A roll call of great comics coming to The Laughter Lounge

Sarah Millican.

Sarah Millican.

LORD BYRON once said “Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.” He was echoed in this by Doris Lessing who declared “Laughter is by definition healthy.”

The poet e e cummings noted “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter,” while the late, great Peter Ustinov put it so well: “I was irrevocably betrothed to laughter, the sound of which has always seemed to me to be the most civilised music in the world.”

So to enjoy good health, a good mood, and to find good company, go to The Laughter Lounge in the Róisín Dubh every Wednesday at 8.30pm for the best in Irish and international comedy, and the club’s line up for the next three months is among the most impressive it has assembled so far.

May

Next Wednesday British comedian and TV star Bob Mills takes to the stage. Bob’s obsession with sport, his knowledge of comedy, and superb writing skills has led to him presenting TV shows like Dial Midnight, Goals On Sunday, Win Lose Or Draw, and In Bed With MeDinner, and his own BBC 1 quiz show Not A Lot Of People Know That.

Support is from Sharon Mannion, the Toilet Duck-Best Stand up award at Tedfest 2007, and Gar Murran, a finalist in the UK 2007 So You Think You're Funny? new act competition.

May 12 sees the return of the much loved and always hilarious Whose Line Is It Anyway? gang as Ian Coppinger, Joe Rooney, Paul Tylak, and Andy Smart arrive with no script and not the faintest idea of what will happen. Willed on by a supportive crowd on whom they depend for suggestions, the four comics will create whole sketches and comic dramas through improvisation.

Australian born, Irish based, comic Damien Clark, best known from RTÉ’s I Dare Ya! performs on May 19. British comedy website chortle.co.uk said of him: “There is barely a bad word to say about Clark: distinctive and possessing a comic talent beyond his years, both biological and mental.”

Support is from Addy Van Der Borgh and the MC will be the always excellent Keith Farnan.

Jason Byrne is one of the major stars of Irish comedy and is also highly popular in Britain, and he returns to The Laughter Lounge on May 26. A Jason show is full of high energy, mania, and hilariously off-beat observations and routines.

Support is from Ballymun comic Willa White who possesses a sharp observational sense and a laconic working class wit. The MC will be Karl Spain.

June

June 2 sees a show from a Scots-Canadian comedian who is described as having “the face of an angel, the tongue of a whore and the energy of a toddler on Red Bull”, Phil Nichol.

Born in Scotland and raised in Canada, Phil Nichol was first known as the guitar playing member of top classic musical comedy trio 'Corky And The Juice Pigs'. Since then he has gone on to win the If.comedy award in Edinburgh.

Phil’s storytelling nous, stagecraft surprises, brazen disregard for personal dignity, and love of moral majority baiting will undoubtedly make this one of The Laughter Lounge’s highlights

Support on the night comes from Damon Blake and Biddy O’Loughlan. The MC will be the brilliant Paddy Courtney, described by The Scotsman as “a high velocity wit who lives life just a side step away from normality”.

Another potential highlight will be Dead Cat Bounce, the Irish comedy sketch group with a real difference. They do traditional, madcap, comedy sketches, but they are also very able and talented rock musicians, who perform routines, tell stories, and deliver hilarious observations through hard rock, anthemic pop, and stadium sized belters. High quality entertainment.

Support will be from America’s Dom Irrera, who has performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman, and Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

It’s important not to forget how many great female comics there are on the circuit, and one of the very best, Briton Sarah Millican, plays The Laughter Lounge on June 16.

Sarah performed her first stand-up gig in September 2004, and the following year was runner-up in both the Funny Women and So You Think You're Funny awards, as well as the BBC New Comedy Awards in 2006.

She was nominated for Best Newcomer at the 2006 Chortle Awards and won the Best Newcomer If.comedy award at the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe with her debut show, Sarah Millican’s Not Nice. The show was also nominated for the Barry Award - the top prize at the Melbourne Comedy Festival - the following April. In 2010, Sarah became the first woman to win the Best Headliner at the Chortle Awards.

Support is from one of Irish comedy’s favourite sons, Andrew Maxwell, whose full blooded delivery about Irish life is forthright, perceptive, confrontational, witty, hilarious, and often quite correct.

A legend of modern Irish comedy, and one of the best loved performers on the comedy circuit in Ireland and Britain, Ardal O’Hanlon, makes a welcome return to the Laughter Lounge on June 23.

Ardal, along with Kevin Gildea and Barry Murphy, laid the ground for the new Irish comedy scene in the 1990s by establishing the nation’s first alternative comedy club, The Comedy Cellar in Dublin. Since then Ardal has enjoyed success as Fr Dougal in Fr Ted and as George Sunday in the BBC sitcom, My Hero. He also played a memorable character on Dr Who, the cat man pilot Thomas Kinkade Brannigan.

As part of the Super 8 Shots 8mm Film Festival, this show will also feature a game of Whose Film Is It Anyways? with The Spontaneous Theatre People and Snatch Comedy doing voice improvisations on a programme of selected 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s footage and extracts of 1970s b-movies in 8mm film format. The MC will be Ian Coppinger.

June 30 will see a show that has taken The Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival by storm, Tom Binns’ Ivan Brackenbury’s Hospital Radio Show. The Times declared it “Comedy genius...THE funniest show at the fringe”, while The Guardian said it was “THE most enjoyable hour on the fringe”.

Support is from Jo Caulfield, Graham Norton’s head writer, and “one of the finest female comics at work” according to The Observer.

On July 7 PJ Gallagher, best known as Whistling Jake Stevens from RTÉ’s Naked Camera takes to the stage.

On May 19 The Laughter Lounge celebratesit’s fifth birthday and will have a party to mark the occasion. There will be invites, cake and buns, and a surprise or two.

Tickets are available from the Róisín Dubh and Zhivago.

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