- 19 Sep 02
David O'Doherty on why comedy should aspire to be the new jazz
David O’Doherty, one of Irish comedy’s most original talents, is shortly to take his one-man-show Small Things to Edinburgh, where he’s previously won Channel 4’s So You Think You’re Funny competition and been nominated for a Perrier newcomer award and. Though hotly tipped to take the award proper this year, he’s remarkably nonchalant about the prospect. And, indeed, the fact that he’s just been the victim of grand larceny.
“I’m sorry I’m late,” he apologises, “but someone stole the saddle off my bike.” A particularly avid fan, I venture, with perhaps a saddle-sniffing fetish? “I hadn’t considered that,” he says, looking suddenly troubled, “I’m not enjoying considering it now…”
Although still in his twenties, David O’Doherty is one of the brightest talents on the Irish comedy circuit. Since concentrating on stand-up in the late 1990s, he’s established a reputation as a genial gentleman among audiences and fellow-comedians alike. Eshewing the girlfriend-and-knob-gag approach of many of his peers, O’Doherty instead ponders the inanities and absurdities of everyday existence with a childlike, if frequently cerebral, wit. A non-drinking, non-swearing philosophy graduate who also pens children’s books, he at one time planned a career as a jazz pianist. Hardly surprising, considering his dad is the well-known musician Jim Doherty. So, David, where did it all go wrong?