Andrew O’Neill, The Occult Comedian, is about to debut his show in Australia. He took some time out to answer some questions.
What number Melbourne Comedy Festival is this for you?
This will be my first. I’ve never been south of the Equator before, although I did once live with an Australian, and I worked in Mambo in Covent Garden for a bit so I reckon I’ve got the country pretty well figured out. The stars are different. That is scary.
Tell us about your show.
It’s called Occult Comedian and it explores my dabblings in black magic, as well as my weirdo lifestyle choices. It’s mad and surreal and fast-paced and it’s the funniest thing I’ve ever written. I’m a transvestite, too, so you’ll see me looking pretty.
How did you end up doing comedy?
I’ve always been a massive comedy fan and it was really just a natural extension of trying to make my mates laugh all the time. I am 100% less annoying in social situations now. Well… 50%…
What thing/person/idea are you most obsessed with at this time?
A Croatian black metal band called Drudkh are making me very happy indeed, and the Jonas Brothers continue to be alive, which makes me very unhappy. Alan Moore continues to be my biggest influence and various entities that I converse with are helping through the first phase of this trip.
Who are you looking forward to seeing at the festival?
Josie Long is sublime, Jason Cook is brilliant… my hot tip is a little show called Eric’s Tales Of The Sea… 100% true stories of a man’s life on Royal Navy submarines. It’s completely hilarious and heartbreaking and real. You have to see it.
Can you tell us about your extracurricular activities?
Aside from sending myself mad doing ritual magick, I’m in a steampunk band called The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing. We’ve just recorded an album called Now That’s What I Call Steampunk! Volume 1… We dress like Victorian misfits and we sound like early 80s British punk mixed with Victorian music-hall and a dash of death metal.
What about your affair with Jack the Ripper?
I used to work in the Cabinet War Rooms, which is where Winston Churchill fought WW2. I was reading my 20th book on the Ripper and wondered how old Churchill was in 1888. He was 13. Bingo. So I wrote a show called Winston Churchill was Jack The Ripper, which took on a life of its own… I now perform that show round the actual murder sites.
Do you have anything in the works right now?
I’m slowly working on a psychogeography-themed series of shows based on… places that have had most influence on my life. I have a DVD in the pipeline and my band’s album comes out in May.
Would you rather not wash your towel for three months, or your bed sheets for three months?
I’m a metal-head. This happens more than you’d think…
Beat Magazine, Issue #1210, March 24th, 2010