Wednesday 13 November 2019

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Cork Independent

Cork Profile

Kevin McGahern, comedian, TV presenter and actor

Wednesday, 13th February, 2019 5:06pm

When you were small, what did you want to be as a grown-up?

I had absolutely no idea. The only thing I was interested in was drawing funny comics or monsters, so I guess I thought I’d work in animation or special effects. I still have a great interest in practical special effects. A really good monster puppet will always impress me more than the fanciest CGI Hollywood can offer.

Tell us about your career progression to your role today:

I got a BA in animation from Wolverhampton University in 2009. I didn't really know what I wanted to do after that, so I started working in the International Bar in Dublin, the birthplace of Irish stand-up. I eventually started performing myself and decided to quit the job as a barman because I needed my nights free. After Chris Tordoff spotted me doing stand-up one night, he offered me a role in a ‘Hardy Bucks’, which was at this stage a homemade online show. After a few seasons of ‘Hardy Bucks’, I wrote a couple of plays with Philip Doherty, one of which won the All-Ireland Drama Festival. I then got a job presenting ‘Republic of Telly’ for about five years. Myself and my friend Padraig Conaty made an independent feature called ‘No Party for Billy Burns’, made with the kind help of friends, neighbours and relatives. And right now I’m doing a tour and answering questions for the Cork Independent!

What is the most enjoyable aspect of what you do?

The most enjoyable part is trying something new for the first time and getting a great response. It's the best feeling in the world and sometimes incredibly difficult to replicate. I also just love hanging out with comedians. It's the sort of craic you have that reminds you of being at the back of the bus after school, trying to make each other laugh.

What motivates you?

The demons.

What advice would you give your 15 year old self?

Buy a webcam and start earning money playing PlayStation games. Imagine if you started making more money than your dad by playing video games. He’d be raging.

If you weren’t in the job you have, what would you be doing?

Playing video games.

What is your greatest life or career achievement to-date?

Probably making a feature length movie for about €15,000. We wouldn't have pulled it off without the help of our community. Where I'm from is so tightly knit, so everyone was delighted to help us make a film, with no expectation of getting anything in return. It really made me appreciate my neighbours.

Who has had the biggest influence on you in your life?

That is a tough question. There's a few. In my formative years it was probably Hunter S Thompson, Tommy Tiernan, Kurt Cobain, and my grandfather.

What is the life dream now?

To make an Irish superhero movie called ‘Pintman’.

How do you switch off?

I stick on ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’. It's my go-to film if I want to unwind. I've seen it a million times and it still amazes me.

Do you have a favourite quote or motto?

‘Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.’ - Mark Twain

When are you at your happiest?

I love a good smoking area. The smoking area in Fibbers is my happy place.

It's well heated, there's a great heavy metal jukebox and they serve Buckfast if the mood takes you.

What is your hidden talent?

I’m very good at knowing the exact moment to leave a house party.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

When I was 14, I shaved my pubes and glued them to my underarms.

If you'd like to hear about it, come to my show in Coughlan’s on 22 February at 8.30pm.

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