Impressionist Mario Rosenstock has spoken about how moving into a flat with strangers led to his 23-year radio career.
He spoke about the shower routine that accidentally got him a start in comedy when one of his flatmates was a producer on Ian Dempsey’s breakfast show on Radio Ireland.
“They used to hear me going around the house doing my impressions,” he told Esther N McCarthy on The Moments That Made Me, the Weekend podcast from the Irish Examiner.
“I'd be in the shower, and she might hear and say ‘Mario, is that you doing Gerry Adams having a shower with Martin McGuinness?’”
She asked him to ring into the breakfast show as Gerry Adams and after it was received well, he was asked to do more impressions. One year later, Ian Dempsey came on board and asked to meet him.
“And so began a beautiful friendship. Myself and Ian have been tied up with each other's fortunes for 22 years now. If I hadn't gone to that flat interview, there's no way I would have been involved in 23 years of radio and television comedy.”
He spoke about his love of Cork and how he was bit by the acting bug at a young age thanks to a visit to Cork, a city that influenced his formative years.
“There is a thing about Cork that loves the piss-take just, it’s at a slightly more heightened level than most other places in the country. I went to school in Cork for four years so I developed a kind of a love affair with Cork at a very important time in my life.
A trip to the theatre to see his brother perform in a musical had a huge impact on his teenage years.
‘My brother was the lead role, and the lights were shining on him, and he was singing divinely. I was transfixed. But more than that. I looked around, and all the girls were transfixed. And I thought, ‘This time next year, that's going to be me’. And by Jesus I went after it. The same time next year that was me on the stage, I just completely became bitten by this bug.”
He also described how meeting his wife changed his life. He first saw Blathnaid in a nightclub and she instantly caught his attention.
“I just remember a vision appearing about 15 or 20 feet away from me on a dance floor, and literally our eyes locked. I remember being absolutely transfixed by her. We started moving towards each other on the dance floor and believe it or not, we didn't even speak. The first thing we did was kiss.”
They recently marked their 23rd wedding anniversary and Rosenstock credits Blathnaid with shaping his life and moving him into a positive place.
“When I met her, that changed the course of my life forever.”
- The Mario Rosenstock Podcast is available now and features brand new comedy, rants about the state of the world, and interviews with a twist