The Comedy Cast with Cathal Shanagher

This week on The Comedy Cast, we have Irish stand-up comedian, Cathal Shanagher. We speak about comedy competitions, a bad gig in Dublin where he thought he gave the audience trauma and some guy cutting off a lady’s ponytail and other horror stories from working in a pub in Roscommon.

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This week on The Comedy Cast, we have Irish stand-up comedian, Cathal Shanagher.

We kick off the conversation about him being pretty new to the live circuit in Ireland, having mostly gigged around Galway where Cathal is studying to starting to do a few nights up in Dublin. I ask Cathal then a question about his style because I noticed that his delivery follows a troupe of journalism writing, just something I picked up on that I thought was interesting and I wanted to know was it on purpose or subconscious.

We speak about what Cathal’s studying and how it was more of a way to get out of Roscommon than any great notions of a career in business. We speak then so about Roscommon, a place Cathal describes as a ‘place where hope goes to die’. Look, most of our listeners now are American and British, so a place like Roscommon won’t be well known to them at all. And even for me a lad from rural Wexford, I know very little about Roscommon other than it’s a place where the IRA used to bury victims and it’s up there up around Galway somewhere on the map so I wanted to know a little bit about the place. Cathal paints a pretty bleak picture though but he lightens the mood with some hilarious stories about his time working as a bartender there when growing up.

We get back to stand-up comedy then and we speak about how long Cathal’s been at the it. We speak about how he started and instead of trying out an open mic night and trying that a few times he went headfirst into a comedy competition in Galway. Even the organiser was surprised, telling him he’d have been better off doing an open mic first. But Cathal went ahead anyway and that was it, he’d gotten the stand-up comedy bug.

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I ask him then about how his comedy has changed over the two years since starting. It’s pretty common among comedians that they soon realise from being on stage that the comedian they thought they were going to be is quite different from the one that will actually make people laugh on stage. We speak about that for a bit and Cathal describes one particularly funny story about his first time gigging in Dublin where things didn’t exactly go to plan. He says he thought some people were traumatised by the set.

We chat then about where he’ll have to move if he wants to progress in comedy in Ireland, there’s so many Irish people that say you have to move to London to get famous in Ireland. There’s plenty of opportunity in Ireland for sure, but it does certainly seem to be the case that if you really want to make it in comedy then it looks like getting success in England is far more beneficial to you than getting well-known in Ireland.

A subject we’ve not spoken about on The Comedy Cast in a while rears its head with Cathal and it’s the one of comedy competitions. I get Cathal’s opinion on the pros and cons of performing at comedy competitions.

We speak about his comedic influences and we speak here for a bit about the greatness of Frankie Boyle, you can listen back to a podcast where myself and Seamus spoke about his greatness. Jim Jefferies gets a nod as well.

Cathal Shanagher

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