Did you hear the one about the Sligo man?

You may know him from RTE TV shows such as The Savage Eye, Irish Pictorial, Hey Ho Let’s Go or acting the maggot as a young lad in school. Either way anyone who knows John Colleary knows he’s one of the most genuine men you will meet and just happens to be a natural born comedian to boot.

When a comedian gets a gig somewhere around Ireland the first thing they want to know is - how much is it paid and who else is on? Comics tend to travel together and get a lift from whoever is driving down and this tends to be the best crack of the night for the comics. It is five years ago now, during one of those journeys, that I really got to know John.

He loves to answer questions in different characters and makes the most mundane things silly. You really can’t help but laugh because you know people exactly like those he is impersonating. His characters are universal to one and all.

One of the best things about this genius comedian is that he works so hard in comedy yet makes it look effortless on stage. He always has ‘the head down’ gigging all over Ireland trying out new material. Never for a second would he let all his success go to his head. John is a genuine, kind and modest person. He has the love and respect of every comedian on the Irish circuit, because he is one of the most talented comics there is out there.

I met up with john to ask him a few questions for all you good people of Sligo, who may have grew up with him, kissed him or knew his family.

What was the first thing u remember wanting to be when you grew up & why?
I wanted to be a farmer but I couldn’t afford the livestock so I became a comedian.

When do you get sick of people asking you to do impressions?
I don’t do impressions!! (That was me told)

What do you think is the hardest & easiest thing about being a comedian?
The hardest and easiest thing is being funny depending on the circumstances.

What do you remember about the best gig you've done?
Not much. It’s a long time ago.

What were the reasons for your worst gig ever?
It was on a boat in Carrick-on-Shannon and having to wait till we got ashore was the worst thing ever. At least they got a laugh in the end.

Have your family ever been in the audience watching your gig? Was it awkward?
Used to find that awkward but its grand now as they don’t come any more.

What do you think enhanced your sense of humour - Sligo people, your family, bad times, your friends, curiosity?
All those things you just said and farts.

Who is your ideal woman & why?
Mother Theresa because she isn’t around much.

What is it like to go out with a comedian?
I don’t know I wouldn’t go near one

If money wasn't an issue what would be your ultimate dream job?
A bin man.

You see folks you never can tell what he’s going to come out with. He’s a different kettle of fish altogether. In fact he’s much like a kettle of salmon. He has the knowledge, he’s well worth the price he is and he reluctantly comes home once a year!! Also you’d never expect to see such a great fish in a little kettle. However, the super John Colleary will be in town Friday 17th of April gigging in 5th on Teeling. I’m delighted to say I will be his support for the night. Please do come along to witness your very own home grown fantastic comedian in action. I will be there too to warm up the night, and get the summer started early with a bit of “Jaysus did she really say that?” type of comedy.

Sligo really is the place to be for a laugh especially this month. The Bright Side of Life Festival is starting this Thurday 9th – Sunday 12th with comedy, music, workshops, outdoor events, art and talks. This fun packed weekend is to show that laughter really is the best medicine. Major acts such as Richard Herring will be gigging here, you will know him to see from TV but may not have seen his stand up yet. Feed your mind and soul to something new this weekend, as Richard has been referred to as “The King of Edinburgh” which is a pretty spectacular comment to get from the biggest open comedy festivals in the world.

Everyone both young and old, whatever style of comedy you’re into you will be highly impressed and entertained by ‘Abandoman’. He is a must see genius with his unbelievably quick hip hop improve style that will have you in awe. Along with ‘Lords of Strut’ doing their cacophony of sound and physical comedy with a children’s show and an adult’s show, you really are spoilt with choice. Venues such as McGarrilges, 5th on Teeling, Garavogue, the Hawks Well and the Clarion Hotel will be providing the comedy shows. Expect to see brilliant acts such as Alison Spittle, Christian Talbot, Ursula Burns, Robbie Bonham, Sophie Hagen, Aindrias De Staic, myself and many more. Tickets available from www.spikesligo.com

Please keep supporting live comedy!!! Without you comedians will drive their families and friends mad.

Written by Niamh Marron.