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Danny O’Brien, comedian

Thursday, 4th April, 2019 9:12am

Name and position: Danny O’Brien, comedian

Age: 35

Lives: Dublin

Family: Immediate only, no kids. One brother, one sister.

Pets: None

Favourite thing about Cork: The English Market and Hillbilly’s chicken - I know that's two things but they are my equal favourites.

Least favourite thing about Cork: The traffic.

One thing you’d change about Cork:  The pub closing times - they are too early for the craic that's to be had in that city.

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

I wanted to be a pilot for a while (before I realised you have to be good at maths and physics), and a ninja of course.

Tell us about your career progression to your role today:

I started comedy just over a decade ago after working behind the bar in a venue at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. It really made me want to give it a go. I came back to Ireland and did my first open mic gig in Doyle’s pub in Dublin and I haven’t been off the stage since. In 2016 I was asked to perform at Melbourne Comedy Festival for a month and it was amazing - full circle.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of what you do?

I love seeing something I’ve written or thought making audiences laugh - it inspires me and pushes me forward. I love the social aspect of comedy and getting to perform to and meet so many people all over the world. No two gigs are ever the same and, good or bad, I love it for that.

What motivates you?

I’m self-employed so I’m mainly responsible for motivating myself! Seeing my peers in comedy and music doing well really motivates me and drives me forward, because I know how hard the hustle is. I love seeing hard-working talented people progress and it makes me work hard. I’m partial to the odd motivation playlist on Spotify when I’m in the gym because I hate it in there!

What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?

Don’t buy that moped in 12 months’ time that you will eventually crash into a bridge.

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

I used to be a social care worker with the homeless and addiction services, so probably something in that field I reckon.

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

I was asked to open for Bill Burr in the 3Arena in Dublin last summer in front of 7,000 people. That was an incredible experience and definitely the highlight of my career so far.

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

Probably my family. We are fairly tight and they have always been very supportive of my career choice, which I’m grateful for, as it’s not exactly something your career guidance teacher would tell you to do in school.

What is the life dream now?

I’m just happy that I get to make people laugh for a living. I suppose the dream life as a comic is for your tour to sell out in advance! Some people want to lie on the beach, but I’m happiest when standing in front of the mic.

How do you switch off?

I cook. I love it and all things food related. That's why the English Market is my Mecca.

What is your favourite Cork memory?

Probably my pal’s birthday years ago in the Roundy - everyone has fake moustaches on for some reason, but it was a class night.

What is your favourite place in Cork?

I visited Cork City Gaol when I was writing my ‘Lock-In’ show to get myself prepared for gigging in prisons. Grim as its history may be, I think it’s an incredible place with some crazy history too.

Do you have a favourite quote or motto?

‘Become undeniable’ - Bill Burr.

When are you at your happiest?

When I’m eating.

Any regrets?

A few. I’ve a particularly regrettable tattoo that you’ll get to see if you come to my show in Coughlans on 12 April!

What is your hidden talent?

I’m a mean flipper of pancakes.

What might we be surprised to know about you?

I was briefly in the movie ‘Angela’s Ashes’ as a kid.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I’m really excited to bring ‘Lock-In’ to Cork, it’s coming towards the end of the tour which is always when shows are at their best, because they have been polished and refined over months of touring and festivals. I love the audiences down there and I’m delighted that a good bit of the show was created in the People's Republic.

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