Published on November 14th, 2011 | by Amanda1
The Comedy Interview: Shane Hughes
Shane Hughes is a relative newbie to the comedy circuit. He moved back from the UK in September of last year to try his hand at the comedy thing. I caught up with the man who, the last time I met him, claimed that if you can make a woman laugh you’re half way there, to put this theory to the test!
So Shane, how did you end up doing comedy?
Well I moved back home to Tullamore last September from the UK. It’s always been a dream of mine to do comedy ever since I was a kid. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. So I got in touch with the Laughter Lounge who told me to go to competitions like the Battle of the Axe and do open mic slots etc. so that’s what I did, I did my first gig on the 25th Jan this year!
Talking about competitions, are they hard to do?
They can be. It depends on the line up and the amount of people on! I find I prepared a lot more for them. I suppose that’s the competitive streak in me. You need to go into them wanting to win and wanting people to know your name. It can hard sometimes for me though as I am living in Tullamore so I use Facebook and Twitter to publicise myself a lot! My long term goal is to move to Dublin though.
Who are your comedy inspirations?
Eddie Izzard would be my favourite by a country mile. I love Billy Connolly’s story telling. There are very few comedians out there that I don’t like because there are so many new comedians and new styles out there now. But Eddie would have to be my favourite.
How do you test your material? In front of the mirror at home maybe?
I used to do that…nah just kidding! I’ve never stood in front of the mirror holding a hairbrush with a suit jacket on going over my set! I have however used a stopwatch and gone over my whole set on my own! I also use Facebook and Twitter to test some new material. I’ll put something up that comes into my head and see what reactions it gets, if it’s good, then I’ll work it into a set somehow!
Being a comedian, what makes you laugh? What makes you sad?
Em…I’m quite openly immature! I laugh at things like people falling over, people, and people farting…. Quick witted people also make me laugh and people who are just naturally funny! What makes me sad? Getting myself down I think. I can be very hard on myself. I had a few bad months where I didn’t want to do comedy anymore. Sometimes nerves get the better of me which makes me sad too.
So what makes you feel able to get up on stage and do try to make people laugh? Is it bravery, is it about being confident? Or just cocky?
I think ultimately it is the most frightening thing I have ever done. But it’s like that for every type of entertainer, not just comedians. For me it was having the constant reassurance throughout school etc. From family and friends that I was always funny and that I should be up on stage, gave me the confidence to go and do it.
Does it get easier?
Em… it does. But it depends on the room most of the time. Comedians are always going to want a full room with lots of laughter, if you get a quiet crowd it can disheartening or if you say something that doesn’t agree with them, you could be in trouble!
On that point Shane, I’ve seen your stand-up comedy before, sometimes you go right to the edge, is this hard thing to get away with?
It can be quite difficult, but I’m a nice happy person by nature. I don’t find being offensive or insulting people funny. I dice around it and maybe throw a cheeky grin and let the audience decide what to do with it. That way everyone knows what has been said but it hasn’t actually been said! One of the first things I was ever told when I got into comedy was don’t do anything over the top just for the shock factor.
Describe yourself in 5 words?
Funny! Cheeky, Happy, Stubborn, Caring
Where does your material come from?
I’d say 99.9% of my material is stuff that actually happens in real life (at this point I’m looking at Shane in a I don’t believe you kinda fashion!) Every set I’ve ever done is real. Well ok the first gig I did, I made up a bit at the end! Though I sent that to some friends of mine who would know me really well and they all said I needed to take the last bit out! I’m not an actor; I’m just a funny guy who tells stories about myself in a funny way I hope! All the stories I tell are real, anything else I say is just stuff that comes out of my mental head!
What are your professional ambitions?
I want to be a successful comedian! When I started off I was very impatient. I know now that it’s going to take time. For me it’s going to be the only thing I’ve ever achieved. I’ve put a lot of effort into it. The first time I ever saw a careers advisor in school, she actually smelled like a cat and wore a cardigan that looked like a cat, and I’m convinced she was half cat! I told her I wanted to be a comedic actor and she said I would never be that. I’m a qualified mechanic but left as soon as I got my qualification! I love dealing with people more. I love the buzz of being on stage. This is what I want to do.
Right Shane, its random question time! Your one is…. If you could have dinner with any famous person, past or present, who would it be and why?
I’d say Michael Collins. For someone so young, he achieved so much, it’s frightening. Looking at how hard it was back then and looking at how much time and effort he put in to it. He is one of the most inspirational Irish men ever.
So there you have it. We have learned that Shane had a half cat woman for a carer advisor teacher in school and I think he secretly does still stand in front of the mirror with the hairbrush! If you fancy testing his theory about making women laugh and being half way there, head along to the Capital Club on December 11th, you wont be disappointed I promise!
You can also follow Shane on Facebook: www.facebook.com/shanehughes
Or Twitter: @thehugheslad