McAleer on Derry Girls and making Liam Neeson laugh

OMAGH comic, Kevin McAleer, admits that while his Derry Girls character, Uncle Colm, has been good for his profile, he won’t be inflicting him upon the Ardhowen Theatre audience later this month.
McAleer will be starring in his “Why Am I Here?” show at the Enniskillen venue on September 29 fresh from the success of his role in the acclaimed Channel 4 comedy series, Derry Girls.
His deadpan monologues as Uncle Colm had viewers howling with laughter – including a now-legendary scene where he has Hollywood star Liam Neeson’s RUC officer character hanging his own head in despair.
However, Colm “will be at home chained to the radiator” by the time McAleer rocks up at the Ardhowen as “no one could survive an hour and a half with him”.
“Obviously the Uncle Colm thing has been phenomenal,” says McAleer, “not only for my profile but it has helped to sell a lot of tickets.
“On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to give people the impression that they would have to listen to an hour and a half of Uncle Colm.
“I would like to reassure everybody by saying ‘don’t worry – it’s not going to be him drawling on for an hour and a half’. Nobody could possibly survive that.
“It didn’t surprise me as to how popular that character became. Lisa (Magee) wrote a well-written script – it was of a very high quality.
“Lisa was very clever in having Colm in small doses. Some people have said to me that Colm should get a spin-off series but that’s a terrible idea – the joke would really wear off if that happened.
The scene where Colm comes to the girls’ rescue by boring Neeson’s RUC officers into letting them off with attempted burglary has gone down into folklore.
So how did Colm/McAleer the hard man from the blockbuster film “Taken”?
“Ah he was just priceless,” adds McAleer. “I found it very hard to keep a straight face while looking at his expression a his character is suffering having to listen to Colm.
“He did a very good impression of someone who was losing the will to live.
“The ‘Maeve Binchy’ line that I delivered however, had Liam very taken with it. Lisa certainly has an eye for random details that are just perfect.
“That line was just made for Uncle Colm to say. Let’s just say when it came to getting the final take shot, Maeve Binchy was definitely an obstacle for all of us in that scene.”
As for the show at the Ardhowen Theatre itself, McAleer says it will be a humorous attempt at self-introspection which will carry over from his pre-lockdown show “The Guru”.
“As far as introspection goes, as long as I don’t disappear up my own backside live on stage, then I’ll be alright,” he laughs.
“The last show I did had me as a spoof ‘guru’ persona so this show is kind of an extension of that. The development of this is a more personal take on that.
“It’s full of fake philosophy and fake personal development talk about myself and insights that I’ve had which have been locked down in the back of my own head for the last two years.
“So the audience are going to be my victims in all of this.”
Kevin McAleer will be appearing at The Ardhowen Theatre on Thursday, September 29 at 8pm. Tickets are £20 and are on sale online at:

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