Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Interview: Patrick Monahan

(Photo from Patrick Monahan.co.uk)

"My dream job was to work in a Jaffa Cake factory."

 Iran born/ Irish bred Patrick Monahan; a unique comedian and an all round nice guy. Hailing from the north east of England he orienteered his way through the stand-up comedy circuit making a name for himself during appearances at Edinburgh Festival Fringes and various renowned venues throughout the country.
Since then he’s performed around the world, made numerous national television appearances and has become a comedy favourite with his friendly and energetic style. Most recently he won ITV1’s reality television series Show Me The Funny (2011) after overcoming  gruelling  challenges and beating 9 other comedians.
He's extended his tour dates after the phenomenal success of his Autumn tour and will be bringing his show to the MET studio on Valentine’s day. We had an exclusive chat with Patrick to find out more about him, including his love of cake, Robin Williams and hugs…

So you’re on tour at the moment, how is that going?
It’s fantastic, it has been great fun, I’ve been working non-stop because it was such a success last year that we decided to continue the show once we’d filled all of the autumn dates. Normally you think we’ll just do one tour of one show and then do a new tour but because we didn’t have enough chance to go around all of the venues we wanted to last year we said lets do a few more this spring, the places that I’ve not been yet, which is great.
What has been your favourite venue to date?
They’re all different and great in their own ways, they’ve all been great fun but if I had to think of a memorable show I’d say Newcastle- the last night of that was just crazy. Even before you started you could tell how good the gig was going to be because I go out before my show and tell a joke or two. Everywhere has been a laugh though.
Did you know you were the third person to ever appear in the MET Studio here in Stafford in 2010, are you looking forward to returning?
Yes, that was brilliant, a really great night because it was a lovely theatre and I remember just seeing this beautiful little studio- I just remember how small it was and how close you were in the centre. It’s so good in terms of the stage and the people, you can literally touch them and it was good fun. I like that, I think sometimes people get a bit scared but for me I loved it, you can really get hands on.
How do you think you’ve changed since that performance?
You change after every gig. I remember when I did my first hour show at a comedy festival and I was so excited, and we got a recording of it and you watch it and you think how did I get away with saying that and the material has developed so much since then. The more places you play the more tips you pick up and you can perform so much better.
Congratulations on winning ITV1’s ‘Show Me The Funny’, how did it feel to win?
It was such a laugh because nobody really knew what the show was about because they kept it really quiet. We just knew it was about apprentices and comics and then in the last week it went sort of X factor-ish. We got to play tough gigs every week and perform and write new material so I loved the challenge. Just to get half as far as the final was amazing. We thought as long as you don’t go out in week one you’ll have a laugh but to get to the final was just wow.
When did you decide that you wanted to get into the comedy scene?
Its weird because when I was a kid I didn’t know what stand-up was, I loved entertainment.  I grew up thinking that’s what I want to do and I’d love to just get paid for it. When I was a kid if someone had of said you’re going to stand in front of 400 people on a Friday night and entertain them I would of said no way! Now its just great fun to go and see people and perform, you don’t even really regard it was a job. During the day you have to write and its brilliant and then at night you see new places and people, it’s just fantastic.
When you were younger was there any other careers you fancied?
I think everyone has childhood dreams. To be honest mine was my dream job was work in a Jaffa Cake factory, I love cake, when I was a kid I used to think when I’m older, when I get a job, I’m going to spend 60% of my money on cake. I think I’m getting close to that now, I can spend a bit of money on cake. You can’t eat enough cake.
Aside from cake, what influences your material?
Well cake is always funny but my show involves hugging, dancing and anything nice, my shows are all about that. When I first started, the critics originally said oh this guys nice- too nice, where’s the bite and the aggression and then I didn’t change too much and over time they’ve come round. The comedy circuit is great, so wide and varied but the problem is now you’ve got so many acts who do cutting edge and dark material and try to be controversial, but mines the total opposite, my stuff is having a laugh and entertaining. People who come to comedy, they’re the ones who have been at work hearing about job cuts, debt and war and people just want to be entertained at the end of the day. I have a laugh, I really get to know people in the audience and there’s a bit of spooning and hugging.
If you were hosting a comedy show with an unlimited budget, who would you book?
I love Robin Williams, he’s mad, you’d get value for money with all his crazy voices and it’s almost like he never switches off, his energy is great on stage and off stage. Johnny Vegas too, he’s the same. You wouldn’t get Johnny off stage which is great because sometimes you get those comics who are really good but they look at their watch and go right that’s my 45 minutes almost up, bang, goodnight. But Johnny doesn’t have a watch and he’s rolling around and doing this and that, he’s great. So I’d book those two, it would be madness but it would be great.
What are your plans for the future as a comedian?
Writing, touring, I’m writing my new show for the Edinburgh Festival and other comedy festivals. I’ll also hopefully develop a game show- that’s my dream.


Patrick Monahan is on Tues 14th February 2012 at The MET Studio, Stafford Gatehouse. 

Book tickets

Patrick Monahan Official

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