Tommy Tiernan reveals why he would change his name if he was starting his career all over again 6 months ago

Tommy Tiernan reveals why he would change his name if he was starting his career all over again

“I think Michael McIntyre would have been a good name to use.”

Tommy Tiernan has revealed that the only thing he’d do if he was starting his career all over again would be to change his stage name.

Hard as it might be to picture him with a name other than Tommy Tiernan, one of Ireland’s most popular comedians said he would change his name because “it would be healthier not to have the same name as the person who’s up on stage”.

Speaking to host Dion Fanning on this week's Ireland Unfiltered, Tiernan broached the idea of changing his name if he was starting out all over again when asked about the difference between Tiernan the person and Tiernan the comic.

Here’s how the conversation unfolded.

Dion: Do you have any real separation between what you do and who you are?

Tommy: Not really, no. I think if I was starting off again, the only difference would be that I’d use another name.

Dion: Really?

Tommy: Yeah, totally.

Dion: Why?

Tommy: I think it would be healthier not to have the same name as the person who’s up on stage.

Dion: Do you think if you had that different name it would have changed a lot of what you did?

Tommy: I think it would have freed me up a little bit to play around with character and persona and seeing who I am on stage as a third person. You know, I could have, say, spent a few years as a born-again Christian, just to play with the character.

I think Michael McIntyre would have been a good name to use (Laughs).

Dion: It’s taken!

Tommy: In hindsight I would have done that. The onstage bit is… where the audience has a particular perception of you and a particular expectation – and they’re entitled to it, they paid €35 a ticket – and my fantasy life would be one where the gigs are free and people pay to get out.

It’s free in…

Dion: But very expensive to leave (Laughs).

Tommy: So there is that kind of contract. There’s a great line from The Hustler – the movie with Paul Newman – where he says to the woman… they’re both drinking an awful lot and she’s talking about their relationship and he says, ‘This isn’t a relationship, it’s a contract of depravity’.

So, there is a contract between myself and the audience, that’s the most difficult part of it, but this now, us talking and both of us trying to be verbally creative and stuff like that, that’s fun and it’s the same thing on stage, but this is easier, and this is no different from who I am.

Elsewhere in the episode, Tiernan opened up on his unhappy childhood, revealed the inspiration behind some of his funniest lines and spoke fondly of his regular phone conversations with President Michael D Higgins.

You can watch the full interview with Tommy Tiernan right here. Enjoy...

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