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The Real Irish Comedy Fest

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Dubliner and long-term San Francisco resident David Nihill is on a mission to change perceptions of Ireland in America and simultaneously help Irish comedians get exposure United Stateside. Thus begins The Real Irish Comedy Fest which will tour to 6 cities in and around the San Francisco Bay Area in the run up to this years St Patrick’s Day-- not Patty’s Day as Nihill is quick to remind us:


“Patty is a woman's name. Paddy in Ireland is short for Patrick which is a man’s name and that of our Patron Saint and the man we honor with this celebration. That would be like us celebrating Martina Luther King Day. Slight letter change, big difference and an important one to get right” he said. 


Among the acts performing are Sean Finnerty from Longford, one of the first Irish comedians to appear on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Katie Boyle from Kildare, Mark Hayes from Cork, Dubliner Francis Cronin and Maureen Langan. 


“Ireland is famous for comedy, storytelling, and producing great comedians," David Nihill says “but few of them make it in America. Not because they are not funny enough, but because they often don’t get the support they need.” Nihill who recently became the first Irish person to win the San Francisco Comedy Competition in its 43-year history, believes that America is ready for a new brand of Irish comedy.


Thankfully with plenty of shows coming up, all celebrating Irish Comedy, the Real Irish Comedy Fest will have plenty opportunity to convince us.



About the Comics:


Dave Nihill, Real Irish Comedy Fest founder and director is based in California and originally from Dublin. Dave is an NPR-featured storyteller, bestselling author, winner of the 43rd Annual San Francisco Comedy Competition, and runner up in The Moth’s largest US Grandslam storytelling competition. His work has been featured in Inc, The Huffington Post, Forbes, The Irish Times, The Irish Independent, Today FM, and on TV3.


Sean Finnerty is based in NYC and originally from Longford. Sean was selected for Comedy Central’s Up Next competition and as a semi-finalist in both the 2014 Florida’s Funniest Comedian Competition and the 2014 Charleston Comedy Festival. Sean has also been on the Tonight show with Jimmy Fallon and has worked alongside touring headliners such as Dan Cummins, Mick Foley, Tommy Johnagin, Shane Mauss, Sean Patton, Rich Vos, Bobby Slayton, Mark Normand, Joe List, Maronzio Vance, Ben Kronberg, and Dustin Diamond. Watch Sean Finnerty on Jimmy Fallon.


Ger Staunton quickly became a regular headline act on the Irish Comedy circuit and has already been described by the International Comedy Club in Dublin as “One of the best comedy writers in Ireland.” His material is meticulously crafted and delivered in the kind of playful, tongue-in-cheek style that endears him to audiences of all ages and demographics. Staunton has been performing all over Ireland and the UK as well as just finishing a 7-city European tour and is currently working towards his 3rd Edinburgh Fringe Festival show. 


Maureen Langan was named one of the “Ten Standout Stand-ups Worth Watching” by Backstage Magazine. She is also a TED speaker and an award-winning broadcast journalist. She can be heard every Sunday night hosting Hangin’ with Langan, a live, three-hour talk show on San Francisco’s premier radio station KGO.  She has dished with the likes of Howard Stern, Joan Rivers, George Carlin, Sandra Bernhard, and John Cleese. MAUREEN’s skills as a comic and journalist make her a popular contributor on the talk show circuit, including HLN, CBS, FOX and MSNBC.


Katie Boyle, based in NYC and originally from County Kildare, is a regular at The Stand, New York Comedy Club, Broadway, Greenwich, Creek and the Cave and refuses to say ‘third’ on stage. She has toured multiple states and was featured in the Hartford and Albany Funnybones. Generally she talks extensively about her journey through American culture and her insane murderous family! A festival favourite she was in The Women in Comedy Festival, the Cinderblock festival, Brooklyn Comedy Festival, Cape Fear Festival, Asheville Comedy Festival and the Kansas City Irish Festival.


Mark Hayes, has been dubbed “Ireland’s craziest and wittiest comedian and writer, a poet at times.” Saying that he has also been called the “runt of Irish literature” so take your pick. He is the author of three books including RanDumb: The Adventures of an Irish Guy in LA which was number one on Amazon Humour, he also writes a weekly column about life in LA for the Irish Examiner. Mark runs his own weekly show every Friday night at the Laugh Factory and can be found performing all over LA and around the country opening for Chris D’Elia.



The Real Irish Comedy Fest


Tour Dates:


March 9th: Comedy Oakland


March 10th: Kuumbwa Jazz Club, Santa Cruz


March 12th: Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley


March 14th: San Jose Improv


March 15th: Folktale Winery, Monterey


March 17th: St. Patrick’s Day, Cobbs Comedy Club, San Francisco


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