Die Hardy


Comedy competitions. I entered many and never won one. At least I’m consistent.

You may ask why do I keep entering them?  I see winning a competition as validation of all
the work I’ve done these past six years and as a way to help me move forward in comedy. As I’m currently stuck in a corner like that guy at the end of the Blair With Project.


On the 12th of January, I walked into the Harbour bar in Bray, Co. Wicklow. It’s home to a monthly comedy club called “The Hardy Har”.

The previous January, at The Hardy Har, I entered the same competition. I lost that one. Here I was a year later in the same club, doing the same competition. That’s what you call progression.

I finished work at 9 and was heading straight over to the gig. I informed the promoter (who was also the MC) that I won’t be there till ten o’clock. There was some sort of mix-up do. I was put on first and apparently, there was a panic when the show started and I was not there. A very funny new comic called Richard Bree went on first instead. I arrived at 9.40. So despite showing up 20 minutes early, I was still somehow “late”.

I was a little annoyed by this. It may sound silly but even do I’m an amateur comedian (The word amateur doesn’t go down well with some people.  It seems the only time people like the word amateur is when it’s in porn.) I like to be professional.

I always strive to show up on time & not to cancel gigs unless I have too. Once I drove with a really bad flu to a gig. Having to pull over the side of the road to throw up. Only to get to the gig for only six people to be there. Who all probably got the flu off me. Great night for everyone that was.

I was now on last. There was ten acts in total and a guest headliner. Being on last could be good or bad.

Good: Since one act got through by crowd vote being on last meant you had a better chance of being remembered.

Bad: being on last means the crowd might be burnt out and you get a lukewarm reaction.

The number ninth act was my good friend Johnny Graham. Johnny is from Co. Offaly (Where I’m from) but he moved to Galway years ago. (The sell out).

Johnny did great as always, his high energy, off the cuff style, went down a treat. Me being the more low key I knew I would have to give the crowd a chance to get into my style. Which is tough as I only had five minutes.

As I was walking up to the stage the MC had asked a girl to stand up and go crazy to inject some energy into the crowd as I came on stage. For this lady standing up was a problem and she fell over and being at the side of the crowd she fell right into me as I was walking up. I helped her back to her seat but the crowd was laughing and distracted by this. I spent 30 seconds talking to the girl and trying to get the focus back on the show.

I started with some material that I was going to finish with as it kinda tied into my interaction with the girl. I finished right on the 5-minute mark.

Coming off I had done well but I knew I didn’t do well enough. I didn’t get judge, crowd or wildcard vote.

I keep thinking back if had been a normal gig. The girl falling over would have been a gift and I would easily take the piss out of her for a few minutes. But with it being a competition and only having five minutes I decided to stick to my set. Who knows if messing around with the girl would have gotten me the win. Probably not. But this is the stuff that goes around in head when you can’t sleep that night and know you got a twelve-hour shift in work the next day to look forward too.

You can see me headline “Dropout Comedy” in Dundalk. On February 15.

Catch Johnny Graham & Bob Hennigan host “Ireland’s Smallest Comedy Club” every Thursday night in Co. Galway at the Dew Drop Inn.

Check out Hardy Har Comedy Club at the Harbour Bar in Bray, Co. Wicklow at the end of every month.

Also, check out the link for Bray Comedy Festival at the end of February:



Januray/February Comedy Shows.


I was scanning the comedy gig listings and saw the unreal level of top notch comedy shows coming up. I decided to do a quick list of the shows you should go see.  I have listed them in chronology order. Let’s kick off with:


Jan 9. Duane Duggan & Niall Farrell: One for the Road. Whelan’s.

Duane & Niall are pretty new to the comedy circuit but in their short time, they played all the major Irish comedy festivals and establish one of the best comedy clubs in “Pop the Cherry” at Whelan’s on Monday nights. This is their last show before they head off to join ISIS and fight the western overlords. Or there going to live in England for a bit.
I forget which one they told me there doing.


Jan 20. Emman Idama: E-man of the house. Whelan’s.

You might have seen Emman (Called E-man by his friends) on those end of year shows on RTE. “Here someone from Fair City talking about Brexit.” His easily one of the funniest on those shows and recently featured on the Des Bishop “This is Ireland” programme.
In the past few years, he’s worked incredibly hard (Gigging everywhere) and making it to the finals all the major comedy competitions in the U.K. & Ireland. It’s all been leading up to his first solo show.


Jan 22. Alison Spittle: Discovers Hawaii. Whelan’s.

You might recall me mentioning Alison show in my Edinburgh preview guide. I didn’t make it to the show as it was sold out while I was in Edinburgh. That should tell you something, having sold out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival it’s harder than making a good film based on a video game. “Tetris: The Movie. The Blocks are Back.”
The show already has great review’s and is well road tested. Catch (as far as I know) the only Irish performance of it.


Feb 5. Rob Becket: Live. Olympia Theatre.

The first person on the list who I don’t know personally. But we could still become friends, right? I sent him 100 e-mails & private messages, I’m sure he’ll get back to me soon.
You might have seen Rob on his numerous T.V. appearances like “8 out of 10 cats” & “Mock the week”. He’s also probably done T.V. that none of us would watch, like:
“Chanel 5 When Pets Fall Over.” or “ITV 2 When Junkies Attack”.


Feb 9/10. Edwin Sammon Vs Cancer. Whelan’s.

I have been lucky enough to be on the same bill as Edwin many times over the years. Just recently we did a gig in Mountmellick (It’s like Middle Earth but they have the internet and a chip shop.)
I got a taste of this show that night & can attest how good it is. Ed is one of the most well regard comedians on the circuit and recently his profile has been raised due to his work on “Republic of Telly” & “Bridget & Eamon”.


Feb 18. Billy Connolly: High Horse. 3 Arena.

I don’t have to say anything about Billy Connoly. A legend in stand-up comedy. At 74 his already sold the 3 Arena out for two dates, Feb 16/17. This Friday (06/01) tickets go on sale for the third and final date at the 3 Arena. Expect another sellout.


Feb 19. John Colleary: Live. Whelan’s.

John has co-written and starred in “The Savage Eye” & “Irish Pictorial Weekly”. Again I been lucky enough to be on the same shows as John and can say how good he is. Easily one of the best in the country. If you go to the show based on my recommendation and don’t like it, you can come punch me in the face afterwards.


Feb 22-26. Russel Howard: Round the world. Vicar Street.

This is my 14-year-old nephew favourite comedian and yes that’s including me. I don’t even make his top ten.
If you love him and his upbeat life is good style comedy go see his show. If you hate him don’t go to his show. You’ll have an awful time.
I mean why would you buy a ticket for someone you don’t like? you mad bastard.


Feb 26. Stuart Goldsmith: Compared to what. Whelan’s.

Stuart has appeared on loads of T.V. shows but if you’re really into your comedy you probably know him best via his podcast, The Comedian’s Comedian, where he interviews major figures in the stand-up scene. We shared a venue in Edinburgh and he was always lovely. It did get awkward sometimes as the bucket for his shows was filled with notes from the crowd who loved him and my bucket was empty with only my tears and broken dreams in it.

Here are the links to the venues to buy tickets to any of these shows. If you have read this far please go to one or as many as you can. Stand-up comedy doesn’t work without a crowd. I should know I done plenty of gigs to four people. The more you support live comedy the better. Don’t forget to also check out some weekly comedy clubs. I post links to a couple of them below.





and some weekly comedy clubs to check out:



You can catch me at the Hardy Har comedy club, in Bray Co. Wicklow on January 12.
As for the 100 time I enter a comedy competition with the hopes of finally winning one.

Follow me on twitter @SlumberingJ