David O’Doherty on the quest for happiness

Comedian to play Róisín Dubh on May 8 and 9

David O'Doherty.

David O'Doherty.

THE EVER-wonderful comedian David O'Doherty returns for two special shows at the Róisín Dubh tomorrow and Saturday, and he promises to have checked everything in his new show, David O’Doherty Has Checked Everything.

Perrier award winner, 8 Out of 10 Cats and Never Mind The Buzzcocks regular, and now a global comedy superstar, writer/actor/poet/fool, and keen cyclist, David is now at the peak of his powers. His dexterity with vocabulary, married to a skew-whiff perspective, is what makes him such a delight to listen to. From entrance to exit, David is in total control of his material, of himself, and of his audience, and Galway gig-goers can feast on his unique brand of hilarity in the Róisín this weekend.

“It’s about my futile search for the secret of human happiness.” David tells me over an afternoon phone call as he talks about the show. “One of the things I noticed I was doing was looking at my phone too much and refreshing the screen thinking that the password was just going to appear and, as of today, it has failed to appear. But I can certainly tell you that I have checked everything.”

What kind of things did he observe on this momentous life quest I enquire. “I buy a lot of crap,” he replies pithily, “and each time I think this is it, this is the final purchase that is going to complete everything. I bought things like noise-cancelling headphones, pizza wheels, a variety of garments, one of those coffee machines that you put little capsules into, the list goes on and on, so we’ll cover a selection of those, and I’ll ask the audience what they have attempted to do with full certainty. I think it’s the fact that, in trying to find the secret of true happiness, the next thing I need reveals itself, and then that turns out to be a red herring.”

Aside from consumer goods, does he delve into religious or philosophical belief systems those alleged repositories of happiness? “I cover human love and natural beauty as well in the show,” he states. “I gave up on religion some time ago. I think this is a curious time where we all feel let down by the politics of the country. The show looks at what is left and reaches a sterling conclusion at the end!”

On the day we chatted, O’Doherty had just returned from a short tour of the United States where he also had a high-profile TV appearance on the Conan show. He professes that he relishes performing Stateside.

“I made a commitment about five years ago that I wasn’t going to write any material that wouldn’t work in Dublin, Galway, London, and New York,” he reveals. “It’s nice to talk about the stuff I like to talk about over there, there is something inspiring when you find people laughing at the same things they laugh about here, it kind of makes the world seem a little bit smaller. That was my first time appearing on the Conan show, we had a long chat afterwards, he has Irish heritage, his family are from Wexford.”

Might he ever consider relocating to the US or Britain I ask, or does he draw his inspiration from the Irish air? “I don’t know,” he replies with a hearty laugh. “I have spent 39 years building up family and friends here and living in a place I really, really like. I live in Dublin but also spend a lot of time in Achill. I do work in the UK a lot, my life involves a lot of travel and that may not be something I would want to do forever but at the moment it is still fun!

“And Galway is part of that, it means a lot to me. It was the first place I ever did a long show. It was in Cuba that Gerry Mallon said to me ‘Go on, do an hour’ and I did, and it went reasonably well so that was where my proper comedy career really began.”

David premiered his current show in Edinburgh last autumn. Does the show change over the course of its run? “I never write anything down, on any given evening it can go one way or another,” he says. “The show is in two halves and the first half is entirely loose I recently played Belfast and a lot of that ended up being about making fun of the Ulster-Scots language. So that was the first half of the show, and the second half was about my search for human happiness.”

David concludes our chat by disclosing that he is busy writing a new show which he will premiere at Edinburgh in August with the wonderful title We Are All in the Gutter But Some of Us Are Looking At David O’Doherty.

This is a ‘Gerry Mallon presents...’ show. Doors are at 8.30pm. Tickets are available at www.roisindubh.net, the Ticket Desk at OMG Zhivago, Shop Street, and The Róisín Dubh.

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