Jarlath Regan, who will perform a rare Irish gig at the Mill Theatre in Dublin on Sunday (Dec 22), grew up in the Curragh, Co Kildare. His father’s a horse trainer, but the stand-up comic doesn’t have much time for the creatures.
“I never liked horses,” he says. “I’d go as far as to say I hate horses. A horse isn’t a very clever animal. If you walk around the back of a horse, they will try and kick you. I don’t know any other animal that will do that. People give out about cats all the time. No cat will try to kill you at the first opportunity. That is literally the relationship with horses.”
Regan is one of Ireland’s most talented comedians, and familiar to TV audiences from appearances on RTÉ’s The Panel and Russell Howard’s Good News, and to book lovers for his hilarious, Woody Allen-like illustrated greeting-card collections.
“I started making my own Christmas cards when I was still working in an office,” he says. “I used to send them through the internal mail to different people. They were silly cards in that they were very irreverent. The first one I wrote was a card that said, ‘Will you marry me?’ on the outside and on the inside it said, ‘I’m only messing. I think we should see other people.’”
After a few years of trucking backwards and forwards for gigs in the UK, Regan decided to move his family to London — “centre of the comedy universe” — a year ago. “Not going to London to do stand-up, and living in Dublin, is like living in Hawaii and not going to the beach,” he says.
In August, Regan aired his first episode of An Irishman Abroad, which has become a podcast phenomenon. He interviews high-profile Irish people who have made it abroad. His roster of guests includes some formidable names, including Dara O Briain, Emmy-award winner Chris O’Dowd and Father Ted creator Graham Linehan, and some surprising gems such as his interview with award-winning actor, Michael Smiley.
The podcast’s interview format and Regan’s informed, intimate interviewing style leads to revelatory moments. He singles out a recent one from a conversation with Dylan Moran (his most tense interview, owing to Moran’s guardedness).
“What Dylan Moran said was that we can take the choice to be miserable in our jobs and choose a job that’s going to make us live for the weekend. We can all make that decision, but even if we are in that job we still need to get out into the world, to turn off our iPad, and get away from these technology devices, and live. Living was his advice — get out, get in a conversation with somebody and live. It was so simple, but nowadays with so much distraction, and for somebody who’s such a curmudgeon... to come up with such an optimistic piece of advice, that was great.”
* Jarlath Regan’s Comedy Christmas Cracker is at 8pm, Sunday, Dec 22 at the Mill Theatre, Dundrum Town Centre, Dundrum, Dublin 16. For more information, visit: www.jigser.com.
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