London based comedian Chris Kent returns to Limerick with his sixth comedy show ‘Looking Up’ this weekend. The Corkman chatted to Limerick Post about Young Offenders, babies and sandwiches.
Chris Kent’s easy going style of telling a hilarious story makes the job of a comedian look easy. What you are really seeing is the result of all the hard work of creating and honing this material. ‘Looking Up’ reflects on Chris becoming a dad and juggling being a comedian and a dad for the first time. ‘Looking Up’ was his sixth full show to debut at Edinburgh Comedy Festival.
As well as UK and Ireland clubs, Chris has toured internationally, Middle East and Perth being particular favourites. Based in London with his wife who is a teacher, Chris is looking after their two year-old Jack during the day. A situation ripe for material.
“I hoping he gives me more gold. There is no way you can explain it to someone that is going to become a parent. It is definitely not the rosy picture you get from the movies. You naturally evolve to deal with it.”
Finding material is no problem for Chris, he appears to be a magnet for mini disasters.
“Things just seem to happen to me. There’s constantly things going wrong, or maybe I’m more aware of them. In hindsight I look back and think that I might have a bit from that. It just might make money from it without some dodgy fraudulent claim out of it.”
With such a wealth of everyday hilarious stories, fans do come up to Chris and tell him their funny tales in the hope he might use them. These days he does not bring those tales into his act with good reason.
“That does happen, I might have tried to make that work years ago but my view has changed on that, I tell stories from my perspective, things that I find funny because you never know where somebody heard a story. There could be someone at a gig saying I saw that on someone’s DVD and he is just telling you the story to be funny.”
Chris Kent’s profile is steadily rising in a very natural way. While he has appeared on some TV and radio, (Next Year’s News, The Craig Doyle Show or BBC’s The Blame Game) most fans pick on Kent’s comedy through his opening slots with Neil Delamere in Limerick or Deirdre O’Kane or saw him at The Cat Laughs. His audience find him for the quality of his material and his timely delivery.
“I haven’t got a big break from TV in any way but there is nothing like just getting out there and trusting that people have seen you. You can build it from a live audience as well,” he surmises.
On television he has a small part in the successful comedy The Young Offenders.
He plays the part of Conor’s Dad who is the deceased husband of Mairéad. His role is played in flashbacks.
The humour in ‘The Young Offenders’ has won fans in the UK and is part of an Irish revival in comedy writing that includes ‘Derry Girls’ and ‘Catastrophe’ to name a few.
“I’m glad the humour travelled. The accents weren’t diluted. There wasn’t an American version of an Irish accent which is one thing that bothers me.”
Comedy is on the rise here in Limerick with comedy clubs opening up across the city. Chris sees that resurgence in comedy across the UK and Ireland. His current tour takes in 17 dates across the country.
With this amount of available talent in Ireland Chris does not understand why we don’t have a stand-up comedy show on RTE or Virgin Media in the style of Live at the Apollo in the UK.
“It does feel that things are on the up because there are comedy clubs popping up in Cork as well and Dublin is thriving.”
“There are enough big acts in Ireland to host it – maybe they assume the Irish wouldn’t watch it.”
It is a good point. Surely the production costs of such a show would be minimal with comedians doing ten minute slots of what they do best. I would watch it – Would you?
What does Chris miss the most about Cork?
“Sandwiches! – I miss the food, In London there are no deli or shops to get a sandwich made up! And my family. Of course, I have to mention them.” Laughs.