Tommy Tiernan returns to NYC for a limited engagement, not afraid of long stories or tall tales

Tommy Tiernan Photo Credit Nick Hitchcox Fresh off a successful Edinburgh run of his show, Crooked Man, Tommy Tiernan is set to touch down in New York City for another limited engagement this weekend at Comix. While still in Ireland, Tiernan managed to send out a few answers via email to my questions. Hard-hitting stuff. Not really. Carry on.

American comedian Bob Marley is going to do a marathon performance from Sept. 22-24 in Maine, and the PR on that said he was attempting to beat the Guinness World Record held by Lindsay Webb of Australia, 38 hours 6 minutes in April 2009. How did Webb one-up you so quickly?
He’s on Drugs

Perhaps more importantly, what did you learn about yourself and your comedy by undertaking your own weekend-long marathon in 2009? Did it prompt you to write material differently? Did it change you, fundamentally or even superficially?
I learned that I am endlessly fascinated by the sound of my own voice. It changed me in the sense that I now leave myself messages on my own answering machine.

And what do you make of the idea of these longest-ever stand-up shows, having done it yourself? How long can an audience laugh, anyhow? Did you find that out?
Any experience where the performer gets to the far side of themselves can be good…length as a wholesome hallucinogen. An audience can laugh to infinity….shhh….can you hear them?

You're known here as a storyteller. In America, the current stand-up comedy trend seems to be heading your way, but still, many mainstream comedy club audiences may be more accustomed to, or expecting, set-up punchline, set-up punchline. What's the trick to getting these audiences on your side before you lose them?
Jesus you make it sound very complicated. I once went to a play where halfway through the audience got a glass of vodka and a slice of cake each….

How many times have you done a run at Edinburgh? Are you able to achieve any sort of inner peace performing amid so many other performers in one city for one month?
I achieve inner peace by drinking coffee to speed me up and smoking a pipe to slow me down. I then sit back objectively and watch what happens

I know you've been to New York before. Do you have any stories about your past trips here, either onstage or off, that you could share?
I once stayed up for three days and three nights eating candy. I eventually fell asleep in a taxi cab heading out towards Yonkers. When I woke up, I was a small Mexican woman working in a laundrette in Buffalo

Have you performed anywhere else in America yet? If so, where? Where would you like to perform here in the States, and why?
I‚Äôve performed for Barack Obama in the White House but it‚Äôs not something he talks about much. We played chase and nude pool. I found him quite shy actually. I‚Äôd love to do a show in Grand Canyon…

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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