Ahead of his appearance at the Róisín Dubh on Thursday, February 9, Karl Spain talks to The Galway Advertiser about being realistic in one's expectations, his appreciation for the lyrical genius of Girls Aloud songs and why he no longer lies in interviews.
Fresh off a 2022 tour with Scottish comedy giant, Kevin Bridges, veteran comic Karl says that his newest show, 'Well, What Did You Expect?' is a tale of recognising the consequences of our own actions as well as those on a much larger scale.
"It's like when you look at people, who aren't the most athletic people to put it lightly, who have children who they convince themselves will play for Ireland, like sometimes you need good raw material." He says with a laugh, the explanation instantly relatable.
"It's all about looking at what you've done and thinking, well, what did you expect?"
Slightly deluded parents aside, Karl explains that while personal expectations are a part of the show, the world's problems are also put under scrutiny, but have no fear, he has solutions. Pub solutions, but solutions none the less.
"I think the world has been overrun with rodeo clowns. People are robbing the place blind and sending in rodeo clowns like Boris to finish the job."
"Part of me says we should just rip it up and start again, not talking anarchy or whatever, but if teachers aren't getting paid properly, people who would have been brilliant teachers are now thinking about other jobs. Same with nurses, people talk about the lack of nurses but we sent 5,000 of them to Australia a while ago."
As well as managing expectations, 'Well, what did you expect?' will be looking at people's perception of each other.
"I met a guy years ago in a pub in Limerick, probably around 2012. He comes up to me and goes 'you're the comedian fella', before detailing the economic crash and describing it in the most beautiful and easy to understand simple terms. Even though he was an odd looking bloke, I was saying to myself, 'this guy is very clued in'.
"Then he turns to me and goes, 'what do you think about what they did to Fr. Ted?' I asked him did he mean the TV programme and he goes 'No Dermot Morgan. The Catholic Church had him killed because of all the embarrassment he caused.' The penny dropped then, I walked away thinking that guy is nuts, but if he hadn't said the last part I probably would have gone back and said, 'you see that guy over there is clever', and the person I said it to would take my word for it, head over to talk to him and the first thing they'd get would be "do you know what they did to Fr. Ted?"
"The show is a bit about that, about perceptions of people and what you see versus what you get."
This is then the perfect time for Karl to reveal that The Promise by Girls Aloud is, in his opinion, one of the best songs of the century. A choice he adamantly defends, but makes his point, very few people would take him for a Girls Aloud fan at first glance.
When it comes to reality, Karl declares himself to be a fully reformed interview fibber. In the early days of his comedy career, Karl was inspired by actor Michael Gambon, whose love for telling tall tales is well documented with him claiming to be a fully trained dancer who had to retire early due to a fall off stage, along with a declaration that he used to be gay but gave it up because it made his eyes water.
Karl's lies include; running the biggest Marty Whelan fanclub, being a limbo dance instructor with FAS as well as being used as a tight model when he was younger due to his self described feminine legs.
"If you googled me, these things would come up and I had to stop myself from lying because it's all well and good lying to someone now, but in ten years time when they're the editor of a big paper, it would come back to haunt me," he says with a laugh.
Instantly, I offered Karl a no strings attached lying opportunity in the form of two truths and a lie, something for our readers to decide which is real, and which lives only in Karl's imagination, with the choices being; he stood on Chris de Burgh's foot live on German Television, he was meant to date Paris Hilton which fell through and thus depriving the world of Paris Spain and lastly, that he's a cousin of Paul Mescal.
You can choose which option has a ring of truth to it.
Don't miss a chance to see Karl in all his Chris de Burgh stomping, Parish Hilton consorting and Mescal cousin glory by seeing 'Well, What did you expect?' in the Róisín Dubh on Thursday, February 9 at 8pm. Tickets are €16 and are available from the Róisín Dubh website, roisindubh.net