For a nation of storytellers, pun-makers and wits, it’s no big surprise that the capital is bursting with funny-men and women – and a devoted audience that love sorting the wheat from the chaff. Life can be tough for the fledgling stand-up, but Dublin’s are some of the toughest survivors in the game.
Foil, Arms and Hog
This trio of sketch comics manage to avoid the pitfall of too many cooks spoiling the broth. The interplay between the three makes for compelling chemistry and an undeniable charisma that’s earned them a successful BBC Three script (due to launch on a telly near you in 2014). Fast-paced, cheerful and offering some non-terrifying audience involvement, Foil, Arms and Hog are the fastest-rising Irish comedy stars.
If you have a phobia of being picked on for participation at stand-up shows, Jason Byrne will strike the fear into your heart. Well-known for his brand of hyperactive and surreal observational humour from BBC Radio and TV shows, Byrne says he’s “addicted” to stand-up – which would go a long way to explaining how much adrenaline he jumps around a stage with. Having started his career by popping up in the audience of an Irish talk show to ask Bill Murray a silly question, Byrne has been a key part of the comedy scene ever since.
OK, so Moran’s not quite a Dubliner, having grown up in Meath. But after cutting his teeth in the Comedy Cellar, a small fifty-seater venue in Wicklow Street’s International Bar in 1992 on his way to a multi-award winning, TV-starring career we think we’re safe to claim him for our own. His first hit DVD, Monster, was filmed at one of his always-popular Vicar Street shows and, along with Black Books, has helped him bring that recognizable brand of Irish colloquial humour to a massive audience.
The success of Regan’s podcast An Irishman Abroad (which recently shot to the top of the iTunes comedy podcast, thanks to some love from the Guardian) has cemented his reputation on both sides of the Irish Sea. His strengths are in story-telling and cultural commentary, and his routines are known for having a home-spun charm. He wears Father Ted’s Ardal O’Hanlon’s faint praise like a badge: “Not bad. One of the better ones.”
DO’D often feels like a best-kept secret (as he jokes “I’m that guy that somebody you know knows somebody who knows somebody who’s heard of me once, they think) – one look at his list of achievements though shows that his cult is enormous. O’Doherty’s racked up awards like the Perrier and if.comedy thanks to his combination of laconic, sharp-witted cynicism and secret-sentimentality, day-dreamer tweeness. He’s found his way into the Irish music charts, had children’s books published and starred in his own TV show – and yet his gigs retain an intimacy blockbuster comedians lack.
Catch comedy in Dublin at one of the following:
International Bar (7 nights a week), Ha'Penny Laugh Comedy Club (Tuesdays and Thursdays), Anseo (every Wednesday night), Stag's Head (Sundays and Mondays), Laughter Lounge.
Or visit our events listing page to find upcoming comedy gigs in Dublin.