Murder, She Didn’t Write, Bullet Girl and Bill Hicks

Singing Cops, Our Reality TV pitches and Bill Hicks is our Legend of Comedy. We have interviews with Lizzy Skrzypiec of Murder She Didn’t, on now at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Dylan Keenan from the Dublin band Bullet Girl.

Welcome once again to The Comedy Cast, check out the website for old podcasts and my comedy documentary, Funny How. You can listen on iTunes here and on Android here, or just hit the play button above this paragraph.

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We kick off the podcast by speaking about the viral phenomenon of singing American cops. It’s a bit weird isn’t it? Like, yea cops are human too but shouldn’t they really be working when in work and not working on choreographed lip-syncing battles. Call us old fashioned, but yea cops should do cops things, well, the things they’re supposed to be doing, you know what we mean.

You have to wonder what would be the case if Irish cops started doing this, would it all be lads miming to Richie Kavanagh’s hits or Nathan Carter, maybe we’d see a rebel doing a Metallica songs. God knows, but as Seamus says, at least our cops pretend to give a toss about their jobs.

Elizabeth Skrzypiec is our comedy guest this week. She’s a member of the Bristol-based improv comedy group, Degrees of Error. At this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival they are putting on their smash-hit show Murder, She Didn’t, so we speak about the show, what attracted her to improv comedy and how to come out of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival intact.

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Love Island is over. We didn’t watch it but it was difficult to avoid when all the rags and radio stations are yapping about it. Anyway, we rip on it and we get talking about what we’d like to pitch to television producers if we were allowed to make our own reality television programmes.

We have our musical guest on then, Dylan Keenan from Dublin guitar-band Bullet Girl. I totally fell in love with this band when I came across them here such a wonderful fuzzy guitar sound and vocals as well. We quickly got talking about our shared love for grunge and Sonic Youth in particular and we chat about the rock scene in Dublin.

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Back to Seamus and myself then, we close the show by speaking about another Legend of Comedy, Bill Hicks.

We hope you like the show and please continue to tell your friends all about us. Speak to you next week, g’luck.

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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

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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

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