Limerick comedian Karl Spain was voted the county’s funniest man and was interviewed on Newstalk’s Summer Tour.
Speaking to Down to Business with Bobby Kerr at the Hunt Museum, Co Limerick, Mr Spain said everyone is always “surprised” at how nice Limerick is.
“Whether they’re at UL, they’re going to a match,” he said. “I’ve met people who have been to UL all over the world.”
“I was in Beijing once and this guy comes up to me and he says, ‘Karl Spain’, and he lived in Limerick – he had studied in UL to learn English but he learned English with a Limerick accent.
“He was this Chinese guy saying, ‘I know you like’, ‘I know what I’m doing like’.”
Mr Spain said they “can’t get rid of him” in Limerick as he still resides in his native county.
“I’m taking some down time at the moment here,” he said.
He said he found his origins as a comedian by telling jokes at a fast-food chain as a teenager.
“Burger Land in Limerick,” he said. “It's gone so many years that i think the O'Connell street road works were just started.
Mr Spain officially decided he wanted to be a comedian at 18 when he saw Billy Connolly at the Theatre Royal in Limerick.
“It was like watching Lionel Messi play football and say, “you know, I used to play five-a-side with the lads, I might give this a go’,” he said.
Tomorrow @NewstalkFM: I’ll be coming to you live from @HuntMuseum as part of Newstalk’s #SummerTour! We’ll have a who’s who of Limerick natives & businesses with some special guests & live music to boot - tune in from 11am tomorrow and make sure you don't miss out! #BobbyMeansBiz pic.twitter.com/oYKqPaQ8wu
— Bobby Kerr (@bobbykerr) June 23, 2023
He didn’t start his comedy career until he was 28 – but Mr Spain thinks this gave him an advantage.
“I had more life experience, more to talk about than just being 18 and saying, ‘isn’t this thing weird’,” he said.
Terry Wogan was another inspiration for Mr Spain – although many did not realise his Limerick connection.
“It's funny doing gigs over in England and people not even connecting him to the Irish,” Mr Spain said. “I would say, ‘I’m from Limerick like Terry Wogan’, and they’d just say, ‘what’.”
There are plenty of things Mr Spain likes about his Limerick upbringing – except perhaps all the rugby that was played.
“I wasn’t a rugby player,” he said. “I went to training once with Bohemians because I was a tall child and they thought they’d get me playing rugby.”
“We were just practicing tackling. It was fun – I'd play in the garden with my cousins and then I learned of the hand-off rule, and I thought this wasn’t for me at all.
“Some guy just smashed me in the face.”
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