PJ Gallagher in Dubai

Irish comedian gives advice to Time Out ahead of Dubai gig

Interview
Interview
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Back in January, PJ Gallagher – Patrick Joseph to his mother – arrived in Dubai for his first stand-up gig in the city, along with a posse of Irish comedians. Tickets to McGettigan’s first ComedyFest were almost entirely sold out, and now the pub’s owners have decided to fly Gallagher and fellow Irish funnyman Eric Lalor back out for their Arthur’s Day LOL gig on September 22 (the day celebrates the founder of the famous black stuff, Arthur Guinness).

In his native Ireland, 36-year-old Gallagher is best known for his hidden camera show, Naked Camera, in which he puts members of the public in all manner of awkward circumstances. With that in mind, we grilled him on the best ways to handle uncomfortable everyday situations.

The first date…
‘Rule number one is never, ever talk about your exes, isn’t it? Definitely don’t order anything you have to eat with your hands. You’ve ordered your favourite food, but it’s such an ordeal to get it into your face that you’ve disgusted everybody within a 10-table radius. Don’t send text messages, or look at your phone, and pay genuine compliments: don’t do the whole: “your hair looks lovely” when you’ve no idea what it’s normally like [laughs]. Never accept a compliment. When somebody says: “you look great”, you can’t say “I know”. You have to be gracious. You have to say: “Oh no, I look terrible, for sure – someone was shot in this suit.”’

The business meeting you’ve been bullied into…
‘Don’t wear shorts or flip flops. Try not to crack rude jokes – any jokes at all, actually. If it’s a business meeting, you should probably stick to business. I normally spend 20 minutes talking about coffee, my last gig, how are you, how’s your wife – even though I’ve never met the wife – and then we get five minutes of business in, I leave, and everyone’s more confused than they were in the first place. I’ve had meetings where I’ve no idea what the other person does. On that note, “do your research” is probably good advice.’

Getting fired. Again…
‘This is something I know quite a lot about. That’s as bad as it gets, so you may as well take everything. There’s nothing better than walking into your next job and saying, “You’d better not fire me, because I stole everything from the last person who did – I ransacked the place.” Go out in style! Nick your boss’s dog, do prank phone calls, and send pizzas to his house every night. Enjoy it! Make sure nobody will ever fire you again out of pure fear, then you can be as rubbish as you want in your next job.’

Meeting the potential in-laws…
Be more awkward than they are. Your future wife is going to want to stay with you much more if her parents complain about you. Let her keep having fights with them because they keep saying: “I don’t like your boyfriend, I hate the way he turns up naked, the way he won’t wash himself before he meets us, and the way he keeps talking to the dog when I ask him questions.” Then the fighting is always in the other house. When she comes home, she can say: “They really hate you”, and you can say: “I know! They’re so rude!”’

The dinner party where you know no one…
‘I hate dinner parties. Just say nothing, be really quiet, be the weirdo in the corner – that gives everybody else something to talk about when you go to the toilet. Turn up empty-handed, because that’ll definitely give them something to gossip about. Don’t bring a bottle or food, just take everything. In fact, take a bottle to the toilet, then they’ll have something to talk about for ages.’

PJ Gallagher and Eric Lalor will perform at McGettigan’s Arthur’s Day LOL gig on Thursday September 22. Entry is free but space is limited – arrive early to avoid disappointment. The Bonnington Hotel, Jumeirah Lakes Towers (04 356 0560)

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