Dan Tiernan opens his 2023 EdFringe listing by putting it frankly – “He’s 27, gay and riddled with dyspraxia.” He’s had a big year – he’s quit his job as a Dinner Lady, gone full time in comedy, and left home, yet he still feels like he’s Going Under. Reigning British Comedian of the Year Dan Tiernan brings his debut Fringe comedy hour that he describes as “gag-heavy” and “high energy”. We wanted to know what’s got him feeling overwhelmed in the past year, how he’s found the funny in it, and how he plans to make people laugh as much as possible in his debut.
Catch Dan Tiernan: Going Under at Monkey Barrel Comedy (Monkey Barrel 2) from tonight, 31st July, until August 27th (not the 14th) at 22:00. Tickets are available through the EdFringe Box Office.
Jake: Hey Dan! You’re bringing your new show ‘Going Under’ to Edinburgh – which is all about newfound independence and the feeling that you’re still, as you say, ‘going under’. Tell us about the process of finding comedy in that and how you made a show from it.
Dan: The best stand up is original and gets across your uniqueness and originality, and that’s what I really wanted to do with this show. For that reason I talk about all aspects of my life whether it my dyspraxia, being a gay man or dealing with challenging moments in my personal life. Life can be really hard and sometimes and I find the best cure is finding the absurdity and the mania in it all.
I don’t have an ironed out writing process, the best jokes come naturally when i’m daydreaming not trying to write. There’s definitely a balance to be found to still have a structured writing process to keep you moving forward, but never too structured as to take away the spontaneity of it.
Jake: You’ve had a big year to put it lightly – quitting your job, moving out and going full-time in comedy. How does it feel to be debuting your show and what are you hoping the audience will take away from it?
Dan: Since winning the BBC New Comedy Award and British Comedian Of The Year in 2022 my life has completely changed. Going full time as a comic has been my dream ever since I discovered what comedy was. I first took a show up to the fringe in 2018; a split bill with my good friend Paddy Young. We were on at 1pm, and it was hell on earth. We both fantasised about one day doing our debut hours and it’s crazy to think the time for both of us has finally come. I’m absolutely buzzing with Monkey Barrel in MB2. I have a vivid memory of seeing Sam Campbell there, one of the most inspiring shows I have ever seen.
I’m thrilled to be on at 10pm. One of the things about the Fringe is it opens the door for late night comedy chaos, in a way i’ve never seen anywhere else in the road.
The only thing i want for the audience is for them to laugh as much as possible. Someone recently told me i made them hurt with laughter, and i think thats the greatest compliment i’ve ever received.
Jake: Tell us about your relationship with Edinburgh and the Fringe – how are you feeling about it all now we are a month away? I changed the question as i answered part of this above.
Dan: I love the Fringe it’s my favourite place on earth. It’s been a stressful build up but for the first time I feel like I’ve got a show and I’m getting really excited to take it to Edinburgh. Its going to be a long intense month but doing stand up is my favourite thing in the world, so getting to do this new material to a new crowd is huge.
Jake: Given the themes of Binge Fringe, if your show was a beverage of any kind (alcoholic, non-alcoholic – be as creative as you like!), what would it be and why?
Dan: It would be a pint of cold baked beans. With a red bull top.
Photo Credit: Drew Forsyth