #actorslife” or “just spent four hours talking about myself and my career to a bored looking electrician #actorslife”  Are there plumbers doing the same thing on Twitter? Actually I checked #plumberslife and its mostly advertising but there was one that said, “When you want to watch the Packers in the playoffs but you have to go fix other people’s plumbing #plumberslife”. So you see plumbers have to plumb because people really need their plumbing done but no actor is ever called out on an acting emergency. Actors are always so excited about their acting. They will never Tweet  “wanted to stay at home and paint the bedroom today but had go and act #actorslife” I wish it was like that. I wish you could just get random calls from people saying, “your name came up on Google. I have a script that needs some acting. I wonder could you have a look at it?”. I would call out, have a look over the script, scratch my head a bit and say, ” It’s a big job. This could take roughly ten days of acting and I won’t be able to do it all on my own. I’ll have to bring in a subcontractor” His/her tweets will have #subcontractorslife obviously.

I interviewed Norwegian Kristin Vollset via Skype for my podcast https://itunes.apple.com/ie/podcast/episode-68-kristin-vollset/id975188270?i=1000381166511&mt=2 Kristin spent some time with the lads who keep horses in a stable in Cork St and she wrote a song about her experiences called No Plan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19A53SyAUak . Please check out the podcast as it has interviews with all the major Irish comedians including Des Bishop, Bernard O’ Shea and PJ Gallagher.

302, 2017

Trump, Irish Comedy and my podcast PodaRooney

Like everyone I am reeling under the reality of President Trump. It must be inspiring for anyone who is an advocate of the self help books that are manifest that a man with such obvious lack of the qualifications  personality traits to be suitable for the position of President of the United States of America can actually hold that position. The Power of Positive Thinking was a book by Pastor Norman Vincent Peale the man who officiated over Trumps wedding. The scary thing is that Trump has taken positive thinking to new a level. A level where not only do the views or opinions of others not matter but reality and facts themselves don’t matter. Trump makes up facts as he goes a long. Well not facts because they are made up but facts in Trumps head. So there is no point in argument because Trump can create his own world in his head and nothing that anyone else says matters, This is the power of positive thinking brought to extreme. Reality doesn’t exist, only the reality in Trumps head. That’s was not a problem for all of us until Trump became the president of America. Now the fantasy in his head can become our reality. Trump is a man who blatantly lies and when those lies are quoted back at him he blames his accuser for making them up. He lies constantly and blatantly. His lies can easily be fact checked and debunked within minutes and yet millions of people still voted for him. So for millions facts don’t matter anymore. Just put someone up there who will confirm my prejudices and inclinations and I will back him/her. Trump is like one of those people you might get into an argument with in the comments section of YouTube. No matter logical argument you put forward they will comeback with some bizarre made up “fact” to put you down and eventually you just get tired of it and leave the conversation. It feels like the all of those YouTube ranters have got together and elected a leader and thats pretty scary.

My latest podcast is up. PodaRooney is on iTunes and it’s free. I interview Irish comedians such as Tommy Tiernan, Des Bishop, PJ Gallagher and many Irish musicians such as Finbar Furey, Mundy and Bressie. It’s funny, informative and a great listen but take my word for it; there are loads of five star reviews on iTunes.

Talk Soon.

Joe

411, 2016

Frog loves Princess

I’m listening to XTC We’re Only Making Plans For Nigel. I’ve eaten too many oven chips. I am bloated and tired and cold but if I got the right filter I could take a selfie that made me look thin and just  enough curiously at odds to make me hip. I could put that on Facebook and receive some empty attention. Why are people always doing things for more years than they care to remember? Why don’t they care to remember?  Why do they keep doing what they are doing if they don’t care to remember what they are doing and do something else that they do care to remember doing? Why is it always a small minority of people doing bad things? Why not a large or even medium sized minority?  Or just a minority of no particular size except the size of a minority? I am doing more gigs and I am in love with a lovely girl. Goodnight.

2907, 2016

Squelch, squelch, a walk through my heart

Well, how are ye? I’ve been to a lot of Festivals. I think Glastonbury was my favourite despite the mud that sucked at your every footstep and eventually clung to you as you departed so you left an ever dwindling trail of mud from bus to bus to airport to plane to car. There are pieces of Glastonbury still on my backpack and in my heart. Seeing Squeeze in a little tent n the performers area was incredible and Tame Impala but I just loved the whole friendly yet eccentric vibe about the place. And sharing the experience with my wonderful son. My mind was swiveled in a good way. Next to that, Saturday night in the marquee at The Craggy Island Festival was unforgettable. I was singing with The Afters and it was just a sea of dancing priests and nuns and at one point a naked man. Dancing and sweating onstage I could frequently wave at my smiling daughter amongst the mayhem. I smile now when thinking of it. The trip to Inish Meann was a thing to behold as well. Drunken versions of The Birdy Song on sax, fiddle, trumpet and double bass. Crazy Shit! I have also started doing some kind of psychotherapy to mend my troubled heart which is a relief as I have been up and down like a hoors drawers as they say although that’s not politically correct, nor is it a recognised medical term. I have Edinburgh coming up. I’ll be putting the dates and venues up here. Until then, keep passing the open windows!

and listen to my podcast!!  http://castaway.media/podarooney/

1605, 2016

Oh Ehmmmm Gee

What about ye? I was just up in “Free Derry” last Thursday and had a wander around The Bogside and the general area where Bloody Sunday took place. It reminded me that it was a civil rights march that got ambushed that day. There was discrimination and people inspired by the civil rights marches in America decided to march and then the ignorance and stupidity led to paratroopers shooting at a group of unarmed innocent people. I had a great gig in Mason’s in Derry and hope to get back there to interview one of the Undertones for the podcast.

The Jason Byrne live podcast was amazing as was the Ann Skelly one. Here’s the Jason Byrne one http://castaway.media/podarooney/2016/05/episode-48-live-3-jason-byrne/

Looking forward to my gigs at Forbidden Fruit and Cat Laughs coming up in a couple of weeks. Also the Further Ted tour starts on the 10th June in Mullingar http://www.mullingarartscentre.ie/index.php/reviews?option=com_content&view=article&id=445

and in The Mill Theatre, Dundrum on 11th June http://www.milltheatre.ie/shows/father-ted-tour

plus we are appearing at the Craggy Island Festival in Inis Oirr from 15th – 17th July https://www.craggyislandfestival.com/

Hope you’re well, I’m out for a walk with the dogs now.

Joe

 

 

 

2704, 2016

Festival Season

Ahoy there mateys, for the last Wednesday in April there certainly is a nip in the air. I believe there were hailstones yesterday and the phrase “snow in high places” was heard on the radio. Its hard to believe the festival season is just around the corner. I hope to God the majority of female festival goers will eventually ditch the “orange legs and denim cut offs” uniform that is de rigeur with a certain age group who are probably studying economics or how to be an “event planner” of all things. Why anyone needs to go to college to learn how to plan an event is beyond me. It’s easy; plan an event and put it on. If no one turns up you are doing something wrong. Believe me, I have learned the hard way and that is the only way to learn.

So tonight I am chatting to comedian Jason Byrne for a live recording of my podcast PodaRooney.  The 46th episode is going out this week and I’m really proud of it and the output so far. Check it out here; http://castaway.media/podarooney/

This weekend I am performing at Jest Fest the Wexford Comedy Festival which is in its second year; http://www.jestfest.ie/

In June I’ll be performing at Forbidden Fruit, The Cat Laughs, Body and Soul and Glastonbury; July I’ll be in Macroom(I think), Craggy Island Festival, the Galway Arts Festival and the Vodafone Comedy Festival (probably); In August I’ll be at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for two weeks and in September the Electric Picnic. In October I’ll lock myself into a room and sleep for a week. Anyway all my bleedin’ gigs are on the events page. I hope to fuck I make some money because I’m still trying to pay off last years VAT!

2303, 2016

The Craic and The Pod

Today I am celebrating the Commemorations of the 1916 Rising by surreptitiously dropping crumbled up Jacobs cream crackers on the floor of the local post office while standing in the queue. I will also buy some Revels chocolate covered confectionery with assorted centres and throw them in the air shouting “up the Revels”. Oh and I did this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vknVbkSafFM

I also recorded my first live podaRooney podcast http://castaway.media/podarooney/

Put that in yer pipe and smoke it!

 

1503, 2016

Craggy Island Festival

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Looking forward to attending Craggy Island aka Inisheer on July 15-17th with Michael Redmond (Father Stone) and Patrick McDonnell (Eoin Mc’Love) You can book your ticket for the weekend through https://www.craggyislandfestival.com

1802, 2016

The Craic We Had The Day We Died For Ireland

Good day to you fellow person. I’m in the library so I’ll have to make this quick and extremely quiet. I’m whispering the following; my friend Paul Woodfull and I or to put it another way, Me and Paul Woodfull are making a special release to commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Rising as our alter egos Ding Dong Denny O’Reilly and Scribbler O’ Donoghue. The song called The Craic We Had The Day We Died For Ireland by The Hairy Bowsies will be available on iTunes and other musical platforms and a stirring video will also be on view on YouTube in March.

My podcast PodaRooney (also available on iTunes free of charge) is flying. Recent guests include Anne Gildea (The Nualas), Simon Delaney (The Good Wife, Alpha Papa), Ardal O’ Hanlon and Frank Kelly (both of Father Ted). I am recording my first live PodaRooney on the 24th Feb with guests Thomas Walsh (Pugwash), John Connors (Love Hate) and Amanda Brunker ( Champagne Diva books (which I have borrowed from the aforementioned library (this is the first time I have put brackets inside brackets inside brackets))).

It’s incumbent on me to mention any foreign gigs I have recently done or will be doing in order to make myself sound exotic and really successful. With that in mind I have recently gigged in Azerbaijan and Barcelona and in the coming months I will be gigging in Amsterdam, Brussels and …… Bath.

My new agent in America is Ronan Collins; contact him at ronancollins@yahoo.com

Toodlepip

Joe

3007, 2015

Fusking Podcast – Pod-a-Rooney

Hello person, I’ve just performed at the Vodafone Dublin Comedy Festival. When I say just, I mean four days ago. ‘Twas great altogether. Apart from performing I was seen walking around with headphones and my Zoom recorder getting quick interviews with fellow comedians Nick Kroll, Phil Jupitus, Stephen Frost, Andy Smart and Tommy Tiernan among others for my podcast Podarooney. Here’s the result;    http://castaway.media/podarooney/2015/07/episode-17-various-at-the-vodafone-comedy-festival/    It certainly makes doing a festival a bit more intense; finding a quiet spot for an interview then rushing off for a sound check, back for an interview then off to do a show and at one point getting a 15 minute interview with the very obliging Phil Jupitus during the interval of the show I was performing along side him in. At first I found doing the quick interview a bit off putting as I am used to the long interview where you slowly get into it and hope to get a more personal feel for the person. I realised I needed to get straight to the point on the short interview and quit starting with, “Are you enjoying the festival?” I was annoying myself after three of those and began to get straight to the point. I learned a lot about what makes a good interviewee to and basically that those who ditch the banalities and get straight in with something straight from whatever is in their strange little minds are far more compelling.

I’m heading to Sligo on Sunday to perform a reading of a WB Yeats play Resurrecton in a church ruin. Now that’s a first and the first time I’ve been in a church on Sunday in a long time. Really looking forward to it!  I’ll play a Hebrew; a doubter but want to believer. I’m also WB Yeats himself.

On Tuesday I head to New York for a day and a half and hopefully I have an interview with a lady who was a junkie, a prostitute and is now a fashion designer. If not I will just interview some random New Yorker; I mean it’s the same thing probably.

Then I head to La Crosse Wisconsin for a three day Irish festival. I’ll be performing all three days. I am performing at the opening ceremony. Holy God I hope I don’t offend everyone and get thrown out of La Crosse on the first day! Then I will fly to Philadelphia for three days and do one gig in Lancaster PA before heading to Milwaukee Irish Festival for five gigs in three days. God I hope that goes well! Of course it will but y’know I still hope I don’t die on my arse every show; welcome to the mind of a paranoid self doubting comedian. I should have prepared more though. I will prepare. I’m preparing as we speak. Well not while I’m writing this blog so I better stop writing this now and prepare. Why are you distracting me? Who the fusk are you anyway? That’s right I said fusk! Fusk you anyway! In two weeks I will be on ten flights in two weeks; I better not fusking die in an air tragedy!  Stop thinking!

Goodbye person. Talk Soon.

Joe

2206, 2015

The Middle East, Monged, Milwaukee and my very own Comedy Tent

I spent a couple of weeks in The Middle East with Whose Line Is It Anyway. We performed in Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. I got sunburned on my chest in Abu Dhabi and told all the lads, “whatever you do don’t touch my chest on stage” and what happens? Halfway through the show Frosty ( Stephen Frost) grabs me by the shirt right on the reddest part of my chest. I emitted an involuntary scream of agony which had to be explained to the mystified audience. I love the improv but I tend to go over the previous performance in my head thinking ” why did I say that? I should have said that”. It’s a bit like coming out of an audition. I loved hanging out with Ian, Frosty, Steve, Andy and Gordon the promoter; Compared to traveling around on your own or with some one that’s just a pain in the hole (no need to mention names) it was just great craic. The lads have been doing gigs around the world for years and know how to enjoy themselves and know it’s important to stay out of each others way at times too. Gordon McKenzie the promoter and his girlfriend brought us on a trip to the country side in Oman; we went to a waddy, a sink hole and the beach so we got to swim in three different bodies of water in one day and had a barbecue that night. Oh the gigs went well too! I hope I brought something new to the show. We all performed together again a week later at The Cat Laughs festival as a kind of mini reunion.

The Dublin Comedy Improv then performed at The BARE In The Woods festival in a wood near Portarlington to a great reaction and a week later at Body and Soul and got a standing ovation!!! Panti Bliss came on after us and was incredible! I curated the comedy tent at BARE In The Woods and was delighted with the results. My favourite band there were an Irish hip hop group called Dah Jevu https://www.facebook.com/Dahjevu?fref=ts check them out. At the end they had us all shouting, “put the carcass in the carpet!” . You had to be there. I also loved the band “Goat” at Body and Soul https://www.facebook.com/goatsweden?fref=ts So now

I’m looking forward to seeing a film I’m in called “Monged” at the Film Fleadh in Galway, doing a couple of gigs in London on the 10th, 11th July ( Jono’s of Ealing on the 11th)—-The Kings Head, Galway Arts Festival, lunchtime 14th July —- McGrory’s, Inishowen, Donegal, 17th July— – Ned Natterjacks, Castlegregory 23rd July— – Whose Line Is It Anyway with Phil Jupitus, Vodafone Comedy Festival, Dublin, 25th July —- La Crosse, Wisconsin 6th, 7th, 8th August http://www.irishfestlacrosse.org/events.html —- Milwaukee, Wisconsin 14th 15th,16th August http://irishfest.com/Entertainment/Artists/Joe-Rooney.htm —- Carrickmacross Arts Festival 20th August —- Electric Picnic Festival 5th September.

I will be adding a few gigs in the US in DC, NY and PA but won’t put them up until everything is agreed. Until next time please have a listen to my podcast Podarooney http://castaway.media/podarooney/2015/06/episode-11-luan-parle/

Above is my latest one with singer songwriter Luan Parle.

Cheerio

Joe

 

2004, 2015

Jestfest, Jestfest, Jestfest; www.jestfest.ie

Hello Turnip Head,

Since my last bloggerooney I did a couple of great gigs at the Bath Comedy Festival; Mandy at St John’s Wine Vaults was so accomodating and the pub itself is a lovely old boozer. The same weekend I did a great gig with Paddy Casey in McGettigan’s in Limerick. Last week I did the Roisin Dubh in Galway and three nights in the Laughter Lounge with Whose Line Is It Anyway. The best thing about doing improv is you have as much craic onstage as the audience are having. I’m really looking forward to a Middle East tour with Whose Line Is It Anyway in May. We have gigs in Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. After that I have a couple of gigs in London, the BARE festival in Laois, Body and Soul festival and on the 17th July, McGrory’s in Donegal.

I’ve been acting in a feature film called Monged which will screen at the Galway Film Fleadh. I play a cork drug dealer psycho type fella and I get to use a gun which is what I always dreamed of as a young fella. Very few people ever hold a gun in their hands in real life but in films very few people don’t have a gun. What’s the fascination? Is it a penis thing? What’s the opposite of a gun? Is it a purse? “ Every body on the ground; I’ve got a purse and I will use it!” It would have to be a purse that could kill people by sucking their face off or something. Do you think if women ruled the world we’d know more about the planet earth and less about the universe? We’d be exploring the core of the planet rather than going up and out there? I wish we could shrink ourselves and explore the garden. I mean the best thing about being small was how big the world looked. Remember the film about a vessel that journeyed through the human body called Fantastic Voyage?

 

Okay back to life, back to reality. I am doing this www.jestfest.ie a comedy festival in Wexford from 1st to 4th May and please listen to my podcast PodaRooney http://castaway.media/podarooney/category/episodes/  and leave a comment if you do. Well toodle pip, talk soon!

Joe

3103, 2015

Red Rock, Pod jock and Middle Eastern Cock Block

Hello Monkies,

Well Podarooney is well up and running now and I’ve had some great chats with Stephanie Roche, Patrick McDonnell, Fred Cooke and Malachy McCourt. I am honing my interview technique and Lesson 1 was not to go, “yeah……yeah…..yeah….yeah” while people are talking. Lesson 2,  I learnt last week when I chatted to Steve Wall; we spoke for 2 hours for what should be at most an hour and ten minute interview. Editing it down was a pain in the arse so from now on I’ll be much stricter on my interviewees if they stray off the point. I’ll be like, “yeah, whatever, blah blah blah, get to the point”. Oh and lesson 3, I learnt in New York while interviewing Malachy McCourt; always bring spare batteries for your Zoom H2n recorder. You can find Podarooney on iTunes or Stitcher.

The gigs in the States went really well, especially in Manhattan and Pittsburgh. I’ll be back in The States in August for the Milwaukee Irish Festival and plans are afoot to go back and do a tour around October/November. I am also doing a Middle East tour with Whose Line Is It Anyway in May. I don’t have the exact details but we are definitely doing Oman and Dubai and possibly Bahrain and Abu Dabhi. I am told I may be staying in a hotel where you get a gondola from your room to reception. So either it’s a ridiculously posh hotel or it has flood damage. I am also doing a few stand up gigs later on in the year in Dubai. I was there a few years ago and one day I was on the metro thinking to myself “ mmmm for some reason, today, ladies seem to be attracted to me” when a girl in uniform approached me and said, “excuse me sir, you are on the ladies carriage”.

I am shooting a couple of pilots for TV this week. Ye never know if anything will come of these but you’ve got to keep trying. It’s a mystery to me why some things get chosen for TV and others get turned down. It is particularly a mystery to me when my ideas get turned down because they are all genius ideas! However I will be appearing in Red Rock on TV3 in the coming week as an Elvis impersonator who gets beaten up by a rival. I don’t actually perform as Elvis in it, just look like an Elvis impersonator. I loved getting all the cuts and blood put on in make up. That was my first time having any special make up done to me. Usually I just get really beaten up, burnt, blown up or stabbed. That’s just how I roll. Daniel Day Whois?

Well I’m off to Bath on Friday for a couple of gigs and I’m interviewing Eleanor Tiernan and Cait O Riordan (formerly of the Pogues) in the coming week too. I love interviewing people, I really do. I like finding out about people and mostly people like talking about themselves. I think I could have been a good therapist but I’d be the type of therapist that would need a therapist also or I’d interrupt my patients saying, “ Ye think that’s bad? I had it much worse!”

 

1103, 2015

Toronto, Boston, Pittsburgh,Manhattan, The Bronx

I’m heading off to Toronto tomorrow to perform for a charity St Patrick’s Day Lunch for the Ireland Fund of Canada on Friday 13th.  Saturday the 14th I’m in Irish Cultural Centre of New England in Boston. Monday 16th I’m in Pittsburgh Improv Comedy Club http://pittsburgh.improv.com/event.cfm?id=378613 and Tuesday 17th I’m in The Village Underground Comedy Cafe in Manhattan and March 20th I’m in The Ramblin House in The Bronx.

Podarooney is up and running! The second episode went up on Monday and is an interview with Patrick McDonnell and the first one is an interview with Puskas Award runner up Stephanie Roche. You can find it here http://castaway.media/podarooney/  or just go to Itunes or Stitcher.

3rd and 4th April I will be performing at the Bath Comedy Festival; you can book tickets here http://www.bathcomedy.com/whats-on-full.php?venue=St+James+Wine+Vaults

 

2702, 2015

Pod-A-Rooney, Pittsburgh and Patrick’s Day Shenanigans

Hello people, I just found out this morning that I’m doing another gig in the US in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (where I believe there is a pawn shop on a corner) on the 16th March which means I’m going to be in Toronto, Boston, Pittsburgh and New York in a space of 5 days. Is this a good idea? I’m not sure but I’m doing it anyway and I hope to fuck it all works out! Thinking about it makes me have flash forwards to possible stressful situations such as sitting in a taxi in bad traffic late for a flight, the battery running down on my phone, arriving at a show and not having a lead for my guitar or my guitar not working for some reason or getting drunk after a show and waking up hung over with all my possessions strewn all over the hotel room floor two hours before I have to catch a flight or losing my debit card and having no money or just some unforeseeable disaster that could possibly happen like just for some reason losing all my trousers and having to perform a show wearing someone elses trousers which would just completely screw up my delivery I would imagine. I’m just always leaving stuff in hotel rooms; in the past 6 months I have left a jacket, two shirts, an electric toothbrush and a really good electric shaver in hotel rooms in Kansas City, Cork and Newcastle. I still can’t forget a really nice guitar that I left in a taxi in Shanghai. I feel like I am just doing gigs to pay for stuff that I leave behind while I am doing gigs.
So I am doing a podcast called Pod-A-Rooney. It’ll be out soon, maybe next week. My first interview is with Stephanie Roche the footballer who won a second place Puskas award for her amazing goal for Peamount United. In the meantime I have been interviewed for a podcast on 738am podcast; you can find it here http://castaway.media/738am/2015/02/episode-9-joe-rooney/
So if you have any American cousins, friends or acquaintances with or without a trace of Irish in them who want to come to a comedy show in Manhattan, The Bronx, Boston or Pittsburgh please give them a shout and tell them to go and see me! The dates are on my event calender. Do It!

 

2901, 2015

Toronto, Boston, New York in March, also Red Rock and Hey Ho Let’s Go!

I am heading back to Toronto on March 13th to do the Canadian Irish Fund annual St Patrick’s Day Lunch. I did this last year and had a whale of a time; one thousand people sat having lunch in the Toronto Convention Centre after arriving at 11am to a free bar. It’s not for the faint hearted but I had a great time last year and even got to meet the controversial Toronto mayor at the time Rob Ford. He wasn’t invited but he just turned up anyway and caused quite a stir.

The next day I’m flying down to Boston to perform in The Boston Irish Cultural Centre. It’ll be my third time performing in Boston in a year. I like Boston; it’s a proper good city with character and a great place to walk around not like L.A or Atlanta where people think you’re crazy if want to walk somewhere. Then I head for New York to do a show in The Village Underground Comedy Club in Manhattan on the 17th and The Rambling House, Bronx on the 20th. I’m hoping to do a few spots in comedy clubs in New York and possibly Philadelphia while I’m over.

In the next couple of days I’m shooting a few scenes in the TV3 drama Red Rock. I’m playing an interesting character but I suppose I can’t give anything a way but my hair will play a part. I think my hair always plays a part in every character I play. Once you’ve got the hair you’ve nailed the character. I’m sure De Niro said that once or just mumbled something and that’s what I heard. I’m also going to be on the panel for an episode of Hey Ho Let’s Go! the new RTE panel show hosted by Dermot Whelan. That should be a laugh although I know I’m going to be bricking it before it’s recorded. I hate the bit on a panel show when you’re being introduced and you have to smile because you know there will be a close up but you don’t feel like smiling because you haven’t even spoken yet so it’s a bit like the bit before you go onstage at a comedy gig when you steel yourself before you go on except at a comedy club you know you’re going to get straight into your material and have them laughing but on a panel show you’ve got to sit there getting a round of applause from an audience that haven’t even heard you speak yet so it’s not a real round of applause it’s just because they are supposed to applaud….okay I’m getting worked up here. I’m sure it’ll be great.

I’m sure it will. I have to go now and rehearse my lines and get my hair right for Red Rock.

Bye

Joe

1501, 2015

Leicester Comedy Festival, New York Shows!!

Above is a video I shot on my phone of Phill Jupitus singing This Charming Man in The Roisin Dubh in Galway after we had performed together with Whose Line Is It Anyway improv dudes. I was so taken aback by his performance I fell on my side but managed to get back upright after a few seconds.

I’ll be performing my own one hour show Your Man Joe Rooney at The Leicester Comedy Festival in Duffy’s Bar, Leicester at 5pm on 21st February;http://www.comedy-festival.co.uk/events/show.php?event_id=4599&showdate=2015-02-21&venue=445

I’m confirmed to do two shows in The Rambling House, The Bronx, New York March 20th at 8pm and 10pm as well as two shows at The Village Underground, 130 West 3rd Street (and 6th Avenue) New York, NY 10012 on St Patricks Day

I’m also doing shows in Boston and at the Bath Comedy festival in March.

501, 2015

Airport security makes me smash my guitar!!

Recently I have had to swallow quantities of toothpaste inside condoms in order to get it through airport security. Unfortunately one of them burst and I almost overdosed on fluoride. If I hadn’t built up a resistance to fluoride by drinking Irish tap water I would have died. A fortunate upshot from this event is I now have a fashionably nicely bleached anus. I am not racist especially when it comes to anuses but a bleached anus is pleasing to the eye.

201, 2015

Ooooooops I hate myself!

I am not playing The Stand,Edinburgh next weekend as I had thought but The Stand, Newcastle. I’m such a screw up. I booked a flight out of Edinburgh and a train from Birmingham up to Edinburgh and then I got an email from the Stand in Newcastle to confirm that I am appearing there next week and I felt like such an idiot as booked another flight and train and realised I lost one nights money at least by my mistake. On the other hand it has been confirmed that I am doing a one hour show in The Village Underground Comedy Club, Manhattan, New York on March 17th!! Holy shit, right in the heart of MANHATTAN! I am going to be so nervous! But it’ll be great really great!! Gulp!

2912, 2014

Buideal

I’m looking forward to three nights in The Stand in Edinburgh next week followed by a couple of nights in the Laughter Lounge in Dublin the following weekend. Unfortunately I won’t be able to perform at the Alcheringa festival in India at the end of the month as that was depending on Culture Ireland funding the price of the flights and they turned it down. However the organisers said they would like me to attend the festival in 2016 and will make a new application next year. Usually when I do gigs abroad the price of flights is part of the deal so this is the first time I have applied for funding and needless to say I was disappointed with the result.

Having looked through the funding process for the arts from semi state bodies I have decided to form a band called “Buideal” who are a Celtic folk metal band performing self penned mainly instrumental pieces called “ Pagan Fire” “High Priestess” and “Sacrificial Cow” with a mixture of fiddles, flutes and metal guitar riffs I think we will clean up with the grant hand outs. I have to work on the look for the band; maybe a mixture of wooly jumpers and leather.

In February I am also performing my own show at the Leicester Comedy Festival and I’m in talks about putting on my own show in New York on March 17th also. In the meantime I will be working on new stuff around the small clubs in Dublin in the next few months and of course performing at The Comedy Improv in The International on Monday nights.

2411, 2014

Touring Update

In the last year I have gigged in Edinburgh, Toronto, Moscow, St Petersburg, Boston, Kansas City, San Diego, L.A., San Fransisco, New York, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Chicago. I was back in NY ( I know New York so well now I just refer to it by initials!) and Boston to host a gig with Mundy, The Stunning and The Boomtown Rats. In NY the band Ash played as well. They had the best after show party with the prettiest girls in the dressing room. Actually, they were the only band to have girls in the dressing room. One of them said my Titus Andronicus t-shirt was “awesome”and said she knew the band. Titus Andronicus are a band I heard of on Marc Maron’s podcast WTF. Maron interviewed the singer Patrick Stickles. I liked what I heard and downloaded their album, A More Perfect Union. When I flew into Boston to start a mini tour of the US I was collected by a Bostonian comic and she said we might as well check out this bar where there was an open mic night. So as I was watching all these young comedians doing their 5 minutes each and I heard a band playing in the room next door and realised it was non other than Titus Andronicus! So I snuck in free of charge and bought a t-shirt to make up for not paying. Anyway to cut a long story short this girl took a photo of me wearing the t-shirt and put it on instagram tagging Patrick Stickles to which he gave a thumbs up or a like or something.

Oh and another thing when I was backstage at the same gig Sting came up to me and said “well done”. Well I think he came up to me but he might have been on the way to some one else more important and I was just in the way. The main thing is he said “well done” to ME! Even my mother never said “well done” to me.

During the summer I acted in a few great sketches on Callan’s Kicks with Oliver Callan and an episode of a RTE kids show called Spooky Stakeout which airs in February 2015. Amn’t I great altogether? I just did a photo shoot with Oliver Callan for the Sunday Independant magazine. Oliver was President Michael D and I was his “special” assistant. So that’ll do for now. I have to go to bed. I have a small rash on my head. I hope it’s not serious but if it turns septic I’ll be sure to let yiz know.

611, 2014

Eventful year!

I can’t believe it’s been a year since the gigs in China. It’s been a very eventful year since, professionally and personally. I spent July 2013 rehearsing the stage version of The Shawshank Redemption in London in preparation for a three a month long run at the Edinburgh Festival. The reviews were amazing including five stars in the London Times. We then did a short last minute run in The Gaiety in Dublin. The audience reaction in Dublin was particularly moving. That was my first play and spending over two months with a cast and crew in such close proximity really brings you close to those people and I have to say there were a good few tears shed after the last night in The Gaiety particularly by Ian Lavender ( he is the luvvie to end all luvvies) but hopefully most of us will get back together for a UK tour next February followed by a run in The West End.

So far this year apart from the usual touring around the UK and Ireland I have beenbover to Toronto for a short stint where I met their controversial mayor Rob Ford.

Two weeks later I was in Moscow hanging out with our own controversial Dave McSavage. We did a couple of gigs together, one in Moscow and one in St Petersburg to a completely Russian audience. It was an amazing experience especially in Moscow where we had an interpereter and some of the audience were listening to him on head phones. It was a bit like playing at the UN I would imagine. In the four days in Russia there was a lot of eating and drinking; they seem to have an aftershow party every night even when there isn’t a show. What with the jet lag and one return flight from Moscow to St Petersburg thrown in, I was wrecked by the end of it. I recovered by mowing the lawn constantly for a week.

In the meantime a (very) short film I did with Paddy Courtney called Lean On Me has garnered very favourable comments from people such as Graham Linehan and Lenny Abrahamson. I believe it’s being developed into something else; probably an action packed buddy cop movie set in Mullingar during the Celtic Tiger years. Pat Shortt would have to be in it because Pat Shortt is in every Irish movie. This August/September I am doing some gigs in the US with Mundy of all people!

The mixture of comedy and music hosted by Andrew Stanley is already booked into venues in Boston, Kansas, San Francisco and Chicago. I’ve never been to any of those places before and so I’m really looking forward to it.

907, 2014

Rocky Road Tour

I’ve a US tour coming up in August/September with Mundy and Andrew Stanley

107, 2014

Marc Maron @ UCB Theatre, LA (May 5th, 2006)

Recently I’ve been listening to Marc Maron’s podcast WTF.  He has interviewed over 500 comedians and musicians over the last 3 or 4 years mostly in his garage in LA. He has inspired me to be more truthful in my stand up. Listen to his podcast

2901, 2014

DING DONG DENNY & JOE DIDDLEY PROMO

Formerly known as The Hairy Bowsies, Ding Dong Denny and Joe Diddley are currently taking bookings for live shows across Ireland and abroad. Here is a taste of the madness that is a DDD and JD show. If you wish to contact us for a booking or otherwise you can email me here or at mjoerooney@gmail.com

2601, 2014

Lean On Me – A Short Film

2311, 2013

CELEBRITY COME DINE WITH ME

The Aftermath were amazing in my Celebrity Come Dine With Me. They really came through for me. Thanks lads and lassie!

2309, 2013

Offended by the “N word”

He is the funniest person alive at the moment….

606, 2013

IF IRELAND WAS A WOMAN by DING DONG DENNY & JOE DIDDLEY

A beautiful waltz starring Ireland as a woman. Directed by the fabulously talented Cormac Moore.

2603, 2013

A MARY SHOULD BE HAIRY – THE HAIRY BOWSIES

A wonderful ballad about how women should do as nature intended.

2103, 2013

Joe Rooney in Hong Kong

701, 2013

KATE MIDDLETON’S TITS BY THE HAIRY BOWSIES

The Hairy Bowsies are back! Ding Dong and his old pal Scribbler O’Donohue perform a song about how a woman can undermine a man’s most fundamental beliefs.

601, 2013

Bishop Knows Best

Sometimes a girl needs advice – even if she didn’t know she wanted it. It could almost be a sitcom (a reeeeally old sitcom)…
Written & performed by Tara Flynn. Joe Rooney as The Bishop.
With Charlene Craig, Eoin Duggan and Donnacha O’Brien.

2604, 2011

SITTING ON THE DOCK OF THE BAY

A clip from Talking Funny discussing song parodies and other things.
Not my video, property of HBO I’m sure.

3009, 2008

barbara cartland

dog interviewed