Morry Morgan

The School of Hard Knock Knock
The School of Hard Knock Knocks

The Comedy Cast with Morry Morgan

We speak about how Morry went from being a scientist to a successful businessman to co-founding Australia’s best stand-up comedy school, The School of Hard Knock Knocks,
How to identify opportunities in niches,
the nuts and bolts of teaching stand-up comedy,
and how to say the dog’s bollox in Chinese.

Morry Morgan is one of the founders of Australia’s best stand-up comedy school, The School of Hard Knock Knocks.

We kick off the interview speaking a bit about Melbourne where Morry is living and whether they’re sick off all the Irish immigrants yet.
Morry runs one of Australia’s best stand-up comedy school with Australian stand-up comedian Ben Horozitz, so we speak about for a bit, why they set it up in Melbourne and the ideas behind the school’s ethos.

Morry speaks about how he took a stand-up comedy course to improve his stage presence while giving speeches, he met Horowitz on the course and they decided to go into business together and started The School of Hard Knock Knocks.

Morry Morgan was a very successful businessman in China, so I really needed to know some bad language in Mandarin.
We also speak a bit about his past in Cyber security and in particular some of the amazing drones that were developed while he was working there.
Morry wrote a book about his time in China, Selling Big to China: Negotiating Principles for the World’s Largest Market, so we spoke about that, why he wrote it, its success and how it lead to Morry giving a Ted Talk on serendipity while living there.

We get a bit deeper on that and speak about Serendipity a bit more, and I ask Morry about where does he think his readiness to embrace new ideas and his attraction to opposites and finding niches and improving on them comes from.

We get back then to The School of Hard Knock Knocks and speak about the meat and the bones of the courses that Morry and Ben offer.

The School of Hard Knock Knocks’ website: here
The School of Hard Knock Knocks’ Facebook: here
The School of Hard Knock Knocks’ Twitter: here
The School of Hard Knock Knocks’ Instagram: here

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The Comedy Cast with Matt Nagin

Matt Nagin
Matt Nagin

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from American stand-up comedian Matt Nagin.

We kick off the interview speaking about Matt’s surname, it’s close to naggin and all Irish people will know what one of them is (it’s a 200ml bottle of spirits if you don’t know) but it’s also close to a poisonous snake in Hindi he tells me.

There’s a documentary on YouTube starring Matt called The Edge of Comedy. It’s about an aspiring comedian starting out and running his own show, the ups and downs that go along with it. We speak about the documentary then and talk about how his opinions on comedy have changed since starting in the business to now.
We get talking then about how Matt had never originally wanted ot get into comedy but it was his love of writing that lead to him getting up on stage at an open mic night in New York.

We get talking about what lies behind the many reasons as to why comedians get up on stage, why comedians feel the need to want to make people laugh.

We get talking then about risque jokes, things like rape and abortion, the Holocaust and we discuss about how even though they are taboo subjects you can still joke about them, but the jokes have to be better than normal otherwise you rish the audience turning against you.

We get chatting then about the recent phenomenon of safe spaces, trigger words and political correctness and social justice warriors and how it’s really a sad state of affairs for both society and comedy.

Matt Nagin’s website: here
Matt’s Amazon Page where you can buy his books: here
Matt’s Twitter: here
Matt’s Facebook: here
Matt’s YouTube: here

Gotham Comedy Foundation: here

Get in Touch

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The Comedy Cast with Art Corral

Art Corral
Art Corral

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from American stand-up comedian Art Corral.

We kick off speaking about the Grizzly Grizzly Nation and how Art got the name thanks to the gang he was in. Could’ve been worse he tells me, it was almost Fozzy Bear.

We get talking a bit about Art’s past, he was involved with a California gang for many, many years. we speak about his childhood and about how knowing that his father and uncles were involved in the gang had always been something attractive for him.

We take a break from the gang-related stuff for a while then and switch the conversation to stand-up comedy. We speak about how and why Art got involved in it and how it’s been going since he started. Art speaks about how comedy came pretty early to him, he was picked on by his older sisters’ boyfriends and he used to use humour and jokes to deflect attention away from him.
We get talking then about how Art’s school life went, especially knowing that his Dad and uncles were involved in gang activity. He tells me that he was a bit of a class clown and was always getting into trouble when growing up.

Art opens up about parts of his gang-life, telling me that he spent an awful lot of time behind bars between the ages of 11-18, but he tells a hilarious story about how he got busted for sticking up a pizza-delivery guy with a Nintendo gun.
He tells another story of how his father confronted a cop in a restaurant’s restroom that was harassing Art and what followed.

We get talking then about how Art’s house was broken into one night and how he gave the intruder a vasectomy. Yes, you read that properly.

Finally then we speak about his comedy influences and he tells a story about how he recently shared a stage with none other than Judd Apatow.

Art Corral’s Instagram: here
Art’s Facebook: here

Get in Touch

Don’t be shy, get in touch with The Comedy Cast or follow us on social media

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The Comedy Cast with Russell Hicks

Russell Hicks
Russell Hicks

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from American stand-up comedian Russell Hicks.

We kick off the interview with Russell being in the midst of his Edinburgh Fringe Festival experience, he tells me he’s been doing about 4-5 shows per days, his own solo show The Brain is in the Heart, as well as spots all over the city.

We have a wee chat then about podcasting then, Russell has just started a new podcast, Off the Grid. He had, of course, already been hosting a podcast about comedy called Art, For Fuck Sake, so we get talking about the art form, why he’s interested in it and some of the mistakes people make when appearing on them.

Russell’s changed quite a lot since starting out in comedy, going from a person who, in his own words, didn’t like the audiences and being an angry-Bill Hick’s type of comedian to someone who has learned to embrace spontaneity and improvisation while on stage, indeed now, the vast majority of his sets are improvised.
So, we get chatting about that and I ask him about how he practices his sets and how he prepares for something even though so much of it is made up on the spot.

We get chatting then about a comedic hero we both share, Lenny Bruce and his importance. Russel speaks about how Bruce didn’t mind not getting laughs because he was being honest and the laughs would come later. He says that this approach is what really inspired him to become a better comedian.

We get talking then about the idea of the critic. We go to town on this, our shared hated for critics and criticism comes to the boil here. You won’t like this if you’re a critic, but there’s no apologies here.

Russell is a brilliant writer and I urge you all to visit his website and read his blog posts. There was another article about hero worship, so we speak about that and why people who worship heroes can’t see the wood for the trees, they get too mixed up in thinking that an idol is perfect when really we’re all humans and prone to mistakes and the like. Russell believes that of course we can praise people and admire what they’re doing but it’s important to remember that we can all achieve our goals and putting people on pedestals only leads to putting far too much pressure on ourselves.

Russell Hicks will be already well-known to some thanks to his videos on YouTube where he takes hecklers to task and destroys them. We get talking about putting heckle videos online, the temptation of doing it to earn a few bob but also how it’s not a real reflection of a comedian’s set. I ask him whether he was ever nervous of attracting the wrong crowd becaose if the videos, would they attract hecklers to his show?

Russell Hicks’ website: here
Russell’s YouTube: here

Get in Touch

Don’t be shy, get in touch with The Comedy Cast or follow us on social media

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The Comedy Cast with Duane Doogan

Duane Doogan
Duane Doogan

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from Irish stand-up comedian Duane Doogan.

We kick off the interview and speak about him moving over to London to pursue his comedic career. We talk about the difference in gigging regularly between Ireland and England; when you’re gigging a lot in Britain is there a temptation to change your set much more than when you’re in Ireland because you’re on stage so much? And instead of perfecting a set you can become bored with it and want to constantly put out new material.

We speak about the differences between what’s happening in comedy in Dublin and in London, how both communities are supportive but with the Irish scene being smaller there’s a bit more of a sense of community in it, but while there’s definitely a sense of community in the London scene too it just takes a bit longer to get to know and to see people regularly.

Duane was performing at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, a show called Are We Allowed In? We recorded this before he headed off for the Fringe so we spoke about the show for a bit and what he expected to get out of his Edinburgh Fringe experience. And we get talking then about an upcoming gig he has during the Camden Fringe as well.

We have a chat then about his day job, he’s a web designer and sorry here folks, but I dabble in graphic design so we got a bit nerdy on this.

We return to the subject of Irish comedians moving to England, specifically London and why it’s such an important move for young comedians to make to further their career in comedy.

The name Duane Doogan will be well-known to anyone and everyone who has performed in Dublin over the last few years, he’s one of the main guys behind Cherry Comedy, a weekly comedy show in one of Ireland’s most famous pubs Whelan’s on Wexford Street. So we get talking about how the comedy club started, why he and his friends started it and how it’s gone on to be such a wild success.

We speak about some of the challenges Duane faced with running the club and how it was sometimes hard to juggle the line between being a comedian and a promoter.

We get talking then about an idea for an app that Duane is thinking of building. Basically something where comedians and promoters can list and promote themselves and fans can engage with comedians too.

We get chatting then about how Duane and a friend wrote a song for a WWE wrestler and how it lead to some hardcore negotiations with the WWE.

Cherry Comedy’s Facebook: here
Duane Doogan’s Twitter: here
Duane’s Facebook: here

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Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with Australian Comedian Yianni Agisilaou

Yianni Agisilaou
Yianni Agisilaou

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from Australian stand-up comedian Yianni Agisilaou.

We kick off the interview by speaking about how he once accidentally (so he says) put on his girlfriend’s pair of jeans and it lead to a profound questioning of the differences between men and women.

We get talking then about Yianni ongoing Edinburgh Fringe Festival show then, Pockets of Equality and how those jeans were one of the inspirations behind it. We delve deeper then into the show and speak about the different themes of it and the narrative that ties it all together.
We chat then about gender roles in society and what’s both expected of us and what we’re force to do in society thanks to the bits we’re born with.

We get talking then about the differences in what are perceived as ‘gender roles’ in Western Europe and Britain. Yianni has lived in Britain now for quite a while so I was interested in asking him about this, particularly as there’s a giant stereotype that Australian men are far more macho than their Pomme cousins.

We talk a bit about Yianni’s childhood and thanks to his upbringing he’s always known a lot about women’s rights, feminism and gay rights, all of which he takes very seriously but is able to joke about with great panache too.

We get talking then about the language we use when we slag each other off, how men use derogatory words in the name of, to use that dreaded word, banter. We all know it’s wrong but should we completely stop doing it because if we stop using derogatory words in jest then they become subject we can’t joke about. As you know listeners, I don’t think anything is taboo so it was something I wanted to get to know from a stand-up comedian’s point of view.

We return to gender roles then and we speak about some of the roles that Yianni talks about in his show.

We do something then a little bit different. While researching Yianni I came across a good few interview where he spoke about take a ‘gender roles’ test so we took a ‘how much of a feminist are you?’ test. There were so many things I had no idea about, but thankfully Yianni steered me though choppy waters and know I know a bit more about feminism.

We speak about a previous show of Yianni’s a few years ago, The Simpson Taught Me Everything I Know, so we speak about that since we’re both massive Simpsons fans and Yianni tells a story about how he was in the running to replace Harry Shearer when he was thinking of leaving the programme.

Yianni Agisilaou’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival Show: here
Yianni’s website: here
Yianni’s Twitter: here
Yianni’s Facebook: here

Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with English Comedian Kwame Asante

Kwame Asante
Kwame Asante, photo by Mark Dawson

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from English stand-up comedian Kwame Asante.

We kick off the interview and speak about his ongoing Edinburgh Fringe Festival show, Open Arms. We speak about the themes behind the show and his inspiration for it. We chat about it being Kwame’s first full-hour show and how he says it’s been a long time coming.

We talk about how the previews had been going and Kwame speaks about his excitement about bringing his first hour-long show to the Fringe.
I ask him whether he’s nervous about getting back on the scene having had a 4-year break while he was finishing his studies.

He has performed at Edinburgh many times over the years though, just not with a solo show, so I asked him about some of the highs and lows that he’s experienced performing up in Edinburgh and what he’s learned that he can use to ensure he puts on a good show this time around.

Kwame is a doctor, a proper medical doctor, none of this Hunter Thompson stuff, so I ask him about if there are any similarities between the two disciplines and what he’s learned from being a doctor that he can use as a stand-up comedian.
We talk then about how it can be tricky to fit in doing stand-up comedy while having a medical career, but Kwame says that he’s found a way to do it and that he make sure to keep time for comedy because, for him, is about being inspired, about improving his writing and about getting up and performing his material on stage.

We speak about the dark humour that doctors and medical professionals are known for and where that comes from and why so many doctors embrace life because they know we could be gone at any moment.

We get talking about why dark humour is so prevalent among medical professionals and Kwame speaks about something very interesting, about how when you work so many hours you sometimes forget that out in the real world it’s not full of sick or dying people so when you’re working and surrounded by morbid situation you develop different coping mechanism than you would if you works in a job where you didn’t always see sick people.

We chat then about the reaction of medical colleagues when they find out he also does stand-up comedy.

We speak about the advances in medical technology and how in the future Kwame hopes that Google won’t make him obsolete.

We get back to comedy then and we speak about the challenge Kwame faced of putting a show together, and using his best bits from over the years and trying to weave them together into an show-type narrative. We speak then about Kwame’s writing technique and how he goes from the original idea for a joke to performing it in his set.

Kwame Asante Edinburgh Fringe Festival Show: here
Kwame’s website: here
Kwame’s Twitter: here

Get in Touch

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Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with Italian Comedian Francesco de Carlo

Francesco De Carlo
Francesco De Carlo
Photo by Snej Shandarinova

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from Italian stand-up comedian Francesco de Carlo.

We kick off the interview by speaking about Francesco ongoing Edinburgh Fringe Show, Comfort Zone. He tells me about the idea behind the show and the themes that he speaks about during it.
He speaks about finally realising a dream by moving to the UK, however, he was soon in a place of shock when very soon after arriving in London the British voted for Brexit.

We speak about Francsco’s background in politics and how after becoming disillusioned after working in the European Parliament he decided to get into comedy. He had been working as a press officer and had been very passionate about politics, now he’s taken his experience into political and satirical comedy.

Franceso is one of the Italy’s pioneering stand-up comedians, the discipline of comedy is still pretty new in the country. In the past, comedy was more like in cabaret shows with monologues and some slap stick and stand-up is still finding its feet, so we speak about that for a bit and how Franceso believes that practicing comedy and learning his craft in Britain is the best place to do it.
We also talk about comedy clubs in Italy and how some day he wants to return to Italy to hopefully get some off the ground.

We talk then about how Francesco de Carlo got his break in Italian comedy. After he stopped working at The European Parliament; he wrote a satirical song about Silvio Berlusconi and his Bunga Bunga parties, this led to him getting a job on afternoon radio on one of Rome’s best-known radio stations doing prank phone calls.

We get back to politics then and we get talking about his experience of living in Britain since the Brexit vote. We also get chatting about the rise of populism in Central and Eastern Europe. Francesco, as an Italian, knows a lot about populism in politics so we speak about what he thinks will happen in Europe in the coming years.
He tells me then about how the Italians fought back against populism and how he believes it will also happen in other countries. However, it took the Italians a long time to get to that points, beginning with Beppe Grillo (Italy’s most well-know comedian) organising the Vaffanculo (Fuck Off) Day.

We talks then a bit more about why he moved to England and what he misses from Italy, in particular he says that time passes much more slowly in Italy. But he actually quite likes British food, so we bury that old cliche.

We chat then about Comedy San Frontiers, a set of gigs he did with Eddie Izzard, Dylan Moran and more, where they toured all over the world bringing comedy to places that Western comedians would never have been allowed to enter not all that long ago.

We get talking then about his previous Edinburgh experiences and what he learned from his 2014 show that will help him with this year’s show Comfort Zone.
Finally then we speak about his writing techniques and how he takes an idea and brings it to stage in his sets.

Francesco de Carlo’s Edinburgh show: here
Francesco’s website: here
Francesco’s Twitter: here
Francesco’s Instagram: here
Francesco’s Facebook: here

Get in Touch

Don’t be shy, get in touch with The Comedy Cast or follow us on social media

If you’d like to get in touch, email me here: spud(at)thecomedycast.com

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Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with Irish Comedian Conor Drum

Conor Drum
Conor Drum
Photo by Mark Dawson Photography

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from Irish stand-up comedian Conor Drum.

We kick off speaking about Conor’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe show All My Friends Are Dead, we speak about where the name comes from, don’t fear he’s friends aren’t actually dead, just metaphorically dead.

He tells me about his friends always trying to set him up with the loser girl at weddings and he speaks about how he seems to be not achieving “life goals” at the same rate as his friends.

He talks about the idea of ‘the one’ and how simply ludicrous it is, but if it does exist scientists need to descend on his hometown and study his mates because so many have seemed to found ‘the one’ in their own backyards.

We chat then about why it gets harder and harder to go on the session as you get older and Conor laments for his younger days when hangovers didn’t hurt so much.

I ask Conor about when he meets his married friends now does he get a sense of pity of jealousy from them.

We return to the subject of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival then and I ask Conor about his show a bit more, he had actually done a shorter version of it last year so I wanted to know more about the process of improving on last year’s show.
We talk about some of the highs and lows of performing at the Fringe over the years and what he’s learned during that time from performing there and how those experiences have helped with him putting on his current show All My Friends Are Dead.

It comes up a lot on the podcast that Irish comedians almost have to move to England to make it there first and Conor tells me a story about a time he met Jimmy Carr while working and some advice he gave Conor about getting better gigs in The UK.

Conor Drum will be well-known to Irish listeners, he made headlines in Ireland in 2014, when his show Nutjob about his testicular cancer became widely known, so we speak about that as well.

Conor also does a bit of acting and writing so we got talking about a recent article he wrote for HuffPost about the new drinking session, a Baby Storm, a bit like a Baby Shower, but totally different and actually enjoyable.

We talk then about film, what he loves about it and what he’s like to do in the future but also what he prefers about stand-up comedy when you compare the two disciplines.

We speak then about his writing process and how he likes to expand on ideas and who his comedic influences were growing up.

Conor Drum’s Edinburgh show: here 
Conor’s Website: here
Conor’s Twitter: here

Get in Touch

Don’t be shy, get in touch with The Comedy Cast or follow us on social media

If you’d like to get in touch, email me here: spud(at)thecomedycast.com

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Comedy Podcast | The Comedy Cast with English Comedian Stuart Black

Stuart Black
Stuart Black
Photo by Steve Ullathorne

Hello and welcome back to The Comedy Cast; today you’ll be hearing from English stand-up comedian Stuart Black.

We kick off the interview in unusual fashion, with a bit of a preamble about who much Stuart reminds me of Britain’s greatest punk poet, Mr. John Cooper Clarke.

We delve into me fiding out I’m lactose intolerant, Stuart says when a man can’t eat cheese a man can’t live. Then he tells me about the impending doom of a butter shortage.
Stuart tells me a little bit then about his Irish roots and I reveal why the Polish thing the Irish and British are inbred.

We get onto Stuart’s Edinburgh Show then, It’s the End of the World as We Know it, he tells me all about the show, what it’s about, where the inspiration came from and of course when and where it’s on during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
We have a chat then about why a late night slot perfectly suits his show. We get talking then about positive ‘morning’ people and why it’s all delusional, sure you feel good watching motivational talks and videos but then you’ve got to go and sit on a bus to work.

We speak about the cycle of growing up and how as we get older we always look down up the new, but Stuart like to look at the madness happening in the world and point and laugh at it.

Stuart talks then for a bit about his particular style of comedy, certainly alternative and definitely dark, and how while we can all watch the world go up in flames it’s important that we don’t just point and say something is shit, but that we laugh at just how completely ludicrous it all is anyway.

He speaks about how he comedy came from a place where he was always trying to break the tension at home, and he believes confronting uncomfortable situations from an early age with humour led him down the road to the comedy he performs now.

This is Stuart Black’s 12th time at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival so we speak about that for a while and all the things he’s learned over the years, and some of his highs and lows over the years, one of the lows including a pretty nasty story about a rat and a seagull.

We speak about Stuart’s comedic influences and how he works on his material.
We speak about what the future holds for the world, and how Stuart is kind of optimistic….kind of.

Stuart Black’s Edinburgh Show: here
Stuart’s Website: here
Stuart’s Twitter: here

Get in Touch

Don’t be shy, get in touch with The Comedy Cast or follow us on social media

If you’d like to get in touch, email me here: spud(at)thecomedycast.com

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