When I meet Des Bishop, he’s wrapped head to toe in sports gear, “I walked here,” he tells me. I also know that Des can speak three languages and has been selling out his comedy festival shows after killer reviews. Is there anything this man can’t do?
We get talking immediately in the studio, as I ask for an explanation for Des’ accent. It’s a classic New Yorker with a twang of Irish. “I grew up in Queens and then moved to Ireland when I was 14,” Des hums into the microphone. It is evident how both Irish and American cultures have influenced Des’ loveable comedic persona.
Being on a university campus, Des reflects on his own time as a English and History student at Cork University. “They used to hand us out cigarettes,” Des laughs to me. I tell Des that smoking is banned everywhere on the unimelb campus. “The key is to get people hooked early, big tobacco caught onto that in the early ’90s,” Des says.
Des’ show at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival is called Grey Matters and follows Des’ realisations about coming to the ripe age of 40, single and with no kids . “Being in a place of youth [the University] is good actually, you always wish you took more out of stuff when you were younger.”
Des can speak Mandarin near fluently having lived in China for over a year, he’s also performed gigs throughout the power nation. “Gee, there must be a massive market for comedy?” I naively ask Des. “It’s a lot, and I mean a lot, harder than you think,” Des laughs, his odd accent rippling through the mic.
Des hasn’t been to Melbourne for three years but says he loves the city, loves walking around it, and loves performing here to Australian audiences. Our chat closes with Des hoping to get some more snapchat followers, possibly for ominous reasons- I’m joking of course, never has a comedic soul been more gentle and kind than Des Bishop’s. Des feels like the kind of storyteller who would have people gathering around the campfire for hours, his accent and wit combining to produce an exceptionally talented comedian.
Des’ show Grey Matters plays throughout the comedy festival at The Greek Centre. You can buy tickets here.
To hear the podcast of this interview search ‘The Ferg Neal Show’ here.