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Neil And Be Thankful
Funnyman Neil Delamere holds forth on the ongoing economic shitstorm, comedy groupies and his family’s dodgy history as sword-wielding marauders with interesting moustaches.
Anne Sexton, 06 Dec 2011
“Kilkenomics brings economists and comics together. It was very interesting talking to those guys about what they think is going to happen to the eurozone and Greece and Ireland and if we’re going to default. The idea is that comedians can disseminate the information because we’re not economists. We don’t know the ridiculously complex jargon but we can go, ‘Whoah, what does that mean?’
“I had David McWilliams on one side and Megan Greene, who is an expert in the eurozone and Martín Lousteau, the former finance minister for Argentina, and a former minister of state of the German government. I’m sitting in the middle going, ‘Right, explain to me how this money thing works?’ Jargon in most industries and professions is a way of keeping people out and sometimes you need to say, ‘Tell me exactly what that means. Terms and conditions don’t apply, just tell me exactly what that means.’”
While the country may be down the proverbial crapper, Delamere has spotted a silver lining in an unusual place.
“You know the €3.6 billion that we found down the couch the other day? I’ve decided to be happy about it. There are 450,000 people unemployed, but the people who missed the €3.6 billion are the same people counting the unemployed so I reckon there is only 225,000 people and that in a couple of weeks they are going to say they’ve double counted.”
Politics of a sort have inspired Delamere’s new show and tour, which is called Restructuring.
“I just kept reading in the papers that we need to restructure our debt and we need to restructure our civil service and also my own life has been changed. It’s a catch-all kind of title for all those things.
“A lot of the time when you are writing a show for Edinburgh you have to have a show title by April for a show you’re going to do in August. Basically you’re trying to name a show that doesn’t exist. Then they say, ‘Write a little blurb and tell us what the show is about.’ And you go, ‘Well, it’s a classic mix of banter and material.’ It’s almost a philosophical, Zen way of describing the show. You feel like a psychiatrist. When you’re asked to describe the show, you want to ask, ‘Well, what do you think it should be about?’”