US President-elect Donald Trump is a new addition to Mario Rosenstock’s live stage show. But the comedian is always on the look-out for new characters, and Trump fits the bill nicely.
“Trump is going to try and make Galway great again. He will tell them where they need a wall. He will explain where Galway is failing and he will address the women of Galway!” says Rosenstock of his upcoming show in Galway’s Black Box Theatre.
It is 16 years since he first came to prominence for his hilarious parodies on Gift Grub on Ian Dempsey’s Breakfast Show, but Mario admits to still feeling the pressure to immediately react to current affairs. “But I think it is good to put pressure on yourself. Pressure can be stimulating. Stress on the other hand is a bad thing. It inhibits you and you can become unable to perform. As long as I stay ahead of the game, I’m fine. I write lots of notes into my phone.”
He also finds playing sports helpful. “I play a lot of tennis and a lot of endorphins are released that keep me in a positive frame of mind. This is where ideas can form for me.”
Another popular character that features in his upcoming show is presenter Miriam O’Callaghan. “Miriam has a filthy gameshow called ‘Finish Me Off Miriam’ and it is really funny. It is an interactive gameshow with the audience. Also TD Paschal Donoghue is a rising star in my shows, as is Kerry TD Danny Healy Rae.”
One of Mario’s favourite parts of his new show is the opening of Act 2. “A full blown Mass will take place where Father Ray D’Arcy will be the main celebrant!”
Michael Flatley also features with a 1916 themed show coupled with music and rifles. And Bono will give a five minute tutorial on how to write a U2 song, pointing out keywords and phrases that need to be included. And there’s lots more.
Mario’s show wouldn’t be complete without Roy Keane, who has been a steady character for many years. “Roy remains relevant and I will do him as long as he is. Being Assistant Manager at the Irish team means he is still relevant. I just find different ways of doing him.”
Mario describes his first time meeting Keane in 2006. “It was both a terrifying and funny experience. He was promoting his charity work with the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and they asked the radio show would we be interested in nine minutes with Roy and we jumped at it!”
Mario remembers the moment he walked into the room. “We knew that Roy was aware of the parody and that this was what we were going to do. We walked in and he was sitting in a chair, alone in this room. He played along with the whole thing and it was hilarious.” ‘Roy meets Roy’ is available to watch on YouTube.
Mario recognises that back in 1999, when he began with Gift Grub, characters like Bertie Ahern and Liam Lawlor were his mainstays. “It was a different world back then. Social media has made today’s world very different.”
Mario is active on Twitter and finds that it can be a good source of inspiration. “I can see what characters go down well on there and it can be useful. The best way for me anyway to look at social media reaction is to look at triumph and defeat in the same way. I don’t get too excited about the good reaction and I don’t get downhearted about the bad ones. Comedy can split people.”
For 2017, Mario is looking at getting into acting roles and he will be taking the year off from touring shows. He’s already appeared in the likes of ‘Miracle at Midnight’ with Mia Farrow and, of course, classic Irish soap Glenroe, when he played Dr David Hanlon. On stage, he’s performed the title role of ‘Keano’ in the box office smash ‘I, Keano’ in 2005.
“I miss acting and this is something I want to get back into next year.”
And he is looking forward to coming back to Galway. “I have the best job really. When people see me on the street or in the supermarket, they smile, they associate me with making them laugh.”
He also gets people coming up to him asking to change their voicemail. “The popular voices people want me to do are Roy Keane, Jose Mourinho and Joan Burton. So there are people all over the place with my voice on their voicemail, albeit someone else!”
‘Mario Rosenstock Live’ comes to Leisureland, Galway on Saturday 10 December with doors opening at 7.30pm. Tickets are €35 and are available from www.ticketmaster.ie