COMEDY KNIGHTS BLOG

COMEDY KNIGHTS BLOG

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Interviews, advice, essays and opinion direct from the UK comedy scene.

Comedy Knights supply fun, affordable, professional comedy events.

You can check out our main website here www.comedyknights.co.uk

Comedy Knights Fresh Comedian of 2016 Finalist: Neil O'Rourke

InterviewPosted by Bobby Carroll Wed, June 15, 2016 09:48:18


What area of London do you currently live in or most associate yourself with?

Kensal Rise

How would you describe your act in five words?

Anecdotal, personal, call backs, anecdotal

How long have you been doing comedy?

I did 8 gigs over the course of 2 years in Ireland, but since January 2015 I’ve been gigging much more regularly thanks to the London open mic scene.

What is your day job?

I do temp work, generally in accounting. My current contract runs out at the end of July and I don’t have anything lined up yet, so if anyone reading this knows of any work going send me an email at yourfriendneil@outlook.com

What has been your worst job?

I had to cold call charities asking them to fill out a survey. It’s hard to feel like you’re a good person when charity volunteers are shouting at you for wasting their already strained resources. I didn’t last 2 weeks.

Why do you love comedy?

It’s great fun working on an idea you had while travelling to work until it’s funny enough to make a room full of people laugh at it.

Who are your heroes?

My parents showed me Eddie Izzard and Dylan Moran’s stuff when I was very young and brought me to see Glenn Wool for my first live show at an inappropriately young age. There are loads of comedians I’d look up to, but they’ll always be the first.

What made you bite the bullet and start performing?

I didn’t want my friends to see me in case I bombed. I found out that there was going to be an opportunity to do it while most of my friends were at a university ball that I wasn’t going to so I took the chance while they were distracted.

What was your first gig like?

Thoroughly unremarkable. I wish I had a funny story from it, but I survived the gig and then got the bus home and had a late dinner. Lasagne.

What has been your biggest achievement so far?

Every time you go through a string of bad gigs at the start, it can be hard to convince yourself to keep going. So every time I’ve got through one of those spells of bad gigs feels like a big achievement.

What has been your favourite gig?

Luca Cupani (who I think is also in this competition?) runs an Italian/English bilingual night. All the other acts were in Italian and the MC was introducing me in Italian, so I had no idea when I was about to go on. I really enjoyed not understanding what was happening, and the audience were lovely (and fluent in English) which made for a fun combination. Also Chubby White’s in Bristol is a lovely bit of lunacy.

And describe your worst?

There are only so many synonyms for “silence”. I can’t emphasise enough just how quiet it was. Completely mute. According to Google “hush” is another synonym.

Weirdest heckle?

I’ve never been heckled too badly, to be honest. Someone fell asleep once, that was a bit of a harsh one I felt.

What is the best thing about being a comedian?

Hanging out with funny friends after a gig nursing a half pint because it’s all you can afford.

What is the biggest lesson you've learnt?

Not to get distracted or bitter about the successes of the people around you. Learn to be happy for them, focus on improving yourself and just to enjoy it.

Where do you hope to be in ten years with your comedy?

To be hanging out with funny friends after gigs with a full pint.

Any other aspirations?

Have my own Wikipedia article. My grandfather has one and even though it’s largely about ants and there’s no mention of comedy I’m still very envious.

What's your favourite joke by another act or from your childhood?

My friend Currer Bell has a joke: “Does the queue outside the job centre not suggest that it’s dreadfully under staffed?”


Neil O'Rourke // yourfriendneil@outlook.com // @Neil_ORourke

TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW FOR THE COMEDY KNIGHTS FRESH COMEDIAN OF 2016 GRAND FINALE @ http://pulpcomedy.tumblr.com/. BOOK NOW AND SEE IF NEIL WINS AT THE CHARTERHOUSE BAR, BARBICAN, LONDON ON WEDNESDAY JULY 20TH