David Nihill is on a mission to change the perception of the Irish in American comedy
Irish comedian David Nihill is out to prove that Ireland is “woke as feck.”
Nihill, a native of Dublin who now lives in San Francisco, is acutely aware of the perception of Irish in America, particularly within comedy, and he wants to fix it.
“Ireland is famous for comedy, storytelling, having the craic and producing really great comedians, but few of them make it in America,” says Nihill.
“Not because they are not funny enough, but because they often don’t get the support they need.”
Nihill recently won the San Francisco Comedy Competition, the first Irish person to do so in the contest’s 43-year history, making it clear that America is ready for a new brand of Irish comedy.
Huge congratulations to Dublin-native David Nihill @FunnyBizzSF becoming the first Irish person to win the illustrious San Francisco Comedy Competition with his unique take on how “woke” Ireland has become! See David at @IrelandWeek 2018 https://t.co/bTc8ExHQJS— Irish Consulate W US (@IrelandinSF) October 1, 2018
However, as Nihill points out, Irish stand-up comedy in the US does not receive funding from the Irish government, despite many other groups receiving support. For 2018, The Irish Arts Council offered €28.4 million through its Strategic Funding program to 156 arts-based organizations, but not a cent for standup comedy.
With the lack of support being provided for “authentic” Irish comedians, “the gap is being filled by voices that don’t exactly reflect modern Ireland,” says Nihill.
As a solution, Nihill has founded and is promoting his Real Irish Comedy Tour, which aims to “promote and advance Irish comedians in the United States by fostering partnerships, growing audiences, and entertaining attendees with Ireland’s unique wit and storytelling talent.”
Nihill says he’s looking to bring Irish comedians to the US “to spread the message (in the funniest way possible) that modern-day Ireland is a very diverse and welcoming and forward-thinking place, contrary to how it is often portrayed in US comedy media circles.”
Nihill is appealing for advance ticket sales via the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter in order to bring “the best blend of Irish comedic talent to the United States” for a multi-date run in March around America’s favorite Irish import, St. Patrick’s Day.
Do you think the Irish could be better represented within American comedy? Share your thoughts in the comments!