Comedy king Eric Lalor is coming to the rebel county

Roisin Burke catches up with Eric Lalor and discovers...
Comedy king Eric Lalor is coming to the rebel county
Eric Lalor in character as Cathal Spillane in Fair City.

Comedian, actor, and writer Eric Lalor is coming to Cork this summer with two stand-up gigs in the county.

Downtown caught up with Fair City’s Cathal Spillane and one of Dublin’s homegrown comedians to find out what he likes about performing in Cork and how he manages his hectic schedule.

Lalor, 47, has been working in comedy since 2006. The Dubliner found his way in comedy thanks to Des Bishop with his TV show Joy in the Hood, in which Bishop set up a comedy workshop in Ballymun. Lalor decided to take part and his future in comedy began.

Eric Lalor performing stand-up.
Eric Lalor performing stand-up.

12 years later, Lalor has established himself on the comedy scene as someone guaranteed to get you chuckling.

“To be paid to make people laugh is an incredible feeling. There is no better feeling than walking off that stage knowing you have done your job and have put a few smiles on faces,” he says.

“I also enjoy the travelling. It can be a lonely time, but it’s good for the headspace. I have now been to every part of Ireland thanks to comedy and I’m all the better for it.”

Speaking about gigging in Cork, Lalor says that, in the beginning, he worried about the Dublin-Cork rivalry he had heard so much about.

“I was a little apprehensive if I’m honest, but to my surprise, Cork audiences were brilliant. They seem to get me. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad gig in Cork.

“I’ve played City Limits, the Cork Opera House, Live at the Marquee, and have always loved it. Cork folk are upfront and honest. You know where you stand with them and there’s a mischievous glint in their eye, the hint of divilment, which I love.

“Cork is easily one of my favourite places to play in Ireland. Always a very appreciative and attentive audience.”

As well as getting the giggles going in men and women across the country, Lalor keeps himself busy acting on Fair City and writing for

“I do two days a week with JOE and it’s another thing I love. Never a dull day in there and I’m very appreciative of the support they give me to pursue the other things in my life such as comedy and acting.”

Despite his love for writing and performing stand-up, Lalor says that at the moment he gets an almighty kick out of acting, particularly working on Fair City.

Since 2015, Lalor has been playing bad boy Cathal Spillane on the show. He says the character would sell his granny to make a few quid. “He came into the show as a seemingly reputable hotel manager, but the mask quickly slipped and he has been revealed to be a gangster with no morals or principles.

“He’s been at war with a few of the characters in the show, the O’Brien family and more recently, Carrigstown’s golden couple, Carol and Robbie.”

Lalor says he enjoys working on Fair City, but is tight-lipped about behind-the-scenes shenanigans: “What happens on the set, stays on the set!”

Despite this, he’s happy to offer assurances that the cast and crew are like one big family. He loves being a part of it. “I was initially unsure when I got the part, but very quickly realised what a great gig it was.

“Everyone, from the cast to the backroom team, the costume department, the hair and makeup, and everyone else behind the scenes are just like one big happy family.”

Looking to the future, Lalor says he has a busy summer ahead, appearing at a number of festivals including Cat Laughs in Kilkenny, Castlepalooza in Tullamore, Groove Festival in Wicklow, All Together Now in Waterford, and Electric Picnic.

And that’s not all Lalor has up his sleeve. “I did a short film before Christmas with Jason Byrne called Sons & Broken Noses, which is currently in post-production. I am very excited about it and the plan is for it to premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh in July.”

Lalor says he loves working on short films and hopes to do more acting in the years ahead. “Acting is relatively new to me. I have only been doing it the last four or five years and I would like to do more. I have done a few short films and it’s definitely something I’d like to do more of in the years ahead. I would love the chance to do a feature film!”

Lalor is performing at the White Horse in Ballincollig on April 26 and De Barras in Clonakilty on June 21. Tickets for his gig in Ballincollig are €11.50 and are available at
For his gig in Clonakilty, tickets are €12 and can be purchased at[#embed3]

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