Since moving from Queens, New York to Ireland in his teens, Des Bishop has carved out a highly successful career in stand up and is one of the most enigmatic forces on the international comedy circuit.
“I am often asked “where do you get your material from?” The truth is really that I try to see the funny in everything. My mother died in March 2019 and of course it was sad and grief can be tough sometimes but I saw a lot of funny in that too. Since death comes to us all and grief is something most of us will experience I thought there must be plenty of people who would like that funny to be shared. Also I did a show about my Dad being sick back in 2010 and I couldn’t face my mother in the afterlife because I know her first question would be “your Father got a show, how come I didn’t get one?”
“I think it’s tougher to lose your mum. My Dad was best supporting actor. My mother was the actress in a leading role. You are never ready when the star of the show dies. So this is a show about My mother. It’s a show about motherhood and sacrifice, anxiety and grief, the mistakes you make as a mother and a son and the hard road to forgiveness and finally it’s about loss, grief and the chaos that surrounds it.
“Where do I get my material from?
“Life and death!”
He has a number of acclaimed television series on RTÉ including The Des Bishop Work Experience (2004), Joy in the Hood (2006), the award winning six episode comedy documentary series In the Name of the Fada (2008) and more recently, Des Bishop’s Election (2016). In 2011, RTÉ broadcast the critically acclaimed documentary made with his terminally ill father, My Dad Was Nearly James Bond. In 2014 Des spent a year living in China learning Mandarin, as depicted in the six part documentary series broadcast on RTÉ, Des Bishop: Breaking China.
Des has released five stand-up DVDs including Des Bishop Live (2005), Tongues (2008) and Desfunctional (2009) and Made in China (2015) which all secured top ten positions. Des has also written two stage plays, Rap Éire and Shooting Gallery, in collaboration with Arthur Riordan. His first book, My Dad Was Nearly James Bond, a family memoir, was published by Penguin in October 2011.
As well as national and international tours, Des has performed at a variety of international festivals including the Montreal Just for Laughs and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as well as at Kilkenny Cat Laughs and the Vodafone Comedy Festival in Dublin.
Much of Des Bishop’s renowned television work can now be found on the RTÉ Player. His latest podcasts with the Acast network, The Shift and The Des Bishop Podcast are available online.
‘Funny, erudite and effortlessly delivered’ THE SCOTSMAN, UK