We chat to Gerry McBride – one of the funniest and soundest comedians on the circuit. Gerry has been a standup comedian since 2008, is one of the writers on Waterford Whispers News and is performing at the Vodafone Comedy Festival this July!
What made you get into comedy?
I’ve always loved stand-up comedy, but never thought it was a thing that I could get involved in… where would you start? Where would give you a shot? I had no clue that a stand-up scene existed in Ireland, or that have-a-go heroes could chance their arm at easily accessible open mic gigs. What gave me the “push” was a show I watched on RTE one night, a showcase of Irish acts from Vicar Street, I think. I remember thinking well, if they can do it then I can try. I booked my first gig the next day.
You had a blog where you did a comedy in every country in Ireland – that must have been a fantastic experience? What is the best and worst county for comedy?
It was exhausting and challenging, but most of all, it was fun. There was no county that was more “ope for a laugh” than the next; everyone who goes to see comedy wants to be entertained. Now on my travels, I did of course get dropped into the odd gig where you were handed a mic in the middle of a pub where the telly was still on and everyone had their back to you, but that’s more to do with the promoter than the audience. If I learned anything from the whole experience, it was how to spot gigs like that and avoid them like the plague.
Who are your comedy influences?
It’s going to sound very Angela’s Ashes, but when I was small there was a culture in more rural communities where people just visited each others houses; they’d call round for an hour, unannounced, the kettle would go on and the craic would start. And some people, you’d love to see them coming to the house because they always had great stories, they were just great craic. Other people were dour and as a kid, you’d get bored and go to your room or whatever. But the good storytellers, you could listen to them all night. And they’d be talking about nothing in particular; just day to day nonsense. But when they’d get into a good story, you were hooked; I remember sitting there for hours just laughing along. Now I’ve watched days, weeks, maybe months of stand-up comedy in my life, but when I go out onstage to perform, I’m not thinking about emulating this comic or that; it’s always with an intention to just tell stories in the style that I used to love myself, stories that will entertain people, make them laugh, and give them a fun time.
Among comedians you are known for your love of Back To The Future (Gerry had a DeLorean at his wedding) when in history would you travel to and why?
I think I’d definitely go forward in time, rather than back. I’m all about the idea from Back To The Future 2, where you go into the future, learn the results of every sporting event for fifty years then make a killing at the bookmakers. I wish I could tell you that I’d use my time-traveling adventures to help further mankind, but nope; I’d get filthy rich and hopelessly corrupt. Within like, a week. I’d also take a quick trip to the late eighties and stock up on “Secret” bars.
Who are you looking forward to seeing at the Vodafone Comedy Festival?
It’s a little self-serving of me to say this (because I’m on the same bill), but I’m really looking forward to sitting back and watching Foil, Arms and Hog headline The Jokeshop on Thursday. These guys are leagues ahead in terms of originality and on-stage energy; they just knock it out of the park, every time. Their online content production is on a par with anything being produced on the internet every week. Just superstars, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with for the festival.
Were you surprised by the success of the Waterford Whispers News?
I am overwhelmed by the success of WWN on a daily basis. The readership continues to grow at a frankly alarming rate, every single day. It’s exhilarating and it’s terrifying, to be able to have your work reach so many people. Above all else, it keeps you on your toes; you always strive for a way to better yourself; to make the next article the best one you’ve ever written. Since I started with WWN 18 months ago, my goal has always stayed the same; to always try to top the last article I wrote. Always give it 100% It’s what the fans deserve, for the support they’ve given.
Tell us a joke…..
There was a time, way before I started doing stand-up, when if you asked me to tell you a joke I could tell you a hundred of ’em, and we’d stand here laughing our asses off and having a great time. Nowadays when people ask me to tell them a joke I get all paranoid. It’s like being tested. So… eh… come see me at the festival, and I’ll tell you every joke I know!
Your hilarious deconstruction of Warren G and Nate Dogg’s Regulate went viral around the world, which is a testament to how funny you are, how popular that song is and the many uses of Google Maps! Do you think the song is damning indictment of how morally decayed our culture is when the lyrics are a glorification of multiple homicides and culminate with a celebratory orgy in a seedy motel?
Regulate is just such a kickass tune that you barely stop to question what the hell it is you’re listening to. With that said, there’s a lot of rap and hip-hop songs that make Nate’s casual murder of some “busters” seem quaint in comparison! Check “Regulate” out here.
Get tickets to see Gerry McBride at the Vodafone Comedy Festival 2015 in July here.
Read our interview with comedian Andrea Farrell here.