5 Top Brisbane Experiences With Des Bishop

Des Bishop Des Bishop

Native New Yorker and one of Ireland's most loved comedians, Des Bishop makes his return to Australia.

His new show 'Egorithm' will delve into his thoughts on a myriad of matters: male defensiveness around feminism; Islamophobia; his time in China; men; sexual harassment and more. In celebration of his first stop in Australia, Des lists five of his top experiences in Brisbane and beyond.

My first sell-out show in the Valley

My first three experiences are related to the one night. The first show I ever had in Brisbane was when I performed at the Tivoli in the Fortitude Valley. How does a comedian who is unknown in Australia sell out a venue that big? Well he does it during the Great Recession when thousands of Irish flooded Australia. They then flooded my Brisbane show and I looked like a superstar.

Brisbane doesn’t know how to deal with my crowd

During the sound check I had an argument with the venue manager. I had asked them to close the bar during the performance. They told me that they never do this and there was no way they could shut the bar. I told them that with my crowd, if they leave the bar open it will be total chaos. After some back and forth they humoured me and told me they would shut it. Fifteen minutes after the show was meant to start they came back to me apologising saying they had never seen a rush for the bar like it and they literally can’t close the shutters of the bar. I told them in Ireland you have to literally close the shutter on their heads because it’s like the last helicopter out of Saigon. They think the world will end if they don’t get served.

The actual superstar was my support act

That night I needed a support act and the only local guy I knew was a new act called Josh Thomas who would very soon after that go on to be the real superstar. He was probably excited to perform to a hometown crowd in a great venue. But he might as well have been in County Mayo. All his great Aussie humour went right over the Irish heads and they missed out on an opportunity to see a star just starting to shine. The ones that stayed in Australia would probably stop him on the street for a selfie today oblivious to the fact that they ignored him in 2008. The last laugh is always the best one.

My aunt actually lives in Forest Hill, Queensland

My dad’s sister lives a couple of hours drive from Brisbane. Back in 2010 Brisbane was one of the first cities I ever performed the show about my dad called 'My Dad Was Nearly James Bond'. So I went to visit my aunt and my cousin Helen who I hadn’t seen since I was about five years old. They came to the show also. It makes you feel more connected to a place to have relatives who are that close to you but have always seemed so far away suddenly sit in a venue and watch you perform. Especially at a show like the one about my dad.

I love Wet 'n' Wild

Ok judge me if you want but I love water slides. You can’t keep me away from that place when I am in Brisbane for a week. Harley Breen once took me to Dreamworld but the rides there just made me sick and I didn’t get any material out of it like Harley said I would. But Wet 'n' Wild is a cracker. You guys come and see my show at night and I will entertain you but during the day I will be trying to get as high as I can on the Kamikaze. Now that’s entertainment!

Des Bishop Dates

22-25 March – Brisbane Powerhouse (Brisbane Comedy Festival)
29 March-22 April – Greek Centre (Melbourne Comedy Festival)
24-29 April – The Comedy Store (Sydney Comedy Festival)
4 May – Regal Theatre (Perth Comedy Festival)


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