Jarlath Regan is a comedian, writer and illustrator from Kildare who is best known for his podcast ‘An Irishman abroad’ which has over one million followers. He’s based in London but has toured his live material all over the world. On Friday evening, Jarlath performed his first ever solo gig in The West End at The Leicester Square Theatre.
The audience laughed throughout and afterwards I asked him how he felt, “The crowd were great. I’d been writing this show for two years. It was a case of skimming off the best material and running with it.”
As a live performer, Jarlath is natural. In his show, ‘Jarlath Regan, but you can call me Jarlath,’ he delivers insightful comedy which explores parenthood, Irish culture and self-improvement. He’s excellent at interacting with the crowd and uses different accents and gestures to build a story.
In one hilarious bit, he mimes trying to inconspicuously eat crisps while having a serious conversation. Another time, he imitates a fitness training who embarrasses his clients if they don’t wear their ID wristbands. Instead of picking on the audience, he’s very well able to integrate hecklers because when a woman yelled out a catchphrase from the TV show ‘Storage Wars,’ he went along with it and got a big laugh.
There was a very strong Irish contingent in attendance and I asked Jarlath if there was a difference between Irish audiences and foreign ones, “An international audience will sit back and accept that “zis is da funny man on da stage and I am da person who sits and listens.” Whereas when you play an Irish crowd, pretty much every single person in the room could get on stage and tell a story that would make everybody laugh.”
During his show, Jarlath taps into the Irish psyche by talking about making an ashamedly longwinded apology, growing up ‘Fast and loose’ in the eighties and how he was so proud when his son met Mr. Tayto.
As well as being a brilliant stand-up comedian, his award wining podcast ‘An Irishman Abroad’ has recently passed its one hundredth show and was featured on iTunes best of 2014 list.
— Jarlath Regan (@Jarlath) November 1, 2015
Before his success as a comedian, Jarlath used to work as a graphic designer. I asked him if drawing a picture ever helped him come up with a new joke, “I had about ten jokes that for whatever reason wouldn’t work on stage. Anyway, I drew them out on a piece of paper with the setup on one side and the punchline on the other. Before I knew it, I had a set of Christmas cards.” These cards are now available on jigser.com
Jarlath plans to bring his show to Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe. Although he says it won’t exactly be a “John Bishop style arena tour, staying in five star hotels and dining in fine restaurants,” it’s clear that Jarlath Regan is only going to get bigger, so whether online or in person, take the opportunity to be entertained by him while it’s still okay to call him Jarlath rather than Mr. Regan.
Find out more about Jarlath on his website www.jigser.com