AMONG THE posse of cool comics riding into Galway for the Vodafone Comedy Carnival is acclaimed Aussie gagmeister, Damian ‘Damo’ Clark with his new show, Grand Theft Damo. Originally from Perth, Damian has been based in Britain for the past three years, following a stint living in Ireland, and has been delighting audiences and critics with his infectious energy and rambunctious routines.
Over an afternoon phone chat, Damian talked about his new show, but I began by asking why so many comics from Australia and the US seem to make Britain their base. “There’s more misery here and comedy definitely works better in that setting,” he replies with a laugh. “With my accent I probably sound like I should be somewhere sunny but I prefer rainy days so the UK is perfect for me and every other comic; we’re just miserable bastards who like making fun of the world! The main thing is that geographically, unlike the US or Australia, it’s condensed into a small enough landmass so that wherever you are you can nearly always drive home after the gig.”
Grand Theft Damo is a real life detective story, with lashings of laughs on top. Last year, Clark’s phone was stolen and four weeks later, mysterious photos began to appear in his iCloud. In an attempt to find out where they were coming from, Damo began a quest for the culprit knowing he had to solve the case if he ever wanted to see his phone again and stop the tirade of garbage hacked into all his other devices. In tracking his phone, he is unwillingly dragged into the dark side of SMS, online dating and drug dealing – with hilarious consequences.
“The show is almost a true crime story about my phone being stolen, and then me getting all the photos from the new owner of my phone on iCloud, including his dick pics!” Damo observes. “I had to figure out who was this guy that had my phone, and it took me a year but I tracked him down and that’s what the show is about. It’s still stand-up but it’s like a home-made detective story.”
Damo muses on those x-rated pics from his phone; “Maybe some people would have just let it go but I was fixated on ‘Who is this?’ Dick pics aren’t a big deal these days I suppose but I met my partner 14 years ago and I hadn’t done any of that online stuff which is really popular now. It’s a whole different world – people just sending out photos of their willies! And he was very angry looking in the pics so I don’t know why they think it is going to work, when you see some of the angles they take – the show is a bit about all that. It’s quite a womanly thing as well because now I know what it is like to have dick pics sent to you when you are not expecting them.”
So how did he manage to track the phone thief down? “He took a photo of a letter that he got at university so I went to the university he was studying at but I missed him by a couple of months because he had already graduated,” Damo replies. “However, there was an address on the top left corner of the letter and then I thought ‘Oh, is that where he lives?’ so I hired a car and went down to Dorset to see if he was there. I did a stake-out there which in turn led me to Manchester because I saw a geo-tag linking to Manchester. The quest took me all round the UK pretty much. It all started in Edinburgh and the story continued on and almost finished in Edinburgh as well.”
Clark relished having the framework of a crime story for his show; “It was magic. And this year I am using a projector for the first time so that sort of kept me in check – I couldn’t go off on too many tangents! I had to take care of business, going through photos to show the evidence. It felt like me and the audience were all figuring things out at the same time as we went along because it was exciting for me to tell the story. Having the projector was the only stress because I’d be wondering would the technology work all the time as I am not technology minded.”
Damian wraps up our chat by declaring how much he is looking forward to bringing his show here in a couple of weeks’ time. “Usually this business can be quite a lonely route for all comics so when we can have a get-together like the Galway Comedy Carnival, we can catch up with everybody and it’s brilliant, it’s like a paid holiday!”
Damian Clark presents Grand Theft Damo at The Ruby Room in The King’s Head, on Sunday October 25 at 8pm. It is strictly over-18’s and admission is €10. See www.vodafonecomedycarnival.com