Since appearing in the hit RTE comedy Damo & Ivor as Southside toff Tarquin, Tom O Mahony has become one of the busiest stand up comedians in Ireland playing every major festival and club here and abroad. Fresh off touring with MTV star Tom Green, the Tipperary native has performed his own sell out shows in Edinburgh, Cork, Leicester and Dublin and Barcelona Comedy festivals.
Now he brings his new stand-up show Buckshot to Tallaght next week to perform in Peachtree East on Friday 17th November. Ahead of his local show, InTallaght sat down with Tom to catch up…
Hi Tom good to see you again, you’re a bit of a Tallaght regular now at this stage. Yeah I’m in Tallaght loads, I’ve done The Civic a couple of times it wasn’t on the cards this time round so I’m doing Peachtree East, which used to be Captain Americas. They have a great comedy club open there a few months now and they they had me headline it during the summer. It was a great gig, there was plenty of wildness in the room which suited me down to the ground. I drove into them hard, it was proper chain saw stuff and they loved it so the owner came up to me afterwards and said “here would you come back and do your show here?”
Its a great little venue, as soon as he said it I genuinely couldn’t wait to come back. The Tallaght crowds are savage, they know they’re at a comedy gig so they get involved, nothing worse than a crowd doing nothing.
I don’t do the dick jokes stuff, it’s not hacky stuff but a lot of the time I find I don’t need material when I play here, you just buzz off the crowd. I love playing in Tallaght.
What is it about playing her that you love so much? Because the Tallaght crowds are great for taking the piss out of themselves. There’s a wild energy to comedy gigs here and you don’t get the drunken madness which I’ve experienced in other parts. Tallaght is a fine place, it’s it’s own entity, the press reputation is not right, it’s like Limerick with the Stab City thing. Limerick is one of the finest places in Ireland, it’s only a small number of the population that causes any trouble.. But Limerick people will laugh about that. Tallaght people are good craic for taking the piss out of it as well. They don’t take themselves too seriously which is great for a comedian as it means you’ve already won half the battle. It’s the same size as Galway and unlike Galway where you have a mad diversity whereas here with the original Tallaght people they all think in similar ways. I get a great reception off the Tallaght crowd, they seem to have adopted me! I could sell tickets faster here than I could in Tipperary. I fuckin ‘ love this place!
What can people expect from “Buckshot”? This new show is ratcheted up a few notches since they saw me last because now I know what we’re dealing with, especially with the Tallaght crowd, I can go wild. Obviously now I’m heading into my mid 30s, I deal with that because it is a sort of stand back and hold on to fuck now this is all gone off the fuckin rails now altogether! It’s not going to be all about that but It’s loosely themed on it but could also go off the rails altogether! I find if you put too much of a narrative on it, do too much research, it can turn into a fuckin’ lecture. You won’t come out of my gig anymore intelligent than when you went in, in fact you might go down a few notches. But you’ll have fun doing it.I got married this year but I don’t really do marriage stuff either, I just thought, no ’m not doing it.
So you’re not going to be the Irish Michael McIntyre then? Oh fuck off! I can’t abide that shit at all, it’s beige comedy.
He’s so unfunny, how does he do so well? Whats his secret? You have to remember, with a lot of people it doesn’t matter about being funny. This is the reality of it. You don’t have to be fuckin’ funny, that’s about third on the list for a comedian. If you can be good and marketable to a wide audience, that’s all that’s required. These people that like Michael McIntyre they’re terrible people! If the apocalypse dropped in the morning they’d be among the first people to get eaten! The whole audience of Michael McIntyre fans would be eaten inside 20 minutes because they’re beige people who can’t nail their colours to any mast. You don’t have to be completely left or completely right wing or whatever but at least have some bit of soul in you. And the thing is McIntyre was a shit hot comedian back in the day. Deep down he probably goes “Look, I’m driving a Lambourgini, I’ve just put a new wing onto my mansion.” He probably sleeps soundly at night too. It’s more like panto what he does.
Is it true you operate a phone ban at your gigs? Yes I have that as a policy, phones are banned during the gig, just turn the fuckers off or leave them outside. I don’t think it’s done enough really because you have people just living through their fuckin phones. In fairness the last time I played at the Peachtree there was none of that so it hadn’t to be said but you do see some idiots. A few weeks ago I was hosting a show in town and theres this motherfucker standing three foot from the stage with his big ass fuckin’ IPad and I’m going “What the fuck are you doing?” He was an American guy and he just says “oh I’m taking some footage for the folks back home.” I asked him would they like to see him wearing that thing up his hole? And he was still going “Yeah, that’s great.” Eventually he realised I was serious and that wasn’t part of the show. If you pay into a gig and spend you’re time filming on a phone or an IPad you are a dick head.
Are you involved in the upcoming Damo and Ivor Movie? No I’m not, the lads said to me a few months ago they were going to make a movie and a lot of the southside characters are going to be left off, it’s going to aim more towards Damo’s world. It was definitely the more favoured world in the show with the fans, that was all that was said to me. They may have got somebody new to play Tarquin for all I know but I doubt it. I’m gone a bit pricey now!
How is life treating you since you moved back down the country? It’s great, I’m loving it, I can see the differences now after being away. I’d forgotten how tough people down in the country, Jesus Christ! The ball breaking that goes on in our local pub is at a rate of 200 miles an hour. You’d never get that in local bars in cities, and I’ve been in loads. In the cities there is at least some respect! Down the country nothing is off the table, it’s total ball breaking. Pure savagery. In my local where I’m living now I was nearly too literal for the situation telling them truths and stuff. It’s improved my comedy moving back out to the countryside. Now it’s just all silly talk. Where I’m living now is phenomenal, there’s a bar right next door to us and I had to call into it on a Monday morning a few months ago, I was checking to see if my post had been delivered there by accident, and the place was rocking at half ten in the morning. I said to the man behind the bar “it’s a bit happy for a funeral” and he says “ah no, it’s the Monday club.” I said “what the fuck’s a Monday club?” The craic was powerful. I was really jealous that I had stuff to do that day and couldn’t just hunker down with them and go drinking.
You’ve branched out into hosting podcasts now with “Buckshot” and you seem to have taken to it really well, congratulations on some excellent interviews so far. Cheers, I had done a few of them with other people and I’d enjoyed them so much and the people hosting them said they’d got a great response so I decided to give it a go myself. I think I’m getting better at it. I’m not a hardcore reporting trying to get them to share their childhood pain with me and shit. Fuck that, I don’t care that much and people don’t want to tell it. Myself and Gerry McBride from Waterford Whispers had one called the “Tom and Gerry Show” but then we both got ridiculously busy and it got harder and harder to meet so I just started doing it myself, then started interviewing people, now I’m getting calls from people who want to been it which is great. And the listenership is going up so I’m happy.
Married life seems to be agreeing with you?! The missus is great, she’ll tell me if a joke is shit, I will try some of it out on her and I know if she has a smirk on her face then it has potential but if she’s looking at me like “what the fuck you talking about?” I’ll cut that. Your ego can get away with you. You can do an awesome gig where the room is just rocking and you think you’ll slip some new stuff in but it just goes in nicely like a bit of marmalade but nobody notices it.
Finally Tom, are you still loving your career as a stand up or do you ever hark back to those salad days when you were artificially inseminating pigs or testing driving Ferraris? I still absolutely love it. You’ll still have your odd shitty gigs where you’ll think “Jesus this is hard work” or you get booked into a gig and you think “shit I haven’t put any thought into this!” Of all the jobs I’ve done comedy is without doubt my favourite. If I could drop everything I do now and just get by on an average industrial wage just doing stand up I would. It out does all other money you’ll earn at everything else. All money is doing is buying you ego anyway so you can buy stuff that feeds your ego. The amount of stuff you’ll get mentally for rocking a room for 45 minutes is walk so much taller, you’re lifted, but it dies straight away after the show. Once upon a time the buzz of a good show would last three or four days, now it’s gone by the time I get into the car in the car park! So you need it again, like its a drug, it’s an adrenaline buzz.
Tom O’Mahony Buckshot live in Peachtree East on Nov 17th. Tickets are €15 with early bird dining available For tickets phone (01) 4139965