The new Men Behaving Better podcast has arrived. Episode 1 is available to download today and features Fern Brady, Simone George and Pierre Novellie. It’s the path-finding episode for the whole series. A conversation to help us start out on this new type of conversation about male improvement in the face of the long time coming realisation that we need to be better. Future episodes in London will be recorded at the gorgeous Other Palace Theatre on September 20th, November 8th and December 6th. We will record two episodes each night, tickets will go on sale on Friday next and the guests will include Deborah Francis White of The Guilty Feminist Podcast, Roisin Conatty, Fin Taylor and many many more. If you’re one of the ultra-sound people who support us on Patreon you will get advance access, extended episodes, behind the scenes stuff and discounts on live show tickets.
This week’s episode was recorded at Soho Theatre. A place I will return to this month for the very final performances of Organ Freeman. It’s a standup show about donating a kidney and was named before Morgan Freeman revealed himself to be an awful person. There won’t be any more extra dates added. This really is it. The show was absurdly difficult to write and even harder to perform. To make matters worse, it got harder to perform the more I performed it. It is still something of which I’m immensely proud, something that audiences have connected with, laughed at and experienced “all the feels” as they say. I have to move on, just like my brother has (he’s doing fine #spoileralert). I’ve a new show almost written, two new podcasts and a family to take care of.
14 years ago I went to Demetri Martin in the main house at Soho Theatre at a time when I had barely two jokes to rub together. To be playing that room now with a piece that means this much to me…well lets just say, I’d really appreciate if you sent your soundest friends down to see it before it’s put away forever. I’ll still keep banging on about getting a Donor Card because live donation changed my life and my entire family’s life. There’s 3500 people in need of kidneys right now in the UK alone. You only need one to survive and be able to tell jokes. I’m proof of that. Live donation also makes you into a better funnier person. Come see for yourself on August 23, 24, 25.
The Organ Freeman tour is nearly over! The final performances of the show will take place in Glasgow, Newcastle and Edinburgh – the place where it all began. I’d love if you came to see it. Click on the dates to buy tickets while you can.
This show has taken a lot out of me literally and emotionally so I’m not going to the Edinburgh Fringe. Instead I’m working on something completely new. I’ll take a few breaks to do shows in Paris, New York, Kilkenny and Dublin. If you’re not in those cities maybe you’re going to a festival. I’ll also be performing on the comedy stages at festivals including Latitude, Leeds, Reading, Electric Picnic and more still to be announced.
The podcast has grown a huge amount since we started our Patreon page. Subscribers now get extra length episodes, discounts on live shows and pretty soon a new podcast completely. Yep. We are starting a new podcast, “Men Behaving Better”. The first episode will will be recorded at Soho Theatre on June 13th.
The podcast is coming to one of my favourite theatres on April 9th. Tickets are on sale now. Move fast. This is going to sell out soon. Tell your friends. There will be many many surprises on the night. Trust me.
Click here to get a sneaky discount code. Or if you’re not in London, have a look at the tour dates. I’m coming to your town this Spring. Maybe.
We’ve launched a new phase in the podcast. Basically I’m in the process of creating a new spinoff series. It takes time and it takes money so we need your help to do it. In return for your support you’ll get this beautiful Irishman Abroad pin. With it you can breeze past security in airports worldwide. You’ll also get access to the entire archive of episodes. Yep, all the episodes that have long since disappeared from iTunes are on our Patreon feed. That includes Brian O’Driscoll, Hozier, Louise O’Neill, Boy George, Tommy Tiernan, Lisa Hannigan and many many more. Just click here and join us. Or if that’s not your thing, you can always click donate. You’ll still get the t-shirt!
I’m bringing my show Organ Freeman to your town this Spring. This is me announcing my first ever mini-tour-type-thingy of the UK. It will take in a handful of my absolute favourite places to gig including Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle and the real capital city of culture Bedford. The tour is a chance for you to see the show I got all the nice reviews for at the Fringe in August and a chance for me to meet you and show you the new material for the next show I’m working on right now. You don’t have to have an interest in organ donation to enjoy the show but the chances are that part of the show will affect you at some point in your life. Each show will have two halves. In the first I’ll perform bits from the new show and do a bit of general messing with the audience. Then in the second half you’ll get the full length, bells and whistles (projector included) version of Organ Freeman. Support live comedy, grab a ticket to this show when it comes to your town. We can have a pint together afterwards. All dates are linked on the gigs page.
Here’s another thing you might like. I did a panel show on BBC Radio 4 called “Where’s The F In News”. The show is a funny sideways look at the news of today with the reverse gender balance you see on most panel shows. Have a listen here.
This year’s Jigser Christmas Cards are now on sale and a portion of the proceeds will go to help organ donor awareness. Each year for the last few years I’ve designed and sold my Christmas cards and shipped them around the world. The cards have been featured on television and radio. One newspaper described them as “Genius” but what does The Times know! In the past all the profits have gone toward helping to fund the podcast but this year is a bit different. I’ve decided to donate virtually all the profits to various different Kidney Charities across the UK and Ireland.
The cards themselves are cheeky and should probably only be sent to people you know have a sense of humour. If you need to play it safe there is also a “Family Friendly” pack. In terms of value, they’re just €2 each excluding postage and packing. Just click on the shop link and have a look around.
September is comedy’s January. The Fringe is over, you get to start fresh but it takes you about 2 weeks to get your arse in gear. I didn’t grind to a halt after the Fringe this year, podcasts kept coming out every Sunday, but I have had a bit of time with the family and a chance to take stock of everything that happened over the last 12 months. The big news from August is that Organ Freeman – the one man standup show about donating a kidney to my brother – did really well in Edinburgh. Our venue was full nearly night, the reviews were great across the board and people really liked it.
To be totally honest, I have never had a run quite like it. The response was so good it’s been decided that after Vicar Street and Leicester Square Theatre, I’ll take it on around the UK on a mini-tour in the spring of 2018. I’ll post all the dates here once they are locked in.
For now I’m back writing and podcasting like “Billy Oh” as my mother would say. (I think Billy Oh was an exceptionally hard worker from the west of Ireland.) We haven’t done a live episode since Danny O’Reilly in Galway and had no plans to until Roddy Doyle said he’d do one in Dublin as part of the Dublin Podcast Festival. It’s happening on Friday September 22nd in the Tivoli Theatre. I’ve been a fan of Roddy’s since I was a child so this really will be a bizarre and wonderful night. I’d love to have as many of you guys there as possible but the tickets are limited – please buy them soon from here. And I’ll see you there.
Well 4 years to be exact! It feels quick. In May 2013, I sat on my bed in my first tiny bedroom in England and recorded the first interview with Graham Linehan. And here we are today, 200 episodes. Thanks, if you are one of the people who downloaded or recommended or donated to the show in that time. I would love to say we would still be making it if you didn’t listen but the truth is probably a lot further away from that. Most podcasts die in the first year. Ours has lived on and flourished because you guys listening and the constant, never ending emails demanding more episodes! The abusive emails you have sent me have been the wood for the fire. The positive messages have been the spark. What’s the point of fire wood without something to ignite it. I hope you will keep listening to and sharing the podcast. We have, as hard as this is to believe, a lot more guests still to come on the show. And that makes me excited in healthy way.
I want to give a shoutout to our longtime sponsor Currencyfair. Their support has been incredibly helpful in getting us to this milestone. I think a nice way of thanking them might be to signup now and let them know the Irishman Abroad sent you. Just an idea.
The hardest period we ever had in making the podcast was the time I donated the kidney to my brother. It feels amazing now to look back on it and know that that is part of the journey of our podcast. My brother is doing great, I get pissed a lot easier now (saving me time and money) and my standup show about it is about to go on a month-long run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I sometimes feel weird telling people to come to my standup when they are fans of the podcast because the two things are quite different. Like if you went to a restaurant and the owner came around to your table and said, “If you like the food, you’ll love my singing.” But the thing is, the podcast and the standup aren’t as different as steak and karaoke. I believe, if you like the podcast you’ll love the standup – it’s a lot funnier and it’s really what I’ve been working on my whole life. I’m not threatening you but if you don’t come to see that standup…look, I’m just saying it would be in your interest to come to the show in Edinburgh (August), Vicar Street (January) or Leicester Square (January).
In the meantime, I’ll keep making the podcast and later in the year I’m going to give you something else. Something that’s new and hopefully even better.
After months of lab testing and research we are delighted to present the new Irishman Abroad t-shirt. Still, like Ryan Gosling, as appealing to both men and women, the Irishman Abroad t-shirt of champions is 100% cotton and printed using only the best materials known to man. The new design features the names of every guest ever to appear on the show since it began 200 episodes ago. Extra durable and available in all sizes from small to XXL it will be shipped to you or your Irish friend abroad for one tiny donation of £20. Scroll down, click the donate button and start supporting the show today. Donate £30 and you’ll receive your t-shirt with the Irishman Abroad canvas bag.
Lads, I’m so so happy to announce that my new show Organ Freeman is coming to Dublin and the best comedy venue in the world Vicar Street. The new show tells the story of donating my kidney to my brother and much much more besides. You’re going to love it. Tickets go on sale tomorrow. Spread the word. Lets sell this out.