Tommy Tiernan Keeps Laughs Rolling Across Canada

Tommy Tiernan and his straightforward comedy has made him a household name. Tiernan, who has toured Canada two other times, is back on the road and is focusing on him being in his mid-40s and trying to figure out how he can “stay wild.” In addition to playing Just For Laughs, he recently played in both Dubai and Moscow, and he’s now in the midst of a cross-Canada tour that includes stops in Toronto, Halifax, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver. 

CraveOnline: Tell us about the tour.

Tommy Tiernan: I’m always on the road, so I just finished doing some shows in the past month in Belfast, Moscow, Dubai, and… Moncton (laughs). I work maybe 3-4 nights a week so it’s a regular thing – I’m not like some superstar band who tours the world and spends the rest of the time in Monaco and then goes back on the road. I’m out there all the time.

What was it like doing comedy in places like Moscow and Dubai?

Moscow was fascinating. It’s quite hard on the eyes – it’s not the prettiest city but the people are fascinating. There are lots of beautiful young women who are forced into ballet and have magnificent pose and are tremendously shy. The people there are very proud of Putin and they believe in a strong Russia. It’s not surprising to hear that Putin has 80% support there, which is incredible to me. They’re no gay pride parades in Moscow – they’re quite belligerent toward that sort of stuff. It was interesting for me to meet them and just see it from their perspective.

Did the comedy “work” in Moscow?

They enjoyed the jokes about Russia but not about Putin.

And how was Dubai?

I went to Dubai a few days after and it was more or less the same thing: I wasn’t allowed to make jokes about Sheikh Mohammad or Islam so it’s like going from one autocratic state to the next. And then I went to a place where Stephen Harper is in control (laughs).

How has comedy changed over the years for your tours?

It’s become much more commercial. When I started doing comedy 20 years ago, it was a bit like folk music – lots of lonely people with their guitars. And now part of the business has turned into pop business – it’s very glitzy and on lots of TV stations, and it’s definitely more mainstream.

The weird and dangerous is still out there and still thrilling to behold but the generic is in control at the moment and I guess it seems to me to have become less interesting. You have to search a little harder for the rewarding stuff but it’s still there.

For tour and ticket info, visit Tommy Tiernan’s website.