P. J. Gallagher is an Irish stand-up comedian who became a household name from his television show Naked Camera. His various characters in the programme included a mentally unstable taxi driver, ladies man Jake Stevens and a “Dirty Auld One”, an old woman who makes sexual comments. His taxi driver character infuriated many well-known, highly respected media personalities in the third series, including rugby pundit George Hook and football presenter Bill O’Herlihy. He now presents P. J. and Damian in the Morning with Damian Farrelly on Classic Hits 4FM.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Marino and later moved to Clontarf in North Dublin. I still live there now and don’t think I could ever leave Dublin really. It’s a great city in spite of it all.
Tell me how comedy started for you?
Jason Byrne got me into it almost against my will. I didn’t even really understand what stand up comedy was until he told me about it and then he asked me to do gigs with him cause he didn’t want to do them on his own. I got really lucky to meet him when we both ended up working in a warehouse together as teenagers.
When did you know it was what you wanted to do?
When I realised I was no good at anything else. I’m not even joking. I remember the first gig I did that went well and thinking well this is it, it’s either this or nothing.
Were you always funny?
Ah I don’t know, I was always writing stuff down and talking a lot of rubbish, sometimes people laughed and sometimes they still do. I think I’m more lucky than funny to be honest. Anyone that can make a living telling jokes has luck on their side.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a comedian?
Maybe keeping a bed in Mountjoy warm or still riding motorbikes as a courier or something to do with dogs? I don’t really know to be honest. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I get to keep telling jokes for a while yet.
Have you ever had an embarrassing moment on stage?
Yeah loads. I always mishear things the audience say and I once fell off stage in Mullingar one night. Generally though it’s corporate gigs that cause big embarrassment as you tend to die on your arse but there’s a good feeling about ruining dinner on 200 accountants and getting paid for it, so there is that.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
Jason Byrne. He got me into it all, he kept me in it when it wasn’t working and he’s still the best stand up I’ve ever seen live. He’s my comedy daddy and one of the best people I’ve ever met.
Do you have a favourite one liner joke?
“Apparently, 1 in 5 people in the world are Chinese. And there are 5 people in my family, so it must be one of them. It’s either my mum or my dad. Or my older brother Colin. Or my younger brother Ho-Chan-Chu. But I think it’s Colin.” – Tim Vine
What can audiences expect from ‘Seperated at Birth’ at The Civic?
It’s a very different show, not the usual thing you’d expect from Joanne or me but it is a comedy show and it is fun. It just happens to be about adoption.
Separated at Birth comes to at The Civic on Thursday 29th October 2015 for 1 night only. Tickets are €18 and are on sale from our box office – 01 4627477 or online here