Yucks of the Irish coming to Bowling Green


Just in time for Veterans Day a trio of Irish-American comics are heading for Bowling Green.
No, it doesn’t have to be in the vicinity of St. Patrick’s Day to appreciate Irish humor, just as long as
the listener is not too sensitive.
Derek Richards, who created the Irish Comedy Tour, noted that if someone searched Irish jokes on the
Internet, it’s likely only a half-dozen or so could be told in front of the kids.
The trio embraces that "politically incorrect" spirit, Richards said. "There’s no holds
barred. We say what’s funny." After all one of his partners in the trio, Mike McCarthy, bills
himself the "comedy barbarian."
That will be on display when the Irish Comedy tour performs Tuesday at 9 p.m. at Grumpy Dave’s upstairs
at Easy Street Cafe, 104 S. Main St., Bowling Green.
Richards said he got the idea for the tour a few years ago after he’d done a show around St. Patrick’s
Day in Florida with a couple other comedians. "It had a real good feel, a real energy."
He decided what the show needed was the musical element to achieve a blend that would be akin to putting
"a comedy club and an Irish pub in a food processor."
So in July, 2006 he enlisted some fellow Irish-American comics and "just started cranking it
Richards is the constant but he rotates different performers.
For this tour he has McCarthy and Jim Paquette, a songwriter, singer and humorist.
Paquette, who plays guitar, opens the show with comic renditions of such Irish classics as "Whiskey
in the Jar" and his own originals. He also plays between the comedians’ sets and then comes on for
the finale.
This is not the tour’s first stop here. They came through in January. It was cold and miserable, but the
hospitality at the club was such, that Richards wanted to give it another try when it wasn’t as cold as
"Ted Williams’ frozen head."
He’s played the club before as a single and appreciates the audiences. "The crowds get into it. It’s
a real fun town."
Though all three performers share their Irish heritage, they come from different parts of the country.
Richards is from Detroit while McCarthy was born in Boston and Paquette is from the New York area.
Growing up "everyone just had a really good sense of humor," Richards said. "By and large
the Irish seem very personable, very open and talkative. A lot of people grasp onto those positive
attributes of the culture."
That makes it a "default nationality." Anyone with an Irish forbearer claims a bit of the
Some that comes from the hard times those ancestors experienced. "From pain and alcohol comes
Still, he added, "I don’t carry the bitter torch of being oppressed. I was fortunate to be on the
receiving end of the good times."

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