You can keep your James Bond, says Irish American comedian Des Bishop. For millions the British secret agent is an icon of staying cool under pressure machismo, with a car full of spy-gadgets at his command, and of course, a license to kill.
But award winning comedian Bishop believes that the qualities that truly make a man don't involve jetting around the world meeting supermodels and shooting bad guys, and he explores this notion in his new show "My Dad Was Nearly James Bond."
"Before I was born, my father had another life," Bishp told the press. "As a boy I thought it was the coolest thing ever that my father was a model and appeared as a blind pilot in Day of the Triffids and had one line in Zulu."
"His biggest claim was that he was very close to getting the role of James Bond. George Lazenby got the part, and we never watched James Bond in our house as it reminded my father of his regrets about the career he left behind to raise a family. But in all the scrapes Bond got through, he never had to raise a family and there is no gadget that Q could ever have created to help with that."
Bishop was broken hearted but also inspired by his father’s recent diagnosis of lung cancer, and in "My Dad Was Nearly James Bond" he tells an intimate, moving and often wildly funny tale of a remarkable life tinged with deep regret. It's being called the work of his career by bowled-over critics.
And Bishop knows that by celebrating the real triumphs of fatherhood, he's shining a spotlight on the absurd images of so-called manhood that the movies try to sell us.
You can catch a preview of Bishop performing scenes from the show at the Sydney Comedy Festival above.