Fast-talking Farrelly tickles the funny bones

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I couldn’t help but feel my funny bone heat up while in conversation with Cat Laughs newcomer Gearoid Farrelly. The 32-year-old Dubliner literally had me in stitches with his hilarious wit and comical timing while I was trying to conduct a somewhat serious pre-Cat Laughs comedy festival interview.

Hailing from Finglas, Farrelly started out as an actor having studied at the same stage school as Colin Farrell. However, while Farrelly was very talented on stage, as well as on screen, he didn’t like the confinements.

“I had to get out of it," he said. "I didn’t like reading from someone else’s script. I wanted to perform my own material with my own views.”

So, having sat around for years listening to his mum (Deirdre ) and four sisters (Una, Grainne, Roisin, Jennifer ) chat and entertain he took inspiration from them and started to write his own material.

"The women in my family are the funny ones," he said. "My mum and my sisters are highly entertaining and natural comics that leave my brother (Ciaran ), myself and my dad (Eamon ) usually holding our sides from laughing so hard, so naturally I’d draw a lot from them.”

Family ties are never far from his shows either. “I’ll usually speak about my granny, my pet rabbit and other personal events," he revealed. "Most of the time there’s a grain of truth in what I’m talking about.”

What he doesn’t lean towards in his profession though is what some other comics tend to veer towards is the shock factor.

"Don’t get me wrong, some of the comedians manage to be controversial but funny at the same time - others will just say things for the shock factor," he pointed out. "I understand that when you’re not getting a laugh from the crowd you’re almost tempted to blurt stuff out, but it’s not always right.”

For the past three years the comic has been entertaining crowds across the globe, and has quite a few accolades to his name. A finalist in So You Think You’re Funny 2008, he was also voted Capital Comedy's Best Newcomer in 2008. Farrelly's talents know no bounds; he recently wrote and performed for the live sketch show My Funny Valentine, which had sell-out runs in various theatres. That’s not all he enjoyed playing support to Maeve Higgins this year on her national tour. “Maeve has been a massive support to me and is really encouraging, she’s a wonderful person.”

He has also made countless TV appearances in RTÉ’s The Roaring Twenties, An Audience With Katherine Lynch, The Lucy Kennedy Show and more recently on Craig Doyle’s show. The latter proved a bit embarrassing for Farrelly, who had a little accident before going on.

“I was a bit nervous before I was going on and someone gave me a glass of water and with my hands shaking so much I spilt the water all over my jeans! This of course was met with plenty of laughs from the audience, I was only worried the viewers would think I had peed on myself!”

With eight shows lined up for the June Bank Holiday weekend there are plenty of opportunities to catch this funny man who promises plenty of laughs.

“I love inviting people into my world," he said. "I enjoy showing them what may be my worst, and more honest parts of myself, but I hope will give them a laugh.” When Farrelly isn’t making people laugh he enjoys cooking and is big into his marital arts. “Most people don’t know this about me but I’m a green belt in judo and I’m told I’m a good cook.” The 16th annual Carlsberg Cat Laughs falls again this year on the June Bank Holiday weekend, 3 – 7 June. With 47 artists, 70 shows across 16 venues, this year’s festival has something for everyone.

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