- 24 Apr 20
No.8 in a series. Interview by Shamim Malekmian
A lanky young man with glasses – the bookish type you’d imagine studying quietly in a college library, with a mind full of colourful words – that’s Matthew Tallon! But, wait! What is he doing in that phone box?
A student of English Literature at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Tallon, 22, openly rebels onstage against any attempt to pass judgment of his appearance. “Fuck nerds,” he’ll often shout during his set. He wears futuristic glasses also emblazoned with those words.
Tallon, a fast-rising star on the Irish comedy scene, recently shared an interview about his work, originally published by the Trinity College student publication, University Times.
“I did this interview when society mattered,” he said.
A McDonald’s employee, Tallon was quickly laid-off after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Now under lockdown in his parents’ home in Dublin, he sleeps in the morning and gets up at noon. He tells Hot Press that nothing matters much anymore, even gigging in New York, virtually.
Shamim Malekmian: How did your life as a comedian change as a result of the pandemic?
Matthew Tallon: It’s been really hard for me. I lost my job and everything. I go to bed at 4am. There are clothes everywhere, but it’s okay (laughs). As a comedian, it’s weird, because your main life – your social life, professional life and mental life – all take place from 9pm to midnight at bars, something that doesn’t exist anymore. So, your whole life is upended. It’s like, very suddenly, there is no audience to watch comedy. Like, I was in a virtual club in New York, and there was a two-second delay, so every time I would tell a joke, I’d think “they all hated it, what’s wrong with me?" And then I’d hear the laughs two-seconds later…
What do you miss most about life outside?
Just feeling that you’d have a gig, and there is some structure to your life. Just knowing that you can try out some jokes. Also hanging out with a bunch of other comedians – I miss that too.
Was there anything you took for granted, in a way that you now regret?
Just being able to text my friends and say, ‘do you want to go for a coffee in five minutes?’ Now, you have to set a time online, make yourselves a cup of coffee, and we have to have virtual coffee dates, or whatever they’re called! I always took for granted how big of a deal outside was. I guess I’m lucky: I’m living with my parents, and I don’t have to pay rent. But I was going to move to New York this year. Now, that’s gone.
Is live comedy going to change after all of this Covid-19 madness?
I think if anything, as soon as they are allowed outside, people are going to go out way too much. So, we’ll have a lot of people at comedy shows or pubs or clubs. But I don’t think we can just go back to joking about dating or “Oh my god, I had this ex” kind of jokes. It’s like going back after a war. Because none of this matters anymore. I’m just looking at my notebook here thinking “My god, what am I going to talk about after this?”