David O'Doherty

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David O'Doherty
David O'Doherty.jpg
David O'Doherty performing at Bumbershoot in 2010.
Birth name David Nicholas O'Doherty
Born (1975-12-18) 18 December 1975 (age 39)
Dublin, Ireland
Medium Stand up, television
Nationality Irish
Years active 1999–present
Genres Musical comedy, Surreal humor
Notable works and roles The Boy Who Saved Comedy, David O'Doherty is My Name, The Modest Adventures of David O'Doherty (television series), Let's Comedy, Let's David O'Doherty CD, Danger Is Everywhere: A Handbook for Avoiding Danger
Website www.davidodoherty.com
British Comedy Awards
if.comedy award (2008)

David Nicholas O'Doherty (born 18 December 1975 in Dublin, Ireland)[1] is a Perrier Award winning Irish comedian, author, musician, actor and playwright. His stand-up has won two awards at the Edinburgh Fringe, Best Newcomer first of all and the if.comedy award in 2008 for his show Let's Comedy.[2] He has been nominated twice more for his work at the festival.

O'Doherty has also written a children's book, composed two plays and released two comedy CDs, the first of which Giggle Me Timbers (Jokes Ahoy) was recorded at his home in front of 35 people. O'Doherty's second CD release called Let's David O'Doherty was recorded in Whelans of Dublin and released in December 2009. His television series The Modest Adventures of David O'Doherty was broadcast on RTÉ Television in 2007. In 2006 he claimed that it took him "about three years to get a decent hour together and seven years to achieve this level of fame where (he is) the number three ranked person called David O'Doherty on Google".[3]


O'Doherty is well known for combining his comedic performance with tunes played on his miniature electronic keyboard. O'Doherty describes his own style of comedy in his song "FAQ for the DOD" as "very low energy musical whimsy" – or "VLEMWy," for short. This is an accurate summary as he delivers both his sung and spoken jokes with an extremely dry sarcasm. Most of his songs focus on unusual topics such as angry mathematicians, finding love ("Orange") and advice on how to dislodge a badger from one's leg.[4]

Comedic career[edit]

O'Doherty worked in telemarketing and temping before he made his first stage appearance at Dublin's Comedy Cellar in 1998.[5] His first full show was The Story of the Boy Who Saved Comedy which received a nomination for Perrier Best Newcomer when it was performed at Edinburgh Fringe. In 2006, he was nominated for an if.comedy award for his Edinburgh show, David O'Doherty Is My Name. O'Doherty has performed at festivals across the world in locations that include Melbourne, Montreal, New York City and Wellington NZ. He has toured Ireland with Tommy Tiernan, the United Kingdom with Rich Hall and the United States with Demetri Martin.[6] His CD, Giggle Me Timbers (Jokes Ahoy!), was released in 2006. He performs an annual show at UCD's Freshers Week.[7]

In August 2008, O'Doherty won the If.comedy award at the Edinburgh Fringe for his show Let's Comedy, which featured "a relationship in text messages, tunes played on a 3ft electronic keyboard, and a badger attack".[8] He was presented with the 2008 Intelligent Finance Comedy Award[9] and a cheque for £8,000 (€10,000)[10] by the previous winner Brendon Burns and the Australian author and television presenter Clive James. After his win O'Doherty returned to Ireland to perform at Electric Picnic 2008 and an October show at Vicar Street.[11] In October and November 2008, O'Doherty toured Canada as part of the Just For Laughs Comedy Tour.[12]

In May 2010, O'Doherty supported Flight of the Conchords for their sold out shows in the Olympia Theatre, Dublin.

Edinburgh Fringe shows[edit]

Year Title
2000 David O'Doherty: The Boy Who Saved Comedy
2002 David O'Doherty: Small Things
2003 David O'Doherty Creates Something New Under The Sun
2004 David O'Doherty in World Champion of Some Things
2005 David O'Doherty: Grown Up
2006 David O'Doherty Is My Name
2007 It's David O'Doherty Time
2008 David O'Doherty: Let's Comedy
2009 David O'Doherty: David O' Doh-party
2010 David O'Doherty: Somewhere Over The David O'Doherty
2011 David O'Doherty Is Looking Up
2011 David O'Doherty presents: Rory Sheridan's Tales Of The Antarctica
2012 Seize the David O'Doherty (Carpe D'O'Diem)
2013 David O'Doherty Will Try to Fix Everything
2014 David O'Doherty Has Checked Everything

Awards and nominations for stand-up comedy[edit]

O'Doherty has been decorated with numerous awards for his achievements in comedy. In 1999, he won the Channel 4 So You Think You're Funny Comedy Competition at the Edinburgh Fringe and was also a finalist in the BBC New Comedy Awards in the same year.[13] He has received the accolade of Hot Press Irish Comedian of the Year 2003.[citation needed] O'Doherty's other achievements at the Edinburgh Fringe include two nominations (2000, 2006) and a win (2008). In 2000, he was nominated for Perrier Best Newcomer Award for his show, David O'Doherty: The Boy Who Saved Comedy[citation needed] followed in 2006 by a nomination for The if.comeddie award for his show, David O'Doherty is My Name[citation needed] He eventually won the if.comedy Award (formerly the Perrier Award) in 2008 for Let's Comedy.[14] He was also nominated for the Barry Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2006.[15]

Year Recipient Award Result
1999 Edinburgh Fringe Channel 4 So You Think You're Funny Comedy Competition winner Won
1999 BBC New Comedy Awards 2nd
2000 Perrier Best Newcomer Award Nominated
2003 Hot Press Irish Comedian of the Year Won
2006 David O'Doherty is My Name If.comedy award Nominated
2006 David O'Doherty is My Name Barry Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Nominated
2008 Let's Comedy If.comedy award Won

Television career[edit]

In May 2007, O'Doherty's first TV series, The Modest Adventures of David O'Doherty, began airing on RTÉ Two. The six-part series was directed by John Carney, following the completion of his Academy Award-winning film Once.[16] The premise of each episode was to have the comedian attempt to achieve a goal which he set for himself. The show features O'Doherty, his neighbour Bryan, and his friend Maeve Higgins. A running gag in the show is a reference to road racing cyclist Stephen Roche.

# Title
1 "Galway"
David attempts to cycle from Dublin to Galway, for a show later that night. He quits 100 kilometres from his destination.
2 "27"
David attempts to have "a minor hit", preferably charting at number 27. His song "Orange" instead reaches number 30, losing the number 27 spot in the Irish Singles Chart to Jibbs's "Chain Hang Low".
3 "Job"
David tries to make his rent. A number of strategies are employed for this end; these include: betting money on a game of golf he plays with his nephew (and losing); betting money at a dog track (and losing); attempting to sell an office chair he found in a skip (and eventually making €1.70 on the sale); trying to find a job where he states in an interview that he can touch-type at around 40 words per minute. He turned down a telemarketing placement; and eventually acting as an assistant to his neighbour Bryan, whose work involved erecting signs about planning permission, leading to a string of jokes concerning erections. He eventually earned the €260 through the latter.
4 "Tour"
David does a stand-up tour which he has t-shirts printed for. One show is for children. He does a gig at Vicar Street (a 1200 seater venue), but due to it being cancelled and re-instated repeatedly only about 20 people attend. The t-shirts do not arrive until after the tour has finished and are too small.
5 "Movie"

David tries to make a short film. The film is to be about Ernest Shackleton's reasons for trekking to the Antarctic and heavily features penguins. He sneaks his crew into Dublin Zoo dressed in clothes of an 1800s style. Due to too many people walking into frame, he opts to acquire a penguin elsewhere in Dublin. This proves to be a difficult task with O'Doherty eventually buying an inflatable penguin on eBay for €35. The inflatable is blown away by the wind. O'Doherty subsequently dresses up to play the part of the penguin. The film premieres in a local pub during the half-time of a football match on TV. The film's plotline goes as follows: Shackleton's blocks are knocked over by bullies, one of whom has a picture of a penguin on his shirt.; His girlfriend breaks up with him at the penguin enclosure at the zoo. The penguins seem to mock him. ; His parents choke on Penguin chocolate biscuits. ; He goes to the Antarctic. ; He shoots a penguin. There is no applause for his film, however there is a cheer when the match is put back on.

This episode is dedicated to O'Doherty's friend's pet kitten, Tony, who appeared in the episode and died in 2007.
6 "Live"
David attempts to record a comedy CD. The CD is recorded in his one-room apartment. He then advertises the gig on A4-sized posters, asking to be contacted via e-mail if anyone is interested in coming to the show. Upwards of 30 chairmans are squeezed into the apartment.

O'Doherty appeared on Comedy Live Presents: Russell Brand and Friends shown on Channel 4 on 25 January 2008.

On 18 November 2010, O'Doherty presented episode 5 of the 24th series of BBC2 music quiz Never Mind the Buzzcocks. He also wrote and presented the end-of-series compilation, broadcast January 2011. O'Doherty had previously appeared on the show three times as a panellist.[17] He has since also appeared several times as a panellist on Channel 4's 8 Out of 10 Cats. In June 2012 he became the first Irish comedian to have their own Comedy Central Presents episode on American television.[18]

Radio appearances[edit]

O'Doherty appeared on The Jon Richardson Show on BBC 6 Music on 23 November 2008 and on 8 November 2009.

Literary career[edit]

O'Doherty has written widely for newspapers and magazines and also has two plays, two books and a radio series to his name. His debut book was a children's book entitled Ronan Long Gets It Wrong, written in 2001. It was illustrated by David Roberts and published by Mammoth Storybooks.[19] His first play is entitled Saddled and was written with Bryan Quinn. It was claimed as "the world's first theatrical production to feature live repair of audience members' bicycles". In 2008, he and fellow Irish comedian Maeve Higgins performed "I Can't Sleep", a play recommended for children aged 5–8. This was O'Doherty's first play for children. The play, which involved the audience entering the theatre to find both performers asleep in separate beds, was performed in both Dublin and Edinburgh.[20] He has also written a series for RTÉ Radio about bee detectives with his brother Mark, entitled The Bees of Manulla. O'Doherty released a book detailing 100 false facts about pandas called '100 Facts About Pandas'. He followed this up with '100 Facts About Sharks' which is 100 false facts about sharks. In 2014 he and illustrator, Chris Judge, released a children's book, 'Danger Is Everywhere: A Handbook for Avoiding Danger'[21]


In 2008, O'Doherty starred alongside comedian Dylan Moran, Keith Allen and Neil Jordan in A Film with Me in It, a cinematic release written by and starring his brother Mark Doherty.[22]


O'Doherty has also released two live audio albums, Let's David O'Doherty (2009) and We Are Not The Champions (2012), recorded at Whelan's in Dublin.[23]

Year Title Peak chart position
2007 "Orange" Republic of Ireland No. 30
2009 [1] Let's David O'Doherty CD Republic of Ireland
2012 [2] We Are Not The Champions Republic of Ireland


  1. ^ "Providing comedy solutions since late 1975". Davidodoherty.com. Retrieved 2013-08-21. 
  2. ^ Young, Kevin (23 August 2008). "O'Doherty wins main Fringe award". BBC. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  3. ^ "David O'Doherty – Grown Up". The Groggy Squirrel. 2 April 2006. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  4. ^ David O'Doherty at the Carlsberg Comedy Festival
  5. ^ "O'Doherty scoops top Edinburgh comedy award". Irish Independent. 25 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  6. ^ David O'Doherty at irish-comedy.com
  7. ^ David O'Doherty at the Astra Hall, Student Centre
  8. ^ Boztas, Senay (24 August 2008). "'Utterly delightful' David O'Doherty wins Edinburgh's top comedy award". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  9. ^ "Irish comedian wins UK comedy prize". Irish Independent. 24 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  10. ^ "David O'Doherty claims top Edinburgh comedy award". Hot Press. 25 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  11. ^ "David O'Doherty for Vicar St homecoming". Hot Press. 27 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  12. ^ "Just For Laughs Canadian Tour Official Page". 
  13. ^ Lister, David (25 August 2008). "David O'Doherty wins top award for his 'delightful' Edinburgh show". London: The Times. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  14. ^ "David does it!". Chortle. 24 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  15. ^ "Some facts about David O'Doherty". Rte.ie. Retrieved 2013-08-21. 
  16. ^ "The Modest Adventures of David O'Doherty @ www.rte.ie". Rte.ie. Retrieved 2013-08-21. 
  17. ^ "BBC Two - Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Series 24, 05/01/2011". Bbc.co.uk. 2011-01-30. Retrieved 2013-08-21. 
  18. ^ http://www.cc.com/episodes/dv4c6u/the-half-hour-david-o-doherty-season-1-ep-102.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ "''Ronan Long Gets it Wrong'' @". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-08-21. 
  20. ^ Radcliffe, Allan (2008-08-14). "I Can't Sleep". The List. Retrieved 2013-08-21. 
  21. ^ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Danger-Is-Everywhere-Handbook-Avoiding/dp/0141354151
  22. ^ A Film With Me in It at the Internet Movie Database
  23. ^ "David O'Doherty show in Whelan's". Hot Press. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 

External links[edit]

Chortle reviews

  1. David O'Doherty The Boy Who Saved Comedy
  2. David O'Doherty: Small Things
  3. David O'Doherty Creates Something New Under The Sun
  4. David O'Doherty in World Champion Of Some Things
  5. David O'Doherty: Grown Up
  6. David O'Doherty Is My Name