Karl McDermott

Posted by Sue Leonard on Wednesday 10th October 2018

Karl has always loved comedy.

“We only had one TV channel when I was growing up, and I was obsessed with old black and white movies. I loved comedians like Danny Kaye and old Bob Hope movies.”

Hating his commerce course at university, he became involved in DramSoc.

“That tweaked my interest in performing.”

Karl moved to Dublin in the mid-eighties and was in at the beginning of the new comedy.

“I helped set up the comedy cellar in the International.”

He performed stand-up comedy until 2003 – appearing, three times at the Edinburgh Festival, (this was the early nineties,) and meanwhile he also wrote plays for RTE; a TV series, and a series for BBC Radio 4.

“I’ve always been a struggling artist,” he says.

He spent eight years writing screenplays, and some were, nearly, made.  He has written two previous books, The Creative Lower Being and an e-book, Ireland’s Favourite Failure.

“They’re the same style as the new book. They’re bits of spoof diary and blog, interspersed with short stories or vignettes. They suit me with my curse of the versatility.”

Who is Karl MacDermott.

Date of birth: 12th of April 1963 in Galway City.

Education:  St. Joseph’s College Secondary School, Nun’s Island, Galway, then studied Commerce in UCG (now NUIG).

Home: Kilmainham, Dublin.

Family: Danish-born wife Astrid and two cats Gummo and Zeppo.

The Day Job: A full-time humour writer.

In Another Life: “I always wanted to be the first Irishman in space. My mother claims it is because I love looking down on people.”

Favourite Writers: Joseph Heller, Patrick Hamilton, Sam Lipsyte and John Fante.

Next Book: I have a direct sequel to ‘Juggling With Turnips’ in the works called ‘More Juggling With More Turnips’.

Top Tip:  “Some of my best ideas occur during the hours I spend hiding under my bed.”

Twitter: @endlesshilarity

The Debut: Juggling With Turnips. Eyewear Publishing: €14.85.

The fictitious Karl is meeting with his agent, Sisypheas O’Shea to interest him in his book of stories. Suggesting a variety of more lucrative genres, the agent promises to read them, but never does.

The author’s quest to get someone, anyone, to read some stories punctuates the twenty-three hilarious vignettes.

The Verdict: Quirky; readable; with some gloriously comic moments.

Published in The Irish Examiner on 18th August.

© Sue Leonard. 2018

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