Comedy: John of all trades
Saturday 08 August 1998
"The only time I use the languages on stage is as a way of disguising what are basically tawdry knob gags," he admits. "I have a doctorate in German medieval philosophy and the only use I've made of it in my act is to say `I'm hung like a Hoover' in German. If my professors knew, they'd be turning in their ivory towers. Thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money, and what came out of it? A beer gut and the ability to say `I'm hung like a Hoover' in German. It's a sad indictment of our education system."
The other skill that distinguishes Moloney (right) from other stand-ups is his musicianship. "I play seven musical instruments. When I started out on the stand-up circuit, I was called `The Angry Young Accordionist'. I used to be World Accordion Champion in Irish traditional music."
"I've got this Irish traditional music band called Liverdance, and we play once a week. It takes the pressure off. It's a complete about-face from comedy - it's my version of a long walk in the country or playing snooker with port and cigars."
This same down-to-earth approach characterises Moloney's stand-up. "People trust me because I'm an ordinary-looking bloke. There's a feelgood factor because I'm like everybody else - I'm not threatening. There's nothing glitzy about me, and I'm not trying to oversell myself."
He also makes an effort to establish a rapport from the moment he walks on. "A comedian is judged within the first few seconds, so you have to be self-deprecating. I come on and say, `Good evening, I'm John Moloney. I'm a fat bloke who looks like Victoria Wood', or `I haven't got a lot of material, but when you're a bit of a looker, it doesn't really matter'. It makes me more accessible.
"I'm not one of those people who thinks, `If I hadn't been a comedian, I'd have been a rock star (even though I can't sing or play guitar)'. I'm at the more honest end of the spectrum, and people warm to that fallibility. It doesn't alienate people. I don't have a hidden agenda to shock people or change their minds or have a hit single with a football theme... "
John Moloney appears at the Comedy Store, Oxendon Street, SW1 (0171- 344 4444) tonight
One of the biggest comedy events of the autumn is likely to be Lee Evans's 10-week run at the Apollo Theatre in the West End. After his manic performance in the Hollywood hit, MouseHunt, Evans really has an international profile these days. If you fancy catching this human dynamo live on stage - he expends so much energy during his performance he has to keep wiping himself down with a towel - between 14 Sept and 21 Nov, phone now on: 0171-494 5586 to book tickets
Newcastle winger is in Argentina having chemotherapy
Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'
Human faces unique 'because we don't recognise each other by smell'
Man's attempt to avoid being impounded heavily criticised
Returning to the stage after 20 years makes actress feel 'nauseous'
Life & Style blogs
Victoria's Secret models star in new nude Russell James book
iPhone 6 review: bigger, thinner, faster, brighter - Apple proves you can make the best better
iPhone 6 Plus review: more like a small iPad that makes calls - but perfect for some
Jennifer Lawrence nude pictures leaked: Reddit removes 'The Fappening' board dedicated to sharing naked pictures of celebrities
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Why I haven't washed my hair in three years: It isn't greasy, it doesn't smell
- 4 Grandmas keep accidentally tagging themselves as Grandmaster Flash on Facebook
- 5 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Progressive Recruitment are cu...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Technical Project Manager...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: One of SThree's most successfu...