Januray/February Comedy Shows.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

http://www.whelanslive.com/

http://www.olympia.ie/

http://www.vicarstreet.com/

http://www.ticketmaster.ie/Billy-Connolly-tickets/artist/744104

and some weekly comedy clubs to check out:

http://battleoftheaxe.com/

http://www.theinternationalcomedyclub.com/

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

Highlights & Poorly dyed roots. Part One.

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It’s the end of the year. I got to work nights & it’s Christmas. I’m banging out a year in review style post.

Best Gig:

Battle of The superheroes. Edinburgh Fringe Festival. August 2016:

Battle of The superheroes is a show where four stand up’s pick a superhero and fight over who is the best. I was up against Batman, Superman & Iron Man. I went with Nightwing. For those that don’t know, Nightwing is Dick Grayson. Batman former sidekick who got sick of dressing like a peado’s wet dream as Robin and then decide to dress in all black leather like a sex gimp.

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The format was simple. We all had five minutes each to talk about why our hero was the best. Then a Q&A section with the crowd. Whoever the audience liked the most would win. I felt I had no chance with Nightwing and was really worried people won’t even know who he was.

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Those poor kids. I spent most of my five minutes talking about how much Nightwing gets laid.

The guy representing Superman took himself out early as he was as boring as Superman Returns. Iron Man was out next. He said Tony Stark was just like Donald Trump. Great way to turn the crowd against you.

Next was Batman, represented by Doug. Who is a huge Batman fan. He has a Batman tattoo, changed his middle name to Wayne and had a Batman theme to his wedding.
Doug was very confident he was going to win. It came down between me and him in the Q&A section.

During the Q&A at times, Doug and I would become Batman & Nightwing and answer the questions as if we were them. Batman & Nightwing have a Father & Son type relationship. Things got strange as I attacked Doug for being a bad father (Throwing in my real life angry at my father in there). Doug was thrown off by my outburst and apologised for not being a better father. (If only this would happen in real life.) With that, I managed to win the battle for my superhero Nightwing. (Who doesn’t have any superpowers.)

I never won any comedy competitions and when I finally did it had nothing to do with my material but talking about what a sexy ass Dick Grayson has.

 

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None of these people is me.

 

Worst Book Signing of the year:

The Stand Comedy Club. Edinburgh Fringe Festival. 2016

I managed to get tickets to Stewart Lee work in progress show at the Stand Comedy Club.
Last year I went to his work in progress show at the assembly rooms. It was huge room and was pretty far back but it was a wonderful show doing over an hour with no breaks. It was great seeing his process played out live as he went through the new stuff.

Being in The Stand a smaller room, I was even more excited seeing him work up close.
Stewart was also doing a signing for his new book “Content Provider” after the show.

It being a work in progress show there was a lot of stuff that didn’t work and it seems to really rattle Stewart. This was one of the first shows in his month-long run of working on new stuff for his nationwide tour in 2017. He would comment on how much it wasn’t working and went back to older stuff to close the show, which ended a bit early.

He came back to do the book signing at the exit of the club. He was clearly flustered by how the show went. When he asked my name, I said John, but he got it wrong. I have a very thick accent and was a bit nervous. I said it again but he still got it wrong. I said it again and he went (A bit annoyed):

“So it’s Jan? J A N? Right?”.

I just said yeah as it was getting awkward he clearly wanted to go home and cry.
Here is my signed copy of the book from one of my comedy hero’s:

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Part 2 will have the bad stuff from 2016 you negative people.
Come talk to me on twitter @SlumberingJ as I’m lonely at Christmas time.

Here a clip of me doing stand up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIUMpinRGlY

The Comedy Christmas Book Guide.

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Christmas is coming up. You know someone who likes stand-up comedy or who is even an amateur stand-up comedian. You think:

“I’m really lame. I know there kinda into this. Maybe I should buy them a book connected to the thing they like, cause I can’t do gift vouchers because everyone knows that what you get somebody if you don’t really care enough, but a book makes me look somewhat caring, functioning human being. ”

The best book (That I read) about the process of writing stand-up comedy is:

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No wrong Blog. This is the book you’re after:

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I started stand-up comedy at the age of 27 back in 2011. This book came out around the same time. I have always been a fan of Stewart Lee and found this book fascinating as he picks apart his set from his comeback shows and talks about his time in the wilderness when he stopped doing stand-up.

This book goes into the process of making a routine, the practise, hard work and sheer uncertainty of it all.

I found this way more inspiring than the “how to do” comedy books where they tell you to end a joke with “Then I woke up on the bus” punchline. Even if don’t enjoy Lee’s work but are interested in the mechanics of stand-up, I’m sure you’ll get something out of this book. But if you don’t it’s not my problem and I’m not going to do anything about it.

Now for something completely different:

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This is for those that want to be the arena busting stand up in your life. I read most of the big name stand up comedian books. They all fall into the same trap. Mostly about their boring lives before doing stand up . It filled with this type of stuff:
“My Da used to make me dress as a Lizard”, “I thought I be a coal miner forever” & “That when I found out what a daisy chain really was”. By the way, all those quotes are just from Nina Conti’s  autobiography.

Even Peter first book (The sound of Laughter) did this. But this book is all the good stuff. The awful gigs, the failures, set back’s and then becoming the biggest comedian in England and then going off the boil. The book doesn’t talk about that last part. I just added it on as I’m trying to be sassy. (Snaps fingers.)

The one that got away:

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A couple of years ago. I was at the big Irish comedy festival (The cat laughs).
There was a special show done by Sky where they showcased some new comedy shorts. Some of the people in front & behind the camera were there to talk about the shorts they worked on.

Johnny Vegas was one of them. The moderator opened the floor to questions from the audience. There was an awkward silence. To break it, I raised my hand and said I had a question for Johnnny:

“I really liked your book, any plans to turn it into a film?”

He was chuffed about the question. He went into a long answer about how he is working on a film based on the book and hoping to start filming soon.

After the Q & A. He came over to me and said thanks for asking about the book. He put three years of his life into it and it meant a lot to him that people really cared about it.

I didn’t know what to say. As I had never read it. It was the only thing I could think to say to him. He was so nice I got a copy of it as soon I could. I still haven’t read it and that was two years ago. Sorry Johnny.

November blog up. Come talk to me on twitter @SlumberingJ as I’m lonely at Christmas time and you can tell me how none of those books in the featured image were mention at all.

Mr. Semi

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On Tuesday the 18th of October I was in the semi-finals of “The Irish Comedian of the Year” Competition. I didn’t make it to the finals alas. But I thought I would write about one of the oddest competitions I was involved in.

It was called “Live Mics”. It was run by a guy called Micheal. He wanted to find the next big music star and set up a Competition with the winner getting ten grand worth of studio time and the support of Micheal’s”label” behind them. He didn’t want just music acts do he also wanted comedy acts to enter.

My friend, who was a comedian, entered it and was pushing me to do it. You had to sign up to the Live Mics website and link it to your Facebook page. Then encourage your “Friends” (there not really your friends) on Facebook to vote for you.

I’m sure right away you can see what a load of monkey shit that was.
The competition becomes pointless. It’s not based on how good you are but how many friends you got on Facebook and I’m never going to win that one.
(For the record 75 “Friends” on Facebook including my aunties and 25 followers on Twitter but mostly “sexy” girls in my area who just want to chat after I give them my credit card details.)

My friend was not only in the competition he was also MC-ing all the heats. The night my friend had his heat he asked me to host (Since it would be odd if he hosted then did a spot). I was more than happy to. I love MC-ing. It was also the first time I hosted a show with Music and Comedy.

I always found the shows I did that were a mix of  Music and Comedy ended badly and tonight was no different.

To began with there was no crowd. Four people that paid in and the other acts made up the rest of the crowd. This had been the attendance for most of the heats which were running Friday/Saturday  night for four weeks.

One problem was that there were no local acts on. These type of “Battle of the Bands” comp’s need local acts to bring a crowd. The acts were from all over the country.

Another problem was that each act was totally different and it was hard to see who the night was aimed at.

The night I hosted there a Britney Spears type singer, a rock band, a white Reggie group and some lads doing stand up.

If you know anybody who’s like 90’s pop music, a bunch of white lads doing “No woman, no cry” and an angry young student doing rape “jokes” just to be edgy this was the show for them.

I was asked by the acts who the judge was. There wasn’t any. I thought Micheal might have been the judge but since he spent the whole show running in and out of the room and on his phone he was about as legit a judge as Judge Rinder.

At the end of the night, I asked Micheal who the winner was and how the voting on social media played into it. He talked for about five minutes with no real answer and just left.

Out of the 8 heats that were done. No winner from the heats was every announced and the competition disappeared quickly after that.

I felt bad for the acts who had travelled a long way for nothing. I know what it is to travel for a bad gig. Hence the title of this blog.

So I’m going to declare a winner for the Live Mics competition:

The winner is The Irish Door’s tribute act “The Knobs”.

You can Follow me @SlumberingJ on twitter. With 8 days to go, I made my October deadline. See if I can make November deadline.

Here a clip of me doing stand up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIUMpinRGlY

Back to Reality.

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Hello, all genders.

By now you were supposed to be reading my day to day account of my nine days at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I got part 1 up and it received a positive response (thank you all so much) but sadly real life got in the way.

Two days after coming back from Edinburgh. I started two weeks of nights in work. For those don’t know I work as a Health care assistant in a nursing home.

My brain has been swizz cheese the past month and now it nearly October and Edinburgh seems so long ago that writing up my experiences seems somewhat pointless. You could argue it was pointless, to begin with, but I’m not listening to you.

I know there is a one-legged woman with ten kids who has to work 70 hours a day but still finds time to write her novel’s about a sexy nurse who’s a part-time detective:
“Nurse Jasmin in Nocturnal Medical Crimes.”

She is Laughing at me for not being able to write a blog while doing 60 hours a week and trying to have some sort of life.

To that women, I say: “yeah I need better time management skills, but don’t be a twat about it. Also, your books suck, but can you sign me a copy in case it takes off in a Twilight way. Cheers.”

From now on I’m aiming to do one of these posts about once a month. I know overkill right. Switching between my regular posts about adventures in comedy I did over the years and my attempt at writing my own one man show.

In 2014 after doing stand up for three years I went to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with my own show, “The Making of Jonathan Sheehan.”.

The show was a failure on most levels. I wasn’t ready to do a full hour and hadn’t practised enough. It was a bunch of small club sets mauled into a long show held together by my good looks, which meant it didn’t hold at all.

I plan to start working on my show now and do it as much as I can next year (2017) with the goal of getting it good enough to take it to Edinburgh in 2018. The blog posts will act as a way of charting my progress and publicly shaming me into working on it.

See you in the space year October 2016.

(If I miss October update, feel free to tweet me @SlumberingJ on twitter.)

 

 

Edinburgh & Back again.

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Welcome.

This is my blog covering what I did for my nine days at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016.

I’m Jonathan Sheehan a mediocre stand-up from Ireland chancing my arm along with 5.5 billion other comedians during the Festival and putting a show on.

Thursday 4th of August:

My real job is a health care assistant in a nursing home. I finished six 12 hour shifts in a row Wednesday night and got a flight at 5 am to go to Scotland. I was exhausted.
My first day was a blur of walking around, checking in, napping and going to my venue.

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This is me standing outside the White Horse trying not to look like a Loser. I failed.

Our venue was the White Horse on Canongate. This is my fourth year doing the Edinburgh fringe festival. My previous two years had been a bit hit and miss with my time & venue. This year I had a plan.

I can only ever afford to do a week in Edinburgh. I came up with the idea of doing a compilation show of Irish acts that would run for the month under the Banner of “Irish Championship Comedy”.  Each of us taking turns to run the show for a week.

By booking a show for a month it’s meant to help get a better time & venue.
Edinburgh can be a lottery for your time/venue so anything that can help is worth it.

To explain there are two “Free” fringe groups. Laughing Horse and PBH free fringe.

My past few years have been with PBH free fringe and my experiences have been mixed.
PBH stand for Peter Buckley Hill who’s a bit mad and when you sign with him he has a list of rules that makes Sheldon Cooper room-mate agreement look sensible.

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Sign with PBH and if you even look at another comedy show you forfeit all your bucket money and your soul.

I wanted to go with Laughing Horse but could never afford it. There is a 90-pound registration fee and you have to put your show in the official Edinburgh Fringe book which costs 300 pounds.

Throw in your costs for accommodation, printing, drugs, whores and you’re talking a lot of money. By going with a group we split the costs  6 ways. I could now afford to go with Laughing Horse.

Our room at the White Horse could hold 40-60 people easy. Our time was 6.45 which I was happy with. Your show is not going up against the bigger shows and you hope to get the post-work crowd and avoid people bringing their kids in. Which happened before at my earlier shows and it gets real awkward when you starting talking about your sex life.

I arrived one hour before the show to start flyering with my comedy partner for the week Pat McDonagh.

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My comedy Partner for the week Pat McDonagh. Who looks like my carer in this picture.

I honestly felt with our time, venue and show concept (People like compilation show’s and the Irish theme is always popular.) we would always get a decent crowd in. I was wrong. Our first show only had four people in the room.

I was a bit down but we went ahead anyway. It was great fun. I did about 20-30 minutes just chatting with the crowd and Pat finished the show. We made close to 15 pounds.

To explain our show is “free” to enter but at the end of the show you stand there with a bucket and ask the crowd to put in what they thought the show was worth.
It’s basically posh begging. To get 15 pounds off four people is pretty good going.
I left our first show happy and hoping our numbers would go up.
The dread of Edinburgh had not slipped in….yet.

Check back for part 2 where I go to other people’s shows & almost start a racist rally.

Find Jonathan on Twitter @SlumberingJ.

A quick clip of me doing stand up:

Edinburgh: What to see Part 3.

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This is the end of my “what to see at the Edinburgh Fringe” guide.
But it’s not the end of me. This would be a very weird suicide note.
Hold onto your portable electronic reading device as we head once more into the grand canyon of comedy shows.

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Laura Lexx: Tyrannosaurus Lexx.
Just the Tonic at The Mash House. 2.20pm. August 2-14 & 16-28.
Ticket Price: 5 pounds.

I saw Laura last year at one of the “best of” shows at the Stand comedy club. A ball of energy with  funny stories, especially about her upper-class mother.
She recently got internet fame for taking down a sexist heckler at a comedy night she was MC’ing. I had to do the same thing when I was the MC at my local comedy club. My father is still not talking to me.

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Colum Tyrell: Hookers and Blow Show.
Just the Tonic at the Tron. 10.20 pm. August 4-14 & 16-28.
Ticket Price: 6 pounds.

Colum and I started Stand up comedy in Ireland around the same time. He found great success. He has appeared on Irish T.V. and played all the major Irish comedy festivals.
I went on to write a blog where I talk about his success. Colum moved to New York a while ago and this is his return show. I can only assume in the time his left he has only gotten better, the little bollox.

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John Robertson: The Dark Room.
Underbelly, Cowgate Venue 61. 8.30 pm. August 4-27.
Ticket Price: 11 pounds.

John Roberston is the lunatic who you might have seen as a host on the now-canceled “Video Game Nation”. Which ranked alongside “Games Master” as one of the few good t.v. shows about video games.
“The Dark Room” is his brain child. A live action, text based choose your own adventure show. Where the audience decides what’s going to happen next. While John shouts at you for being rubbish at the game.

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Adam Key: Fingering A Minor on the Piano. 6.40pm.
Pleasance Courtyard Veune 33. 6.40 pm.  August 3-9, 11-16, 18-23 & 25-29.
Ticket Price: 14 pounds.

Adam Key is best known as the Amateur Transplant front man. Go Youtube some of their songs and I’m sure it will make you want to go to see the show. If it doesn’t, at least you finally have a valid excuse as to why the word Amateur pops up on your search history.

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The Irish Alternative: Completion show.
Venue:  The Laughing @ The Cellar Monkey. 1.15pm. August 4-17.
Ticket price: Free (Pay what you want at the end.)

Three sound lads (Cornelius O’Sullivan, Anthony Riordan & Roger O’Sullivan) come to Edinburgh to tell jokes & eat deep fried Mars bars. They say one in three comedians goes mad at Edinburgh. See which one of them cracks first.

You can catch my show in Edinburgh, Irish Championship Comedy, at The White Horse (Venue 296) 6.45 pm, August 4-28. I’m on with a good bunch of people way funnier than me.

I plan to see as many shows as I can while I’m in Edinburgh. Keep an eye on the blog for updates and reports. Or don’t, whatever it’s your life.

Any questions/comments hit me up on twitter @SlumberingJ