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Dublin: 17°C Thursday 29 July 2021

Make me a stand-up comedian: It's the final countdown

My first comedy show is next week. Hold me.

Me, laughing
Me, laughing
Image: Tom Maher/Gaiety Theatre

I HAVE THE date. I know the location. My first comedy gig is less than a week away, and I’m in a little bit of denial.

You’ve probably heard of imposter syndrome, and this little friend is very familiar to me. It’s the person who asks ‘what are you doing this for?’ when I think about the comedy course. “Hey,” it whispers. “You don’t know what you’re doing, do ya?” Then it sidles off, all delighted with itself.

We’ve all heard that voice. But I read an interesting article in the New York Times last week that was all about making friends with that inner voice, and letting them just stand there on the sidelines shouting while you’re getting on with things.

I like that idea of imposter syndrome being someone you welcome in, rather than fervently try to kick away. So I’d like to invite him/her to the stand-up gig. Hopefully they’ll enjoy it.

If not, I suppose it’s further proof they are a very negative sort anyway.


During the week I read another article, this time by comedian Alison Spittle. It was about sound lads, and not so sound lads. Guys making fun of her because of her weight. Guys being rude to her face.

But it was also about how Alison learned to deal with this sort of shitty behaviour, and about how she just learned to be herself to feck the haters. Her article was fiery and passionate, but it was funny too.

Here’s the pilot of the Alison Spittle show, which further proves that she’s a comedian to watch:

Source: The Mess Around/YouTube

Her comedy is inspiring because it’s so natural. She’s just herself, and I hope that when I get to do my show I’m, well, myself too.

I might not be the funniest ‘comedian’ on stage, but there’s probably only one person who can wear that crown.

There’s no point getting up there and only concentrating on my weaknesses (like my inability to drive, the fact I scatter hairclips everywhere and that it takes just two glasses of cheap white wine to get me drunk).

I’m going to spend the next few days getting my set down (I keep telling people I ‘work best under pressure’, which really means I’m a chronic procrastinator), with the hope that I won’t totally freeze on stage next week.

Once I get a few laughs, I’ll be happy. And I’ll be pretty happy for doing something I never thought I’d do. I guess there’s a lesson in there somewhere for all of us. Or just me.

I’ll let you know I got on in my final column next week – and yes, the short set is being filmed. Wish me luck, and thanks for reading over the past few months.

Have you any tips? Got a favourite comedian whose work you’d like to share? Just want to tell me women aren’t funny? That’s what the comments section is for…

Read: Catch up on the rest of the series here>

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