THE AMERICAN newspaper columnist and author Bill Vaughan once wrote about the Christmas and New Year period: “The optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.”
As the New Year approaches with the recession kicking in and a winter of discontent looming, we’ll all need a good laugh and thankfully The Comedy Club in Cuba* - “the original and still the best comedy club in Galway,” according to The Irish Times - will have many star attractions and rising names taking to the stage over the next few weeks.
Danny Bhoy and James Gouldsbury
Tomorrow Scottish comedian Danny Bhoy headline’s the Comedy Club Christmas party at Cuba*. He first began trying out material on his customers when he worked as a barman at The George Hotel in Moffat near Dumfries. As he told BBC News in 1999: “You start making people laugh in the pub and then you think, Could I do that on stage?”
He found success as a stand-up comedian relatively quickly. After only a year on the circuit Bhoy won Britain’s biggest competition for comedy newcomers The Daily Telegraph Open Mic Award. In 2001 he sold out his entire three-week run at the Edinburgh Festival in record time.
Following that he was invited to perform at the Montreal Just For Laugh Festival, the Las Vegas Comedy Festival, and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. He was also the first stand-up comedian to ever do a run of English-speaking shows in India.
Supporting Danny Bhoy at Cuba Comedy Club is up-and-coming Dublin comedian James Gouldsbury, one of the stars of Channel 4’s Headwreckers.
The New Year comedy festivities begin on Friday January 2 when one of Ireland’s busiest comedians Ian Coppinger takes to the mic. He is a founder member of Dublin’s Comedy Improv and regularly joins the team at The International Bar on Monday nights.
Throughout the 1990s he was the resident MC at the legendary Comedy Cellar club and nurtured the talents of emerging comedians such as Dylan Moran, Tommy Tiernan, Andrew Maxwell, and Jason Byrne.
As a much sought-after international touring act Coppinger has toured the USA, Australia, the Middle East, and Europe. Such is his standing in the improvisation realm that he has been invited to perform many times at Second City in Chicago. Coppinger also has an impressive CV as an actor, appearing alongside Christian Slater in London’s Gielgud Theatre production of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.
Coppinger has become the main gag writer for Ardal O’Hanlon and has also supported him during his British tours. Perrier Award-winning comedian Rich Hall predicts Ian will be “the next Irish comedian to make it on the international circuit”.
Comedy Club MC Gerry Mallon has always had a policy of bringing through emerging talent and this has paid off handsomely over the years with then established comedians coming to play intimate shows at the club.
Dundalk man McDonnell may be diminutive in height but he more than makes up for this with a huge comedy talent at his disposal. He plays the Comedy Club on January 9 and thus begins what is sure to be a busy 2009 for him
McDonnell’s set is described as “energetic, full of fun and bursting with enthusiasm” as he tells tales of growing up in a small border county town. The ‘wee man’ from County Louth has been a finalist in BBC Newcomers competition and in Channel 4’s So You Think You’re Funny. Among his many fans are fellow comedians Des Bishop, Joe Rooney, and Colin Murphy. He is nothing if not brave as in the recent past he has played support to Podge and Rodge in Vicar Street
Other comedy highlights in early 2009 include Maeve Higgins in February and Galway Comedy Festival in March/April
Gerry Mallon is the MC for all the shows. Tickets are available in advance at Bar 903, The Cellar Bar and at the door before each show at 8.30pm.