Both the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Melbourne in general attract people from all over the world. Irish comedian Mark McConnell moved to Melbourne a few years ago to start a new life, and he now has a career in making people laugh with his wacky imagination and charming accent. Milk Bar Magazine got to speak to Mark on his career, what inspires him and having to adapt to a whole new country.
What inspired you to become a comedian?
I was pretty much just disillusioned with my day job. I wasn’t happy with what was going on. I just felt comedy was the only thing I could do, I fell in love with it straight away.
Your show is about struggling to adapt to Australian life. In what ways was it hard to adapt to Australian life? What are the main cultural differences?
I find the cultures are very similar. The things I had to adapt to was adapting to a new land and find employment, fitting in, not having many friends. I love the culture over here. The humour comes across so much as well, so I fit right in.
As a comedian, do you feel there is a lot of difference between Irish and Australian humour?
I kind of find Irish and British and Australian humour quite similar. Irish people are renowed for storytelling abilities. If you try to do longer story bits, it doesn’t work on certain nights. Your comedic styles have to adapt and learn.
With all the gigs you’ve done in various countries, do you feel the sense of humour in different countries affect how your shows go? Or is the humour universal?
I think it’s universal. If you can engage the audience in first 20 seconds, you get a gauge was what will work and what own’t. in every country, it’s just a matter of getting a gauge. I wouldn’t classify it in terms of country, but in terms of the rooms and I work with that.
What’s the strangest gig you’ve ever done?
I performed comedy in a good friend’s living room, which was a enjoyable night. I was apprehensive at first, but it ended up being a good night.
What can audiences expect from the show?
A pretty bizarre imagination. I really felt happiest with when I write a show was my imagination running wild. No time frame, and I do what I want. They will walk away a bit puzzled, but with hearts filled with laughter.
Originally published here at milkbarmag.com on Thursday 31 March 2016