The DO’D is performing 3 SHOWS tonight 21/4/12!
There’s only a few seats left for the 7:30PM performance.
Only two days left of the MICF! If you’re kicking yourself that you haven’t seen DO’D you better get in quick!
David O’Doherty, most commonly known as the whimsical man behind the tiny keyboard, has been a constant fixture in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for many years, and 2012 will be no different, well it’ll be slightly different. He’ll still be here performing his trademark style of comedy with his current show David O’Doherty is Looking Up, but he’ll also be bringing a new, character-based act along with him as well in Rory Sheridan’s Tales of the Antarctica.
The Irish comic greets me with his deep, oddly goofy voice and we get to talking about a signature staple in his act, his beefs. He’s not so certain if the segment will feature this year, although he has got one written. This time he has Australia television in his ever-lampooning sights. ‘I’ve been furious recently about just how mean some of your prime time television is. It’s mostly celebrities crushing children’s dreams, or obese people crying as they pull car tyres up hills. It doesn’t make you feel good; it’s just that weird, judgey television. It’s like watching Toddlers and Tiaras, where you know you’re supposed to go “this is morally repugnant”. Of course you’re meant to go “this is wrong” or “this is bad”. Of course you’re meant to go fat people are “ew, look at them, ew”, but none of it is terribly positive, I know we’re edging towards death, but we can either do it joyfully or do it in a really annoyed way.’ I tell him about my girlfriend’s unhealthy obsession with Toddlers and Tiaras and he continues ‘I find it interesting that a lot of those shows were once on vaguely educational stations, like at home it’s on Discovery, and there’s nothing vaguely educational about them. It’s educational in the way that a terrible tabloid newspaper confirms people’s fears and suspicions to them, as opposed to broadening their minds at all. So yeah, tell your girlfriend she needs to take a good, long, hard look at her life.’ And so I did. Now, is anybody looking for a flat mate? My living situation has become somewhat uncertain.
David O’Doherty is Looking Up is O’Doherty’s way of dealing with a shitty 2011. The Irishman found himself at the end of an unpleasant break up in October, leaving him feeling like he ‘didn’t want to do any comedy ever again’. The routine is based around getting yourself out of a funk, and making yourself happy. ‘This isn’t a terribly taxing job, except when someone has just died or you’re heartbroken, and then it becomes quite difficult to do shows, and you certainly don’t feel like writing. So I didn’t do anything for all of November, I just laid there making strange sounds. Then in December I started to feel like I could write something again, and I ended up writing a show that was trying to cheer myself up really as much as anything. That said, it’s got loads of really stupid stuff as with all my shows, but that was the kind of background to it’. Continuing to gush my fan fodder his way, O’Doherty says feels good about his latest work, and considers himself a constant improver, bettering his shows as each year passes, edging closer to the comedy that he wants to do.
O’Doherty’s other show, Rory Sheridan’s Tales of the Antarctica, is something different altogether. ‘I’ve always had this obsession with Antarctic exploration. I think a lot of people have an obsession with the sort of tweed Victorian era of terrible explorers. Australia had lots of them; dudes trying to find the ocean in the centre of Australia carrying a silver dinner service with them or whatever. Added to that, where I grew up in Dublin is near where Sir Ernest Shackleton, who was nearly the first person to get to the South Pole, was born and grew up. I always had this idea at the back of my mind, like what would make someone from this boring suburb, especially one in 1910, want to go to what would have been the most exotic place on earth, Antarctica. I’ve read a lot of books on Antarctic exploration and they’re always very heroic, like the very famous stories of people leaving the tent and dying in the snow outside so they didn’t slow the team down. But on a day to day basis, the reality of those trips must have been how bored the men were, how horny they all were, and that’s never touched upon in the heroic reminiscences, so I tried to write a show about an expedition from a 21st century perspective. I invented this character who’s loosely based on me, and he basically goes to the South Pole to impress a girl, and discovers it’s a lot more effort than he had imagined. What’s interesting about this show is that it has such broad appeal, it’s kind of stupid and ludicrous but people who would never have gone to my stand-up shows, I’d find them going to it as well. It’s nice to be asked to do it here.’
While his shows are always pure comedic gold, O’Doherty admits it takes a lot of trial and error to get to the polished performances we receive every year. ‘My greatest weakness as a stand up comedian is I have no idea what people find funny. Very often I’ll write a something and go ‘wow this is the funniest song I’ve ever thought of’ and very often I’ll do it to complete silence in a small venue. The only way I have found to make these things work is to spend all of December, January, February, playing to the smallest possible audiences in London or Dublin, doing secret gigs for like 30-40 people, putting all this stuff out there, and seeing what develops a connection.’
He doesn’t just ply his trade in stand-up, he has become quite infamous for his animal ‘studies’. He received great critical acclaim for his book 100 facts about Pandas (co written by Claudia O’Doherty and Mike Ahern) which included nuggets of knowledge such as ‘a blindfolded panda will always head north. This is due to the high iron content in the panda’s liver, which makes it slightly magnetic.’ Noel Fielding deemed it ‘a breakthrough in panda literature’. O’Doherty followed this up with the equally awesome and sadly fictional 100 Facts About Sharks, which has proved to be as popular as it’s predecessor as David laughs in the face of the phrase ‘difficult second novel’. So what’s next for whom some people (me) have referred to as ‘the Irish David Attenborough’? ‘We’re discussing it at the moment, possibly ghosts. Like these are based on the kind of fact books I was obsessed with when I was little and the ones I always liked were animal facts, dinosaur facts and facts about the unexplained or mysteries or haunted things. The only problem is whether it’s interesting to do Photoshopped pictures because all that stuff is made up to begin with. We’re not quite sure which way to go yet.’
O’Doherty and I begin to tie up are conversation; before I hang up on this comical genius I’ve always felt compelled to ask why a man of such broad popularity has never really ventured past stand up. Turns out it’s basically because he doesn’t like people messing with his work, why you’d want to mess with it is anybody’s guess. However, if you fit in the following demographic he is planning on writing children’s books in the upcoming future, you lucky bastards.
Be certain to catch David O’Doherty is Looking Up and David O’Doherty Presents: Rory Sheridan’s Tales of the Antarcticaat the 2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Visit www.comedyfestival.com.au for show information and tickets.
Isabelle Oderberg | Herald Sun | April 02, 2012
DAVID O’Doherty only has three jokes and in his new show he tells them, but three jokes do not a show make.
While the rest of the act doesn’t include any other ‘jokes’ in a traditional punchline format, we laugh so hard we almost split our sides in what O’Doherty describes as the the saddest show in the history of comedy.
What makes this Irishman just so damn funny?
It might be his insightful observational comedy, his unparalleled story-telling or perhaps the songs he plays from time to time on a very small keyboard on his lap, about things like life and love.
He’s so normal it almost hurts and he’s sure to remind you of someone you know.
The reason his show is so amazing is not because he writes the best jokes but because he’s an intrinsically hilarious guy.
The premise of Looking Up is that O’Doherty has broken up with his girlfriend, leading to a degree of misery, self-loathing and Domino’s pizza.
But despite the avid descriptions of playing Wii in your underwear and being unable to venture outside, his quirky outlook on life and his somewhat unconventional tale of hope will leave you feeling decidedly upbeat.
David O’Dohetry Is Looking Up.
Melbourne - 29 March - 22 April. Forum Theatre. 7:30PM (6:30PM Sun). $27.50-$37.50.
Sydney - 26 & 27 April. Seymour Centre, Everest Theatre. 9:00PM. $32-$36.
PERTH! You have T-Minus 4hrs and 3 minutes to get down to Rosie O’Grady’s @ Northbridge for DO’D Is Looking Up!
Rosie O’Grady’s, Northbridge.
Don’t miss the show!
WHEN: 14-18 March, 7:00PM
WHERE: Cinema Nova.