Tell me about the new show Des…
Well the last show that I did, it was good but it was an intense, emotional show, so the new show is definitely not that. It’s not about cancer. There’s a little bit of music in it. I was given a set of electronic drums as a present and I quite liked the comic potential. That’s what the title is all about, “Des Bishop Likes to Bang”.
Oh, I thought that was something else…
Oh yes, well, there is a little bit of stuff about banging, as all comedians like to do. There’s some stuff about going grey and just general stand-up stuff. The main difference is the music and the audience participation too.
Any rapping in this show?
Always rapping, it’s the only music that I can really do. I’m not freestyling, I leave that to other people. You know, I am going to let the audience help me make music. It should be fun.
Was it strange moving from the US to Ireland as a teenager?
Well, I went to boarding school in a rural part of Ireland after living in Queens, New York, so you know, it was a massive life change. A lot of the guys I went to school with were like farmers and shit. I remember being 15 and I actually pulled a lamb out of sheep’s vagina. So that was obviously such a massive culture shock.
How is US humour different?
Americans definitely laugh at simpler stuff. Actually, Americans will laugh at anything.
Who are your favourite audience?
Well, probably Irish, but that’s just because I am used to them. Although I do love a black American audience, I don’t know what it is genetically but they just fucking laugh. It’s like a workout when they laugh. They don’t just make a noise, their whole body moves. They sway, they stamp their feet, they smack each other.
So, was your dad almost James Bond?
The book [My Dad was Nearly James Bond] is about my dad’s acting career before I was born. And yes he once had an audition for a James Bond part. The book is really a memoir of my father and about how he dealt with lung cancer. It’s also about how I turned his cancer into a show, part of that was to get him back on stage.
You’re passionate about the Gaelic language. Why is that?
Well because I learned it in 2007-8. Everyone in Ireland has to learn the language at school but most of them hate it. But I found it quite inspiring, the culture and the way language gives you a different outlook on life. It certainly wasn’t to appeal to a mass international audience.
I read there was some Twitter criticism?
Oh listen, this happened yesterday. You’re pretty onto it. The guy who wrote that fucking article is a real arsehole. Like I don’t even talk to that guy. I was launching an Irish language website, which was like two years of work. And one of the points I am making about this website is that when you speak Irish on Twitter it’s quite tedious, because when people respond in Irish, the people that don’t speak it make stupid comments. But he is just an entertainment journalist and he just turned it around and said there were abusive comments on Twitter about the Irish language. Basically he’s a fucking retard.
You can’t trust ‘em!
I know! Oh, and separately, this Irish TV presenter just found out she has cancer so he fucking asks me about that and I deliberately gave a very generic response but then he goes and writes this piece saying that I know what she’s going through and puts a fucking headline on it about me! And now I am going to have to go to this girl who I am relatively friends with and say listen, I honestly wasn’t talking to the press about your illness.
What a snake.
It’s doubly worse because I have actually gone out with her sister. It just makes it so awkward, man. That’s the inside scoop on how frustrating it can be with these journos.
What are you doing for St Patrick’s Day?
I’ll be in Australia. I don’t give a shit about St Patrick’s Day, I’m a non-drinker. I’m looking forward to ANZAC Day though, and the footy at the MCG. I just like the footy, man.
Catch Des Bishop’s show in Brisbane (Mar 20-25), Melbourne (Mar 29-Apr 22), Sydney (Apr 27-28) and Perth (May 3-5). desbishop.com