October 2, 2006

K-Rock and Bella Meet Tommy Tiernan

I've been having a lot of fun with the indie-journalist thing and pulling whatever strings I have to interview increasingly famous comedy figures.Saturday morning K-Rock and I hustled our booties downtown to a schmancy hotel to snag some face-to-face time with Ireland's biggest comedian, Tommy Tiernan. He's won every major comedy award in the U.K., and, I predict, is soon to develop a huge following here in the States. He's hilariously energetic and playful. He was in Chicago shooting material for a concert film which will be released on DVD on St. Patty's day, and likely aired on HBO as well. (Excuse me, "Haytch-Bee-Oh.")

I'd been working with Tommy's very nice manager Yvonne to arrange a phone interview with him, but I kept missing him. I went into work Friday all frowny, and my boss (an Irishman himself) asked me what was up. (He and my other Irish friends have been talking about Tommy's Chicago shows all week.) I explained, and, by some form of Celtic telephonic magic, two totally unconnected Irishman chatted briefly, and before I knew it, I had the following day off to allow me to conduct a face-to-face interview with Tommy. (Thanks, Boss!) In the end, he graciously allowed us a video interview, and he was warm and friendly and fantastic. (Not to mention, his shows rocked.)

Tommy bought us coffee and shared his impressions of Chicago (friendlier than other parts of America), and told us about his partially successful Huck Finn-inspired adventure called Supertramp, wherein he walked the length of Ireland collecting and telling stories. He also explained that at comedy festivals, people like stand-ups (who usually work and travel alone) get a chance to hang out, play football, drink beer, and swap stories. Like camp for comedians, or like an insurance convention (except much more fun). He was funny and warm and open and philosophical at times, and made my week by laughing heartily at some of my dumb jokes.

K-Rock and I chased trains in our (totally unplanned but uncannily coordinated) indie-journalist uniforms of jeans, funky girly tennies, and black jackets, laughing that we felt like a Secret deodorant commercial. ("I'm a busy professional gal on the run! I need to get the story, and still feel fresh and dry. That's why I love Secret!") We marveled at the opportunities we've enjoyed with this whole silly web-venture. We toasted the Irish. And we stayed fresh and dry.

(Some of Tommy's delightfully profanity-laden comedy below.)

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