Murphy shows Bald Ambition

Róisín Burke catches up with Colin Murphy to find the comedy fire still burns bright. Just don’t ask about Conor McGregor
Murphy shows Bald Ambition
Colin Murphy

Wry, satirical, dark comedy about having a midlife crisis and all that goes with it is part of the hilarious new tour Irish comedian Colin Murphy is bringing to Cork next month.

Colin, who recently turned 50, is celebrating 25 years in comedy and what better way to commemorate this special year than with a tour of the south, including dates in the Everyman Theatre on October 6.

The new tour, Murphy’s first in eight years, is called ‘The Bald Ambition Tour’ and works out a bit like a funnier version of Reeling in the Years as Colin compares old Ireland to the new sexier version using clever quips and observations.

Colin says: “The show is a little about turning 50. It looks at where I was and where I am now and class structures. It deals with getting older and changing how people think of you and how you think of yourself.

“I talk about getting notions about yourself and getting worried about getting notions about yourself.

“The first half is a bit like Reeling in the Years, but funnier, and the second half is about where we all are now in terms of Ireland.

“As in we got out of this recession but we are sneaking back into it again; we have got notions about ourselves and we are drinking coffee out of jam jars and it is all getting a bit much, so it’s watch ourselves or we will end up in the same sh*t again.”

Some material that makes the show is about Conor McGregor, which Colin said is a subject that without fail divides the room.

“I am not a fan of Conor McGregor. I don’t like sports, but I really don’t like him and of all the things I talk about in the show, that is the bit that divides the room. It is really weird, people cheer and people get really cross about it.

Colin says it’s McGregor’s attitude that gets to him. “The idea that he is any kind of role model for anyone is disgusting.”

Another hot topic is 21st-century sex. “Young people having to deal with things that I never had to deal with and I feel very sorry for them,” he says.

“I wouldn’t take a fortune to be a young single person now.”

One thing that definitely won’t be discussed is Brexit as Colin says he is just too emotional about the issue to find the funny in it just yet. “I am too angry to talk about Brexit. Maybe next year I might be able to deal with it, but not yet. I can’t be coherent and funny about it because I am too cross about it. It just makes me angry.”

Talking about why he decided to pack a bag and get back on the road telling jokes after eight years, Colin says he rediscovered his love for stand-up comedy at a gig in Clonmel — ever since, he has been gunning for road.

“I was doing the job so long I kind of fell out of love with doing stand up. I didn’t enjoy it anymore, I was going through the motions a wee bit and that was the main reason I didn’t tour for so long and then something clicked one night. I got a strange little feeling in my tummy and it was either enjoyment or an ulcer. I put it down to enjoyment and I started a bit more stuff and relaxed and stopped trying to be something or someone and just relaxed and said, ‘Do you know what, this is just who I am and this is what I am going to talk about and if you don’t like it you can f**k off.’

“I think it is just getting a bit older and a bit more confidence in yourself.”

Discussing the younger audiences that he meets on the circuit these days, Colin says they can be a bit spoilt. “Younger audiences are spoilt in a way with comedy. They don’t realise how lucky they are. It is just another form of entertainment to them and it is almost disposable to them.”

He says local live comedy needs to be supported by young and old if it is to survive. “If you don’t nurture it and go to see live comedy then it will disappear. Older people are going to the big names off the telly and they are not going to see the local comedy and if they are not careful it will disappear — it happened in America.”

Colin says comedy is a form of entertainment but that it can be a good way to release stress. “It can act as a pressure valve, a wee release. Someone else can vent what the audience is feeling.”

Speaking about his function as a comedian and what he hopes to bring to Cork audiences next month, Colin says it’s his responsibility to entertain and to help the audience to relax.

“As a comedian, your job is to entertain someone with your thoughts and ideas and words. There is no big message, it is just relax, it will all be fine.”

  • Follow Colin on, Facebook, and Twitter @thatcolinmurphy
  • For ticket and tour info visit

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