Following a successful TV series, Netflix distribution, a record-breaking movie, and sell-out comedy shows, Hardybuck Owen Colgan claims he's most "at peace" back home on the Atlantic coast.
"It was in the right place at the right time" Colgan explains discussing how a competition for amateur TV shows called RTE Storyland took them to national attention from the sleepy town of Swinford in County Mayo back in 2009.
"I was always trying to make people laugh in school" so making the move to a bigger screen felt natural for the stand-up and social media star.
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Colgan reiterates how ironically he has come full circle, starting on Youtube a decade ago to moving into traditional media and back as a social media star and influencer. His Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram accounts have hundreds of thousands of views and he details how it is important to "keep motivated even in January."
Just shy of his 36th birthday, Colgan describes how he never made "the big bucks" but is proud of being able to finally express his creativity and make people happy. Our discussion takes us back to the economic downturn of 2008 when out of having "nothing to do" the Hardy Bucks TV show appeared. Colgan believes that this time of quarantine and isolation will bring creativity forward and believes Irish people have a unique way of making others smile and tell stories.
When chatting about family, Colgan is both reserved and polite, explaining how his father still farms the land in Mayo and he goes picking stones with him. He says it makes "him question his career" as he struggles to explain that what he does is a job but one not based on "physical strength" and that staying in touch with his heritage and home keeps his feet on the ground. As we muse on the future, Colgan jokes that he will happily take "a million dollars" from anyone who wants to offer it for more shows and content but to break into America or England would constitute progress in the coming years.
What has become apparent is this "hardybuck" was always philosophical and a deep thinker but his on-stage image was never the real Owen Colgan now he is in a place where he is comfortable to share himself and the characters he creates to audiences even though he claims the anxiety from performing live shows remains, "stand up comedy ages me, I look about 72 before a show."
Colgan continues to make content weekly from his home in Belmullet in County Mayo and his partnerships with Paddy Power and Joe.ie have taken his style of humor to wider audiences than ever before but his inspiration and creativity come to the fore when allowed time to breathe on the Wild Atlantic Way far away from spotlights and standing ovations.
The full video interview between James Mahon and Owen Colgan is available below:
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