David O'Doherty

David O'Doherty

In 2008, David O'Doherty won the if.comedy award at Edinburgh, two years after first being nominated.

He shot to fame at Edinburgh in 1999 when he won So You Think You're Funny and in 2003 was named Hot Press Irish Comedian Of The Year

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David O’Doherty at Latitude 2022

Festival comedy review

‘Let’s blow the temporary roof off this meadow!’ David O’Doherty opens his Latitude set with a perfect expression of the contradictory brand of modest swagger that he has come to make his own.

Every comedian was glad to be back on stage after lockdown, but O’Doherty’s relief seems more acute than most, having spent some of the pandemic on an island with infuriating parents, the rest of it alone in his flat. There’s mention of a breakup that preceded it but in no detail.

Even without that, there’s no shortage of grim and heartbreaking stories. There’s a tale of a mouse infestation with grisly consequences, and the anecdote of how DOD spent his 45th birthday is bleak indeed. Yet he’s remarkably cheerful when retelling these, reflecting an infectious optimism.

Portraying himself in more of a ‘hapless idiot’ role is an hilariously self-deprecating anecdote about needing to show his vaccine passport to enter venues in Australia. Elsewhere, in a song about the most minor of misdemeanours, he attempts to portray himself a hardcore bad-boy criminal, with the amusing mismatch between the assumed attitude and reality again speaking to his low-key status. And the detail in the song is typically fine.

I say song. As we know, O’Doherty’s versions are more like routines set to the music of his inexpensive keyboard. But it’s a hugely effective technique, as well as being his trademark. One number, about being besieged by tech-support requests from his uncomprehending parents, is especially strong, with a gag almost every line. Still he can dream of duet with Shakira… which, as his rendition proves, owes a lot more to O’Doherty’s mild-mannered domesticity than the Colombian firebrand’s sexual heat.

The Irishman might joke that his quirky appeal is limited, but there are more than 1,000 people in a Suffolk field who would disagree. As O'Doherty ends on a touching – and relatively sincere – note about how delighted he is to be back on stage, the feeling is mutual.

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Published: 24 Jul 2022

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Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2002

David O'Doherty: Small Things


Edinburgh Fringe 2005

David O'Doherty: Grown Up


Edinburgh Fringe 2006

David O'Doherty Is My Name


Edinburgh Fringe 2009

David O'Doherty: David O' Doh-party


Edinburgh Fringe 2016

David O'Doherty: Big Time


Edinburgh Fringe 2019

David O'Doherty: Ultrasound


Edinburgh Fringe 2022

David O'Doherty: whoa is me


Melbourne 2009

I Can't Sleep


Montreal 2006

O'Comic Gala


Agent

UK: Chambers Management
020 7796 3588
Ireland: Lisa Richards Agency
flee@lisarichards.ie

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