It's all looking up for O'Doherty

23 April 2012 | 4:58 pm | Dave Drayton

Irish comedian David O'Doherty just wants to cheer you up.

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"I'd been seeing a lady for a while and then we broke up last autumn and I just couldn't write a new show and I just didn't feel it – it sort of feels inappropriate, it's like, you know, enjoying an earthquake or something. It's just not what you're into. And then something happened around Christmas to sort of knock me out of all of that and that's what the show is about. It lead to a reawakening that was like, 'Hey, this isn't the end of the world,' and that's why it's called Is Looking Up, so it's kind of a show about trying to cheer yourself up,” says a suitably cheery David O'Doherty about the genesis of his latest stand up show. So what was the Christmas epiphany?

“I killed a mouse,” says O'Doherty. Though through his matter-of-fact delivery, my moderate confusion and his Irish accent, I can't quite believe I've heard that correctly and double take. You did what? “I killed a mouse. M-O-U-S-E. Yeah I came face to face with a mouse, which was always my ultimate fear; I've always hated mice. And then I finally caught one in a trap and saw that it was very, very small – almost like a tiny puppy – and it was quite an awakening. I've smacked a few fish on the noggin but apart from the regular bugs that I've stood on in my footballing career I don't think I've killed very many things.

“I grew up in a house that had mice in it. And I just had this fear that they would appear in my bed or in breakfast cereal or in the unlikeliest and grimmest places so for the last 30 years I've woken up most nights believing a mouse is in my bed and then I finally got my own house and a mouse appeared in it – it felt like Jaws. In defeating the mouse I kind of realised that maybe the mouse wasn't the problem at all; that the mouse is really just a metaphor for doing something and killing the mouse had just been the activity that was needed to break me out of the routine of doom that you get into when you're feeling sorry for yourself,” O'Doherty reflects.

“There's a time for rising like a phoenix from the ashes and there's also a time for lying in the ashes like a broken phoenix just going, 'Ah, poor phoenix'.”

Don't be put off by the phoenix though, “It sounds terribly serious, it's mostly just loads of jokes and stupid songs.”