So if you were not at Glasgow University Union on Wednesday the 3rd of October then you need to get your priorities straight as you missed the chance to see comedian Jarlath Regan for free. But don’t worry because you can read all about it here.
The night was started by the heavily tattooed and hilarious John Gavin who got everyone in the room giggling themselves stupid. He was the winner of ‘Scottish comedian of the year’ in 2009 and from forcing the audience to all yell out swear words to insulting Gok Wan, he was on top form. And that was just the warm up.
Now if you haven’t heard of the star of the night Jarlath Regan, where have you been? But just for those of you who live in a life devoid of laughter here is some information about him. The Irish comedian was born in 1980 and began his stand-up comedy career in 2003. By 2004 he was already a finalist for the comedy awards So You Think You’re Funny, BBC New Comedy Awards and the Chortle Student Comedian Of The Year. He just completed his sixth run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, has published two illustrated books and is a contributor on radio and television, having appeared on comedy panel shows the likes of Russell Howard’s Good News. Basically he’s a very busy, and funny, man.
But he still found time to squeeze in a wee trip to our very own GUU. What a bloody lovely guy.
So he started the show with his usual enthusiasm, springing onto the stage and immediately slagging off the chandeliers, curtains and general decor of the room. He had the audience in stitches in a matter of minutes. He informed us all how he loved doing stand-up comedy, before launching into his relationship with his wife and having us all crying with laughter again. Knowing his crowd he talked about Glasgow being a ‘bloody amazing place’ what with all the boy racers. This was before he insisted everyone ran off for a break to get Jaeger bombs before the show continued- he knows his students well.
He came back and launched further into chat about Glasgow, about booze, about his personal life… about all things funny really. I was just starting to think about how, despite the wee jibes at people and things, he was such a nice, genuine guy.
That was until he started to heckle me.
Now, in truth, I did forget the first rule of attending a comedy show, which is unless you want to be insulted/heckled/made part of the show- do not sit in the front row.
Especially if you have a pen and notepad with you in order to write down everything the comedian is saying so that you can write a review on it later.
So maybe I didn’t really think my seating choice through. However, I still got a bit of a fright when he asked me why I was taking notes… and as I’m not a funny person I told him the truth. He then proceeded to threaten to take my notebook and throw it out the window, accused me of superseding his threat by saying I would throw my pint in his face and comparing me to a James Bond girl (although to be fair I took that more as a compliment than an insult.) And after a lifetime (ten minutes) of him winding me up, everyone else was rolling about the floor whilst I was bright red in the face.
It was very funny, in all honesty. And to be fair I blush easily.
And we did manage to reconcile at the end of show. We kind of had to really because I had to interview him so you lot could find out a bit more about the man himself. It was a little bit awkward at first but we got over it.
So here’s what we talked about:
Did you enjoy performing at GUU tonight?
“I did. I enjoyed performing at GUU, probably as much as I’ve ever enjoyed doing stand up.”
How was the audience? Apart from a certain member telling you she would chuck a pint in your face…
“The audience were great. I think students know a lot more about stand up than people give them credit for. They have a high quality comedy IQ.”
Did it take you back to your student days?
“Well yeah- I’ve actually been here a lot, in this very building. I did a debate here- I was in the final of Ancients. I think I fell asleep under a snooker table one time and someone had to come find me. I love it here- Glasgow is one of my favourite cities.”
You played the Edinburgh Fringe Festival again this year. How did it go?
“Well this was my sixth year in a row. Every year it gets better- you know people start to actually know who you are…”
You’ve been in the comedy business for a while now. Do you ever struggle to think up new or original material?“No, not really. It’s more difficult when you’re busy. I have a lot of other things on- and I have a baby now as well. Finding the material itself isn’t hard. It’s everywhere.”
So as Jarlath finished his comedy set at the GUU he turned to me and said “thanks for the five star review.” And I have to admit, despite winding me up and becoming, somewhat, part of his act, it was the funniest stand up show I have been to in a long time. He kept the audience hanging onto his every word and chuckling to themselves the entire way through. He is fast becoming a BNIC (big name in comedy). So if you do get a chance to see him do stand-up, take it. Just don’t sit in the front row…