Stand up comedian Des Bishop ‘likes to bang’, according, that is, to the name, and indeed content, of his latest stand up-show.
Yes, the show’s called ‘Des Bishop Likes to Bang’ and comes to the Millennium Forum this Saturday, October 13.
Des has to fit his live dates in around his new ‘day job’. The New York-born comedian is currently standing up, sorry, in, for Ryan Tubridy on RTE radio.
So how is he enjoying entertaining the nation every morning?
‘I’m in the middle of my busiest day ever,” admits the comedian.
Having presented the RTE 2 morning show, he then had two hour long interviews for his television work, some press interviews for the stand-up tour, and then was off to perform to a sell-out crowd in Dublin’s Vicar Street Theatre
So is he missing his sleep due to the early starts?
“I played a gig in Armagh last night so I’m pretty tired today but I haven’t noticed that much of a difference to my routine. If I was doing the Breakfast Show I would notice a big change. If that was the case I would have to play less gigs I think. Getting up at 6.30am for a 9am show doesn’t bother me. I’m only missing an hour’s sleep.”
Despite the combination of his beloved hip hop, beat boxing, audience participation and now drumming in his latest stand-up show, Des still has fun with wordplay and even, believe it or not after all that, he still has time for punchlines.
“I’m really enjoying the show. It has been in preparation for a while.”
So was the drumming a natural extension of his beatbox skills?
“Well I’m a pretty average beat boxer to be honest,” answered Des. “There has always been a little bit of beat boxing in my show. I felt motivated so I stuck it in there. Then when a buddy of mine gave me a set of electronic drums I began messing around on them. There is a strong 80s nostalgic sound from them. After writing a few jokes which included the drums I roped my friend into what became a drum inspired show.
Des first took ‘Des Bishop Likes to Bang’ to Australia.
“It was there I realised that everything I thought would sound amazing, wasn’t that good. Eventually I got better on the drums and they lend themselves to the hip hop comedy I love.”
Asked just how big the tour was Des says: “I’ve no idea. We began in March and I have dates planned until December but it has evolved a lot. I only stopped tinkering with it at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It was fine tuned up until then.”
Drumming is Des’ latest comedy medium. In the past he has entertained, indeed enlightened, the nation with his tales of learning Irish in his show ‘In the name of the Fada’. The sad tale of his late father’s battle with cancer inspired ‘My dad was nearly James Bond.’
Asked about his use of the Gaelic language now, Des says: “Well I use it when I can. I spoke it at Trinity College today. As I arrived other people were having a conversation in Irish so I joined in. I don’t use it too often, to be honest, not every day. I use it enough not to lose it.”
But was learning Irish as easy as he made it look on telly?
“Trust me, if it was your full-time job for a year you would make it look easy too,” he replies.
The next mission for Mr. Bishop is to learn Chinese Mandarin. “Well we’ll see how far we can go with it,” he laughs.
And having won many an audience over with his impersonation of regional Irish accents, which one is the funniest?
“Well I’m best at the Cork accent as I’ve had most practice doing that one. I think I’m funniest in a Cork Boi accent but for me the funniest accent on its own is probably the Navan/Drogheda accent. There is a randomness of their vowels and there are a lot of spare ‘ws’ hanging around that accent.
You can hear Des Bishop’s bang at the Millennium Forum this Saturday October 13. Tickets from £20 are available from Forum box office.