Get ready for an hilarious night as comedian Terry Alderton performs in City Limits Comedy Club in Cork

Comedian Terry Alderton regularly performs all over the globe... and now he’s coming to City Limits Comedy Club in Cork
Get ready for an hilarious night as comedian Terry Alderton performs in City Limits Comedy Club in Cork

Comedian Terry Alderton's humour has been described as inspirational, now you can catch his act as City Limits Comedy Club in Cork city.

One of the most memorable performances at BBC’s Live At The Apollo has been Terry Alderton, indeed one of the long-running series’ most successful hosts Michael McIntyre has referred to Terry as a source of inspiration. Other comedians who have spoken highly of Terry include the legendary Joan Rivers and Eddie Izzard. A recipient of The Malcolm Hardee Award — which is given for comic originality of thought or performance — in 2017, Terry sees an arc to him getting to that award.

“There’s two parts to me winning the Malcolm Hardee award… I’ve been going as a stand up since 1989 and I was professional by 1991 but it took me till about 2005 to, as they say ‘find my voice’, when I started turning around and being a bit anarchic, before then I was probably a bit mainstream and down the middle, obvious ‘cats and dogs’ material. I had a rise in TV in the 1990s — I ended up on shows like London’s Burning on ITV and Eastenders — very successful ‘cash in the wallet’ wise, but that went wrong for various reasons. Eventually my wife said to me “you need to go back to stand up”. I was saying to her if I go back to that people will be thinking ‘look who’s come back’ and she told me ‘do you really think everybody’s sitting around talking about you!’ and that was it, I went back gigging.”

After taking the well worn path from comedy to acting, Terry Alderton found his voice by returning to stand-up where he has the freedom to say and do what he wants.
After taking the well worn path from comedy to acting, Terry Alderton found his voice by returning to stand-up where he has the freedom to say and do what he wants.

Terry decided to try to find his feet again outside of the UK circuit.

“So anyway, I went to Dubai, and did some gigs with a very brilliant comedian called Ben Norris. One night, I’d gone on stage and made a flippant joke about being called to prayers. It wasn’t a rant, it was just an off the cuff joke; how he probably wasn’t too keen with the Christians of Cornwall bellringing either, when he’s just trying to have some kip. Just a silly remark, but all hell broke loose.”

While some comedians might feel the solution was to issue an apology Terry decided to deal with it head on. “The next night, I was on stage and I was really quite annoyed with what had gone on, I’m very much into free speech. So I started a new routine, imagining I was in a bar in New York, and I ordered a medium white wine and he says ‘we only do one size’. I then turned around from the audience and started doing these voices, ‘we’ve gotta go back to him and show that bulldog spirit’, that’s all it was, the voices continued to come back, I’d turn around so the audience would hear them. Everything I said to the audience, I’d then hammer with my back to the audience and then turn around, carrying on, like, nothing happened. When I came off Ben said to me ‘what was that? What were you doing?’ and I was apologising ‘I know, that was very unprofessional wasn’t it?’ and he said ‘No! You’ve got to keep doing that.’ So I continued to do that and went with it to Edinburgh and cobbled together a show and by the end of 2006, I’d managed to work out how to wield that madness.”

Developing that singular style gave Terry the grounding he had been searching for. ‘Basically it took me to a place doing what I’d always wanted to do, I was taking it as far as I could. I had no fear on stage anymore, as far as I was concerned it was broken anyway, I was in the depths of depression, I got to the mindset of ‘this is what I do’ and since then it’s grown and grown and grown. Now I’m seen as fearless and I do what I want, and I do but sometimes it’s jokes and sometimes it’s serious, but I do both in my own way, it means I’ve developed a select audience, not everyone wants to see me, but when I’m at festivals in Australia or Canada or wherever, a lot of the comedians come to see me.”

That fearlessness extends to not holding back on subjects that other comics might avoid, as Terry continued. 

I’ll try to get people to laugh first, and think second

“Some people say you can’t say this or that anymore or you can’t talk about such a subject; but I say what I want, I say you can talk about what you want on stage. That’s what is so great about Ireland, the UK, Germany, France, all these great countries, you can say what you want but you will be judged, you are responsible for what you say. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings but I won’t stand by and be told what I can and can’t say. If you are being flippant, hurting people and don’t care what you say, then maybe you are just an arse; but if you feel you have something to say and go out there, that’s your integrity right there. If you can persuade me to think a different way, let’s have that conversation but I’ll try to get people to laugh first, and think second, but you can’t make them laugh, make them think.”

Terry Alderton, the hit comedian who is performing in Cork.
Terry Alderton, the hit comedian who is performing in Cork.

That attitude involves a balance of not worrying about what people will think, but also still wanting to enjoy it. Terry reckons that’s got it right. “I never was one for reviews but you can’t help yourself wondering what people think, before mentally I was at a place where I was destroying myself so much… now I’m in a great place.”

Terry Alderton performs in Cork’s City Limits Comedy Club on Saturday, April 23, with support from Ian Burke. Tickets available via www.thecomedyclub.ie

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