Performing to a sell-out crowd after a slew of recent comedy awards and nominations, Dan Tiernan proves himself worthy of the recognition while also being consistently and surprisingly self-deprecating.
He introduces himself in ‘Going Under’ by immediately dissing his own appearance before moving onto childhood experiences and the alternative school he attended due to his dyspraxia. He is always the first victim of his own jokes but sometimes turns the attention to family and members of the audience – something that he is brilliant at but which can be pretty alarming. Other areas for self-examination include navigating the world of Grindr, his relationship with his mum’s boyfriend, and the challenges of living alone for the first time – all laced with sarcasm and laughs at his own expense.
Whatever the subject matter – even the sensitive final segment about his sister’s health – Tiernan is a superstar punchline-writer. The stings are unexpected and smart and despite his boisterous manner, he is always fully in control of the set.
The phrase ‘in-your-face’ neatly sums up his delivery, in fact. It’s bombastic, intense, and very loud. It’s even a wonder he still has a voice at this late stage in the festival. Sometimes the yelling is is essential to the effectiveness of the gags and it’s clearly an element of an exaggerated character he’s presenting us with. It’s a fair amount of volume to take for a whole hour though, and Tiernan himself must be ready to keel over by the end. But the comic is in his zone from start to finish. The energy level is impressive and every joke is carefully and cleverly written. We truly are watching a performance rather than just the delivery of a memorised setlist.
‘Going Under’ runs until Sun 27 Aug 2023 at Monkey Barrel 2 at 22:00