Mental Anaesthetic

Before his Kinda Mental show hits The Whale on April 22nd, Keith Walsh tries to figure out where the funny comes from.

Hey, the name’s Walsh, Keith Walsh.

Now you may think that I’m a big Bond fan from that opening line. But I’m not.

I like cereal, music when I’m in the mood, some comedy, (some) people and writing one-man shows about myself.

I’ve written one one-man show about myself but I think that’s probably the most one could write. Shout out to anyone who has written more than one one man or one woman, or one person, shows about themselves, I’ll buy you a pint.

My show is called Pure Mental and it’s the best one-man show I’ve ever written. In my play, that I’m in, I talk about growing up in Athlone and as you can see, I was easily impressed…or was I?

I was really impressed by Shay Healy and Nighthawks that went out as live, or actually live, on RTE, or was it Network 2 (with its cool new logo)? Every Thursday night. Boy was I impressed. It was loose, madcap, but hugely entertaining and different. Different to whatever it was the parents were watching. I watched this during my break from not studying for my Junior Cert. A drunk Eamon Dunphy and a merrily jovial Johnny Giles singing, live on your telly on a Thursday night. Where would you get it?

It was on Nighthawks that I first clapped eyes on the wonderful Kevin McAleer. One of the funniest Irish men to ever stand up on a stage.

Because I grew up watching Nighthawks I was prepared when The End came along. It was 1995 and fresh-faced Barry Murphy and Sean Moncrieff were let off the leash in RTE with a budget of whatever change Gay Byrne had in his trousers on a Monday morning, to create a show, or a collection of links, between shows…

I can’t really remember.

Well, it was the ’90s, and if you remember the ’90s, you weren’t there.

All I remember is laughing a lot, Barry Murphy with cardboard hair as Frank Stapelton and Joe Rooney singing a parody of an East 17 song Stay, but his song was about the time he dropped an e outside Cleary’s, but then the fuzz wrecked his buzz… or something.

I also loved the movie Quadraphenia, and the original Woodstock documentary, and I watched Denis Leary’s No Cure For Cancer until the tape in the video snapped.

I hope this explains everything…


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