Patrick Monahan – Interview

Posted on December 15, 2011



By Martin Owens

After a six week battle between 10 comic hopefuls culminating in a hotly contended final live from London’s Hammersmith Apollo, in front of an audience of millions, experienced comedian and ex-warm up man, Patrick walked away with the ultimate prize in stand up; £100,000, his own nationwide tour and a DVD release.

With the release of his debut DVD, we caught up with the winner of ITV’s X-Factor style comedy show, “Show Me The Funny”.

“If you’ve seen me before, there’ll be a lot of stuff in the DVD that you’ll hopefully like,” said Monahan. “There’s some interaction, a bit of banter with the crowd, there’s some dancing, music, bits and pieces, you know.

“If you’ve never seen me before, it’s not just like your generic stand-up DVD. I’ve been doing solo shows at the Edinburgh Festival from 2003/2004, so luckily I’ve had that much of a career where I could go back and put the best routines into the DVD, I’ve wrote a lot of new stuff too, so it’s a really solid one hour show.”

Monahan admits coping with fame is both weird and wonderful.

He said: “It’s fantastic, you know. It’s such a great feeling. It’s nice to see your face in shops when it’s not beside a big sign saying contact a member of staff if you see this man. It’s nice to see your face when they actually want you in the shop, as opposed to call security if you see this guy beside the till. It’s surreal.

“I’m going to a DVD signing tonight in Middlesbrough, it’ll be weird, you know, seeing your face in the HMV that you used to go in when you were a kid.”

From an early age Monahan was exposed to British comedy by his father. When I was kid my dad used to watch people such as Dave Allen. He was on the telly all the time and I loved him. I didn’t understand half the stuff he was going on about because I was so young but I just loved the way he could just sit there on his stool and talk. It looked like he was sipping from a glass of water (obviously whiskey when you look back now).

“People like Lee Evans, Peter Kay and Billy Connolly are great. You can tell they have really worked hard on their act.”

Like many comedians, legendary American performers also influenced him. “I always loved people like Richard Pryor and Robin Williams. It’s almost like they’re not telling you a joke, just a story about their lives. It’s that sort of comedy that I love. They don’t try too hard.”

What has been dubbed “the Michael McIntyre effect” has seen a boom in the popularity of stand-up comedy in Britain and Monahan has offered his advice to would-be comedians.

“Even though we are in a bit of a boom, it’s no different,” says Monahan. “If you want to be a stand-up, if there’s not many gigs or loads of gigs around, what you’ve got to do is always the same. You’ve got to sit down and write like five minutes of solid material.

“To get a good five minutes, you’ve got to write for hours and hours and cut it down to the best five or 10 minutes. Once you’ve got the five to 10 minutes and you think it flows and it’s not too forced, practice, practice, practice it. Get as many small pub gigs or open mics as possible, get anywhere where there’s a room with people, even if it’s like 10 people.”

Competing in ITV’s 10-week X-Factor style comedy show, touring the UK and releasing his first DVD, 2011 has been Patrick’s most successful and busy year. He confesses he would love 2012 to be just as hectic.

“My DVD has just been released, so after the build up to Christmas I’m going to continue promoting that in the New Year.

“I’m also starting a brand new tour in the spring. I’m doing the Edinburgh Festival again in the summer, so I’ve got to the write for the new tour and the festival. I’m also working on some ideas for a game show and a sitcom.”

Posted in: Profiles