Oct 27, 2016

In Impromptu Charity Gig, David O’Doherty Charms Trinity’s Comedy Society

With donations going to the Peter McVerry Trust, O'Doherty riffed on topics ranging from Mary Robinson to the author of Winnie the Pooh.

Jenna Clarke Molloy Junior Editor
Anna Moran for The University Times

A packed Graduate Memorial Building (GMB) chamber welcomed Dublin-born comedian David O’Doherty today, in a last minute gig organised by Comedy Soc. The gig was organised yesterday when O’Doherty rang the society himself, saying that he would perform a show on the condition that any money made would go to charity. The performance was free, but on the way in and out of the GMB chamber collectors from the Peter McVerry Trust held buckets to collect money for the charity.

After a short introduction from Trinity Comedy Soc’s Annie Keegan, O’Doherty began immediately, reminiscing on his time in Trinity, saying it was nice to be back in “Trinners for Winners”, having spent four years here in the 90s, where he would “learn Greek and Latin”, before him and “Mary Robinson would go into town, hunting for Catholics”.

The famously shaggy-haired comedian, famed for his odd songs distinctive humour, described his current look as like “roadside spectator at the 1987 Tour de France”.


He also commented on the nature of the gig, saying that ahead of his upcoming gig in Vicar Street this was his chance to sift through the bad material. He exclaimed: “There’s a saying in showbiz ‘You get what you pay for’, and you’ve all paid fuck all.”

He paused during the show to remember those who couldn’t be with us, including those who didn’t want to come to the gig, the perpetually late and of course the dead. Naming off a list of the dead, O’Doherty began with Winnie the Pooh author, A A Milne, as “alphabetically he’s the first of all the dead”. He concluded his list of condolences with the people on the Titanic. Those too who survived received some sympathy because “even they’re dead”.

The gig was absurd in both senses. The content itself was itself of a slightly odd character. Yet O’Doherty also managed to fit an absurd amount of content into the 75-minute gig. The show included many of his signature musical numbers, including one about his time working as a telemarketer, one about he accidentally hitting an audience member in Australia with his car door, and one about celebrities doing mundane things that rhyme with their names. An example? “Bradley Cooper with a pooper scooper”.

The slightly surreal Irish humour continued as the set progressed, with O’Doherty recommending the audience to take part in “No Lilt February”, warning people they might experience some “Lilt Guilt” during the month. The joke, he said, flopped when he performed it in New York, the American audience of course not recognising the tropical-flavoured fizzy drink.

O’Doherty mentioned that he hopes that this is the year that he hopes to drop the “O’Doherty” from his name, and simply be known as “David”. Such an ambition, he indicated, could only be realised by killing all the other famous Davids. O’Doherty showed little concern for such an outcome. The only slight difficulty, he indicated, might come from killing David Attenborough – his hero.

Describing the students present as part of the generation obsessed with start-ups, he also gave the audience some stellar advice on a number of up-and-coming things to look out for: a singer known as Adele, a film series called Star Wars and a website named Google. At another stage during the gig, he went on a slight rant about “Lady Ghostbusters” and Hitler, and although it’s too difficult to explain how the two were connected, the distinct musical accompaniment was highly entertaining.

As the gig ended, O’Doherty thanked the University Philosophical Society (the Phil) and the College Historical Society (the Hist), or “the GMB gang” as he insisted they like to be called before urging everyone to donate to the Peter McVerry Trust.

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