David O’Doherty is the stage name of David O’Doherty: comedian, flanneur and 1990 East Leinster under 14 triple jump bronze medalist.
He was born in Dublin at the end of 1975. He wanted to become a professional cyclist, then a professional jazz musician, but an almost complete lack of talent in these areas meant that he became a professional telemarketer, ringing up strangers to ask them to rate things out of ten.
Then in 1998 he did his first open spot at the now defunct Norseman Comedy Club in Dublin's unfortunate Temple Bar district. In 1999 he travelled to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the first time and was lucky enough to win the Channel 4 So You Think You're Funny? new act competition and with it a huge cardboard cheque with £1500 written on it. Somebody told him it was legal tender, so he took it into a bank which made the cashier almost weep with laughter. Seriously, she got the other people from round the back to come out and laugh at me. That's the main thing he remembers about that.
In 2000 he wrote a book for children, Ronan Long Gets it Wrong that Mammoth Storybooks in London published. He performed his first full show The Story of the Boy Who Saved Comedy at the Dublin and Edinburgh Fringes where it received a nomination for Perrier Best Newcomer. It was a long winded narrative about a boy searching to find the jokes to put in his father's Christmas crackers that should probably have been another children's book rather than a show for grown ups. Some nights it really worked and they were among the most fun nights he has had in comedy. Other nights it tanked. Absolutely tanked. Once, during the Edinburgh run the entire audience of five people, all of whom had won their tickets through a radio giveaway, walked out.
He spent 2001 contemplating whether he really wanted to be a stand up comedian and cycling in France. He wrote some cartoons for German children's television and a book that is still on his computer. He did a university stand up tour with Noel Fielding where, one night, the audience hated them so much, a man shouted, “STOP CONFUSING ME.” All in all, a tricky time.
But then in 2002 he went to Edinburgh with a new show "small things", met comedians such as John Oliver, Bret McKenzie, Taika Cohen, Andy Zaltzman, Josie Long, Jemaine Clement and Daniel Kitson each doing wonderful and unique things, and decided that he definitely did want to be a stand up comedian.