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Interview: Northside comedian Colum Tyrrell spills all on his new TV3 documentary The Stand Ups


Northside comedian Colum Tyrrell has been based in America since 2014. He spoke to InTallaght about his part on The Stand Ups, a new documentary series on TV3 that looks at the heritage of Irish Stand Up comedy and in particular, the ‘Alternative Comedy’ that began with the birth of the International Comedy Cellar in the 1970’s, through to today, where people can see comedy seven nights a week.

The first episode of The Stand Ups aired last weekend with the second part due to air this Saturday April 23rd .

This two part series follows four Irish Comedians; newcomer Colum Tyrrell, Alison Spittle, Niamh Marron and Chris Kent as they try and make a name for themselves on both the national and international stages. Through interviews with established Irish comedians, archive footage and footage of live performances, the documentary goes behind the curtain to explore the serious business of Irish Comedy. This is an industry that is turning into a multi-million euro business and the show asks the question –what does it take to make it as an Irish Stand-Up?

The Stand Ups_Poster copy 2

Colum answered some questions about the show exclusively for us at InTallaght:

Your new documentary aired on Saturday? How is the response so far?
I’ve heard nothing but good things from people so far. Whenever I’ve been on TV in the past strangers have always found me on Twitter or Facebook and called me an ‘unfunny f**ker’. I didn’t get a single abusive message after this show which makes it the best received show in history for me.

What was the strangest part of the documentary to you? Did you cringe at any moments watching yourself?
The show was recorded over a long time so there was so much stuff I forgot happened. One clip showed me explaining a photo frame I had on my wall that still had the stock photo of a couple that came in it when I bought it. They looked so good in it I decided to just keep them on my wall. I saw that back and thought ‘God I’m such a weirdo!’
I cringed at some of my old material I used to perform on stage, there was so much unnecessary filler. I’ve been watching like ‘GET TO THE PUNCHLINE ALREADY!’

Colm Tyrell 2
Comedian Colm Tyrell

What do we have to look forward to in the next part of the documentary?
In the next episode the show follows us to The Cat Laughs Comedy Festival in Kilkenny and to the Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Festival in Scotland. It highlights how good Irish Comedy Festivals are and how much risk comedians take on board when trying to bring a solo show to Edinburgh. We’ll also see Joe Rooney interviewing myself for a podcast which eventually became the inspiration for my own Podcast Lowlife Diaries.

What’s next for you Colum?
The documentary shows me trying to move to New York to pursue stand-up comedy but financial circumstances put the move in doubt *SPOILER ALERT* I moved in 2014 and haven’t been back since. My plan is to stay here for the next few years but I’ll be back in Ireland in July performing at some clubs and festivals and I’m also bringing my first hour stand-up show The Hookers & Blow Show to Edinburgh this year. All dates are on my website here.

Be sure to catch Colum in the second and concluding episode of The Stand Ups on TV3 this Saturday, April 23, at 10.25pm.