I'm there in Gary, and you're listening to the laughs of your life, the podcast where I talk to influential people about laughter from their first memories of laughter to feeling left out. Two, if laughter wasn't the best medicine, what would be?
Oh, wait, a hundred fucking percent. I'm not even sure that that's the order.
I was so stoned last night.
I wrote a eulogy for my dog that is very much alive and well.
Actor and writer Chris O'Dowd is my guest this week.
He talks to me about his glory days in UCD, cutting his way into his first acting job and his love for his dog potato.
I hope you enjoy. Chris O'Dowd, you are extremely welcome to the laughs of your life.
Thanks so much. What a treat. What a treat says you after being basically bullied into doing it.
I was just I was just trying to make it look like I was being bullied.
But why not? I don't know if you've noticed. I'm wearing my pints jumper the Guinness Book excuse. OK, Chris, are you ready for the podcast?
Because I have specific questions I'd like to ask you.
Oh, that's good. Chrysotile had your first memory of laughter. Oh, my God. My first memory of laughter. I would think my first memory of laughter would be somebody else's. Which would be. When I was, I suppose, four or five and I shared a room with two of my sisters and they were two and three years older and they'd be on the bunk bed, and I had a single bed beside them and I just hear them giggling all the night.
And so at one point I went, What are you laughing at?
I looked at each other and then they looked at me and said, you know, and I thought it was such a good putdown if anybody accuses you of laughing.
But it was a promise that was very full of laughter. So I kind of I don't know the specific ones more than thinking it was definitely a currency and has those kind of maintained that value that you can get out of anything with laughter. So there was always crack in your house.
You were the youngest. Yes. Yes, I was the youngest to well, I am the oldest. And I think when you are the youngest, if you can make your siblings laugh, you kind of makes you feel cool. Oh, yeah, for sure. And you're just trying to join in, like in the same way that kids are like, oh, I want to be able to jump as far as my older brother or whatever there is.
There is definitely. Yeah. And it was. Yeah, it was always something that felt like was integral to the house that, you know, like manners, laughter, slapping the shit out of each other and and devilment.
So, you know, it's when you're shown the kind of the threads of the fabric, it kind of sits quite well.
Are you the funniest junior amongst your siblings? No, I wouldn't have thought so.
I was thinking about it in terms of this podcast earlier when I was putting a lot of research into it.
And I thought I don't think I was I was probably the third or fourth funniest person in my class. I was probably the second or third funniest in my family. And I've kind of maintained around that standard. I've been blessed with extraordinary good fortune.
What were you like in school in Boyle? Were you cool? Were you not were you bullied or the bully?
I was I was like I was big into sports. So that was a big part of I think my identity was very tall and I was like six foot when I was 12, which is very informative at that age to feel suddenly like the fucking Hunchback of Notre Dame walking up to girls going, hey, what do you think about when I go down the bridge?
You no, I live under the bridge. So that was a big part of me trying to be funny for sure.
And making girls laugh would have been a big part of my adolescent trust. Oh, right.
So, yeah, it is it is a case of when you're that tall, you don't want to be at the start. But then when you grow into us, you're you're fucking swag around the place.
Well, I'm still waiting for my my mother say you'll grow into your face. And I feel like any day now, any day now knows will look back. It was built for this school.
I'll be great. The first time you felt laughed at. Now I know your you said that your sister laughing at you, but the first time you truly felt like you were being laughed at for maybe I remember one.
I don't know if this is the earliest one I can remember, but it's the one that came to mind when I was thinking about us. And I don't think it's as much of a thing anymore. But I remember my first week in university and you said and people used to laugh at my accent. Because we were like there was an awful lot of coaches in, like the fucking arts thing that I was doing. And so they it was like they talked to me like I had come out and gave them, like, Brownie slowly talking, like, do you know where the mouth is?
There was a lot of, like you said at that time, had a lot of cricket shirts.
Right. Gotcha. You know, and so they hadn't left the pan.
So they it was like being from the field. Suddenly they were. So I think that was the first time I felt like abnormal in any way in a great surroundings, because my world before that was so insular, but then feeling like, oh, God, I'm this massive, weird sounding person to all of these people. This is this is why it's kind of exciting to feel exotic. You say you mentioned not leaving the pale. I notice a lot on social media because now obviously we're in Ireland.
We're being encouraged to staycation. There's a lot of people.
It's it's just so obvious they've never left the on because they're like maybe we could go to like Ashford Castle, like other people are like, oh, you know, Connemara Dingo, whatever you want to call, we'll get a fucking camper.
Whatever this people like it like is Minato, but they haven't closed donkey.
I think Jesus Christ was fufu.
I don't know why. Like, I know you didn't finish your course and it was that part of us. Do you not really feel like you fit in or was it.
No, no. It was the best time of my life I fucking loved. It was definitely a feeling of feeling odd at the start. And I think that's where my love of doing it, because I hadn't done plays really like a musical in secondary school. But it had never occurred to me that I had no interest in that. And I think when I think back to being in UCD, my memories aren't necessarily of like lectures and stuff, you know, obviously.
But I did, you know, like twenty five plays in three years. And it was the wonderful thing about. The arts generally, but particularly student drama, is that it works as this gorgeous sponge for all of the people that feel like they don't belong elsewhere, you know, and particularly in fairly conservative Ireland, loads of people going through questions about their sexuality that they felt like they couldn't in the rural towns and they're suddenly absorbed into this art.
Far too young can be ridiculous world, but at that time is very comforting. And so to ingratiate yourself in a world full of kind of Odysseas is is a glorious thing. So when I think of you, I feel somewhere that I very much felt at home.
And at what point then did Lamda come into your mind?
And I started after I did a bunch of plays and I thought, oh, this might be fun. And I had no other ideas.
I thought, well, look, I applied to get into one of those drama schools in London and they're hard to get into Forgettin. I'll take it as a sign. That's what I should do. And I heard that that was the best post croggon. So I went over and flew over for that one. I managed to get in, and that was that really for just a lack of any other good plan, but then kind of obviously fell in love with all of that.
And I found a little bit tricky because it was it was a little bit snooty. And I think I brought in probably a bit of an inferiority complex into which probably didn't help. And I feel like over the years I've softened my feelings about it and think, oh, God, I was sure, I'm sure I saw a pain in the arse.
Student. But yeah, so that was a tough place to fit in and then again, really enjoyed it, didn't finish it, and then left to try and do something else.
What you try to do when I went to try and work, you know, with the weird like my father like to to, you know, whatever the next stage was going to be of. But weirdly, I got my first job because I thought I was getting kicked out of land. I don't know if I ever said the story before, but I would I kind of started missing some classes because I was also paying my way. So I was working on a construction site in the mornings and then kind of going to like fucking tap or some horseshit in the afternoons.
And it was kind of breaking on me. And I'm like, this isn't this isn't sustainable. So I started missing classes. And the what you call it, the headmaster or the principal had called me into his office and I knew he was going to tell me off or suspend me or do something. And I was sitting in his office and he was late and it was like ten minutes late and then kind of 20 minutes late. The fuck this. And while I'm sitting there, there was a fax machine in the corner and it went off and I was kind of sitting there and I was like, OK, well, I'll just go over and see what this is all over and picked it up.
And it was from a casting director in London and she was looking for Irish actors who had just graduated for this movie about the priesthood. And so I nicked it and I left and I called the casting director and that's how I got my first film job. I ended up getting it through there and then left, which was bananas. Is this an exclusive? I think so I kind of remember, I'm sure I've told the story, I can't remember if I recorded or whatever, and I they.
Do they ever find out? I think I've I think I told them at the time that I had gotten essentially what the casting directors do is they'll send the thing back when was FOX is really more than whatever. And they asked for X actors because you're not allowed to work while you're attending the school. Yeah. And so I think had been sent another one. So knew about the project and knew why I was leaving. And I wonder how I don't know if I told them that I'd stolen the facts until now.
But anyway I. I'll leave you. A dog in my will. Speaking of dog, I know you've you you've told that story before. I used to pretend that you were bitten by a rock before you went into auditions and how it came up during the snake.
I listened to that on the podcast. Very good. Yeah. Yeah, that was the desperation, you know, particularly when you're in your 20s and you're I feel so sorry for fucking kids. Now, can you imagine going into this for Christ on a bike?
But the desperation even then of like trying to make your place, you fucking do anything much that you end up doing when you're young and running a bar in Paris. I was fucking like wild. You do fucking anything now.
I can barely cross the fucking streets every day walking through hot sand, you get this bizarre, horrible stench and burn on your face and then you momentarily free that and then you plunges into another day of torture. But when we were young, it was great.
OK, Chris, the moment when if you didn't laugh, you'd cry. Yeah, I lost my auntie a couple of years ago with gorgeous a.D.A and. And like that, you know, she was in the casket. Oh, my God.
And. And we like the way, you know, I you know, it had been a fun evening and at some stage I suggest that maybe she would like to spend one night under the stars and went to pull the casket that was on wheels.
Don't know. I think there was some part of me I that it was genuinely a lovely idea that obviously somebody stopped me very quickly before I got to the door with this.
But that's what I fucking want. You know, ground give me the fucking stars the night before. Yeah, yeah, yeah, so I don't know. That was definitely one of those that ended up being a very funny moment, I think. I think it was funny. I can't, like, fully remember if it was only me. The phone to funny now.
I thought you were going to say that you pulled it like the wheels went and there was. No no. I didn't get as far as getting around, thank God, because the pitfalls in that are too horrendous price. But certainly the idea of adding levity to a moment like that was an impulse. OK, Chris, you're no laughing matter moment in life.
Christ, no room for laughter.
Like, no like this whole fucking period of time in our lives is just horrendous. It's just been I turned 40 at the end of last year and it's been shiz I do not recommend.
The whole year we lost our friend at the start of the year. And then Dawn was over there for the funeral right at the time when all of this was fucking kicking off and ever since it's just been a shit show. And then we've got you know, there was the protests and the early days of that where we were was, you know, scary enough. So it's been tense. And hard to find laughs within the time and just to go back to Caroline's death, like, I think the standout thing for a lot of like, look, any time someone used that in the public eye that heavily passes, you see a lot of maybe two or three days of of of mourning and an outpouring of love.
What you could just tell it was palpable for especially Dawn, but you, too, that, you know, it was a really, really deep sadness you guys felt.
Yeah. In general, it has been. I just hope that. I don't know, I think this year, I don't know if it's the intensity of of covid or as you say, that the Black Lives Matter movement or what it is. But for a while, it felt like the whole be kind thing was was working or was kind of embedding in people's minds, it has it really. I just hope so. I just really, really, truly hope so.
I hope so, too. I mean, be kind to such a lovely idea. But the truth is, it's far more than we need. All we need is for people to not deliberately be cunts, like it's a really low bar, like any kind when you can for sure. But just try your best not to be a cunt. But, you know, we fucking all fail at that sometimes I'm sure it's been a tough it's been a major I kind of imagine for people who are we're in the outskirts the whole Colvert thing.
Imagine being a fuckin frontline worker in all of this and also dealing with the fact that the world is going through it and then you're on stuff. So it's full on and it's we're going to walk the dog. Everybody's wearing masks and everybody's social distance.
And I'm like, fucking have it's all those people who have to go to work and who have to whatever or, you know, people who aren't doing the stuff somewhere. But it's a fucking it's frustrating because we're losing loads people and. You know, the world's closed down, yet it feels like you guys over there a bit further along, we're still like the cases are more now than they were three months ago every day. Yeah, I know. I know.
Well, today they released the kind of green list where. But then it's like it's so unclear. It's like we're we're told not to travel. Then they released a list of 15 countries that you can go to and not quarantine when you get back. So it's just xylitol little. And then the government reshuffled in the midst of all of this. And I think anyway, I didn't want this podcast to be about this. I just can't believe that they've sold Leitrim.
To pay for the bills, because it feels too easy, you know, at least choose a county that people would fight for. And for them to sell Leitrim to pay for the calls would cost just disgrace. It's a fucking disgrace and we won't stand for it.
Anyway, anyway, sorry, actually, I heard you on Lewis podcast saying, like you do work from home when you're writing and whatnot, but usually it's not with three other people in the house. So I was that like, I sorry, I sound like such a creep. I'm like you also said on Lily's podcast, but that you know that. But you and it's great. Like spending more time together.
Oh, just every every minute.
Just the only shame is there aren't more hours in the day because, you know, I I've you know, I said to her the other day is, do you ever feel like we we spend every waking moment together and then we realized but also when we're asleep.
So, you know, she's doing a shit or whatever you choose makes me want.
She always makes me watch stuff, OK? Right. Chris O'Dowd, the person you always laugh with and I have a feeling you're going to say, Don, but if you don't find it often an awful lot.
I do. But I'm going to say my friend Jamie, who I miss, is in London. And I laugh with him about everything, really. I mean. There will be talks about the fact that we both happen to be watching a league of their own and were crying that baseball movie, sentimental stuff that we see and dick jokes and just ramblings on fatherhood.
And we are calculous, I think, when we're together. And he's got that great laugh of the man who's had too many late nights. And it's very infectious and I miss it. And I presumed you guys were based in London, have you always? How long have you been over there? Ten years is ten years. Yeah, ten years, I think. Right. I was thinking of someone else. No, 10 years.
I was in London for ten years before that and moved here. And then we were kind of over back around the time that we were Boodhoo in Mumbai. Yes. Yes. We kind of were more based in London during that time. We got married around then whenever that was. The Olympics, 2012, don't forget the anniversary. I remember because of the Olympics.
When was the last time you were in Ireland? And do you miss it? Oh, I do, I miss a lot, I mean, I've been feeling so oh my God, I was on fucking Twitter the other day and.
It was late in the I'm sleeping so badly, this swirling and whirling of helicopters all the fucking time, here it is. It's just Dreiser bananas. Anyway, I was up one of the kids and I got them down and then couldn't sleep. I went on Twitter and I ended up on some account that was like a real picture postcard, kind of like a patch cottage somewhere. Economia I like a guy playing a fucking harp or something outside as some unnamed fuckin ancient pot of water in the background.
And tears started to form in my fucking eye. And I honestly thought to myself, I had this absolute thought. I thought, is this what this is to be Irish?
Emeric all I want is this fucking fucking turf box.
Look, this is draining some out of them. So I suppose I'm also homesick because, you know, you're worried about everybody, too, but more than anything else. So, yes. So I do miss home. What was the question?
I know now that I just kind of rambled about that, like next to you and like Carol's gift shop.
Exactly. Oh, my God. Like something you'd watch, like an airport gift shop.
I was like, oh, fuck me, Jesus Christ.
OK, Chris, at a time where you had the last laugh, the last laugh, I don't feel like I'm particularly annoyed with anybody.
You know, there are loads of people who said, you can't do this and you can't do that. And they were generally right.
You know, so, you know, people who are like you, if it was a sports thing, you shouldn't get on that team. I probably didn't. And, you know, if they thought, oh, well, you can't make it in this career or do this thing if you behave like you're behaving and do things that you're doing. And of course, they were right and they change behaviors and there's no like. I've been very fortunate in my life, so I feel like it would be.
Ridiculous to kind of I don't I don't feel wronged, I suppose is my point. Gotcha. Well, I mean, you kind of have the last laugh when you stole the the cast, the casting thing from the fox. I guess I guess I was pissed off at them then. I don't see a lot of animosity anymore because of the fight, because you're truly American now. I don't really feel that, but no, it's not that.
It's kind of when you try and see your behavior from their point of view. Yeah, a little bit more. And you kind of realize, you know, I was probably obnoxious or I would probably be feeling inferior and kind of projecting some harshness and.
Anyway, is. OK, if if laughter wasn't the best medicine, what would be? Oh, wait. We're a hundred fucking percent. I'm not even sure that that's the order.
I was so stoned last night. I wrote a eulogy for my dog that is very much alive and well.
But I didn't realize until it was actually the night before last that I was looking it yesterday. I, I know I written it down and I looked at my note folder and at the top it said pot for the church.
So whatever whatever was going on in my head, it involved a situation where the dog was getting a door of Christian burial, which, even as a lapsed Catholic, I don't think is possible now. But nonetheless, I had written a eulogy that said, oh, how I thought of shock and say, well, let me let me think. Oh, no. If it says potato, I would happily spend three more lifetimes with you. If there was such a thing as reincarnation.
I hope that I come back. I know there is such a thing as reincarnation, I hope that you come back as a tired businesswoman and I come back as a massage chair at the airport stop.
I would spend a lifetime cuddling your belly.
I guess the best medicine other than love. How old is potatoe? I'd say he's around 14. He was a rescue, so you never know. But I'd say he's getting a bit he's getting a bit older and he can't do his work properly. So I've started doing this by pig, which is the kind of thing that I thought I when I see people do that, I'm like, what the fuck is?
But now that my kids are kind of a bit old now for a bogey, but we still have the bug. Yeah. And so I need to go for it, you know where I'm going. So I'd be walking the dog, but I want to go for a long walk run so. And he walks really slowly and of can't do a long walk anymore so he'll do it. Take him like on the lead half the way and then I'll put a video of him walking back up.
Oh every day like hot and I.
Would you, would you ever get popped. Oh, a couple of times I have around the time of day that, you know what, I'll tell you to think what happened recently. There's like a you know, a TMZ is the fact that TV thing. But they also have like a bus tour on a sightseeing bus, like going through it. They go to all the the big celebrities houses, I think. Yeah. Anyway, I was walking back from the pharmacy was like both five, I think, stopped at traffic lights we're looking at and they were like, oh hey.
I was like, oh hey. And then the thug and the host of that would happen to be on the fucking bus comes out standing there with my fucking groceries at a busload of sightseers, asking questions, some kind of a pop me moment.
And then another one was around the time. I think the first baby was around the time I was born five years ago, I got Pop coming out of like a home base and it was like the male or some shiz. But I was I was wearing earphones and earphones were so did Daddy take Dick?
And it was it. And you bring up to be at the fucking newspapers, you know. So, yeah, you know, I just like I hope you get papped with the dog and the boogies. Oh yeah.
OK, Chris, are you ready for your quickfire round and then I'll leave you alone. All right. The actor you always laugh at. Oh, fuck. I mean, I do love Will Ferrell. Really, Giuliani for John C. Reilly, I really, really love. Who else do I love? Richard Awadi really makes me laugh, I know that that's like. Bias, but he really makes me laugh. And in terms like comedy, people who really make me laugh on thing, I was thinking about this.
Like Vick and Bob are incredibly funny to me and were probably. Growing up, the people who I found the funniest, like the first painting I ever earned, was making t shirts with Vogl and Iran and them, which were basically the catchphrases for Pavic. And Bob showed what you call shooting stars. And it was kind of I don't know if you're familiar with their stuff, but fucking really fun. Silly, but smart. Very formative for sure.
One question, the actor you always laugh at, the actress, the actress you always got, Maya Rudolph, I think is one of the funniest fucking people. Kristen Wiig makes me laugh so much. Yeah.
Coward. Who else? You only have to. I Julia Louis-Dreyfus is maybe my favorite or my favorite female comedy performance in the last four or five years. Oh my God, what's her name? Fuckin. Oh, God. What's your name in the comeback, Phoebe from Friends. Oh, Lisa Kudrow. Lisa Kudrow. If you've ever seen The Comeback, Lisa Kudrow show is one of the most fantastic comedic performances I've ever seen. Is it on Netflix?
Where do I see it? It's here. It's on HBO. OK, so it might be on Sky Atlantic with just us.
OK, the movie you always laugh at. I know it's a common one, but airplane makes me laugh a lot, I watch it again a couple of weeks ago. You know, you only have to give one answer. Oh, great, sorry, it's quick fire, isn't it? I'm sorry, the comedian, you always love us. LeMarc. Nice and finally, Chris, your best or worst joke? Oh, my favorite joke is actually a joke that was told to me by the kids on Moone Boy and.
It's a paddy Englishman Paddy Argument, Paddy, Scotsman Joe. But Asian players who oppose Gossman are in a pub with their sons. And the Englishman says, I called my son George because he was born in St George's Day and Patty Scotsman's says, I call my son Andrew because he was born in St Andrews de.
And the Irishman leans over to his son and says, say nothing, I kick a very good, very, very good. That's why they say best or worst, Joe, because that's kind of both.
Thank you, Sarah White.
I think that's from Chris O'Dowd. I cannot thank you enough for sharing the last of your life with me. Honestly, really and truly, I.
I did just completely take a leap of faith on Twitter for bullet. I hope you feel pleased seeing now my current mental state and now I just have to to try and be like, hey, call Mesko.
I'd like to year you get him. He's a good and he'll be great equalizer applied to me.
But I'm honest. I'm honest. Anything you'd like to throw in for a finish or are we all good?
No, this has been one of the highlights of my life. Yeah, sure. It's been lovely meeting you like this.
You two actually can get very yourself, will you? I will. And you do too. Thank you so much for sharing the last year.
Like now can I just get a photo of us on the screen.
Yeah. And give a smile there. Oh wow. Thank you for listening to the laughs of your life with Chris O'Dowd.
I hope you enjoy this once again.
A big thank you to Taito and Gannes, who helped make this podcast happen while also donating money to Comic Relief in Ireland. Loads more great episodes to come between now and Christmas. So make sure you, like, subscribe, rate review and all those other things. This podcast is brought to you by Collaborative Studio.