Business Personal Finance

Friday 23 August 2019

'If there was a euro note, Michael D Higgins' face should be on it' - Comedian Danny O'Brien


Danny O'Brien. Photo: Michelle Prunty
Danny O'Brien. Photo: Michelle Prunty Newsdesk Newsdesk

The award-winning comedian Danny O'Brien has been performing stand-up comedy in Ireland and internationally for more than eight years.

O'Brien, who is from Glendalough in Co Wicklow, has performed at Electric Picnic and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, amongst others. He also featured in Comedy Central's Brexit at Tiffany's show earlier this year.

His new comedy show, RaconTour, kicks off this month and O'Brien will be in Whelan's on November 24 with this show. For details on other RaconTour venues, visit

What's the most important lesson about money which your career as a comedian has taught you?

That you have to spend money to make money. Investing in yourself is paramount as a comedian.

What's the most expensive country you ever visited?

Probably Denmark. I did some shows in Copenhagen and went for a coffee in a little side street cafe - it cost €28 for two coffees and two tiny pieces of cake. I'm pretty sure my flight over was less than that.

What's your favourite coin?

The old Irish 10p coin. I get a sense of nostalgia when I find one. I like the salmon on it and that you could get a packet of Meanies or a Chomp with it back in the day - it was a simpler time.


What's the best advice you ever got about money?

"You can't take it with you" - from my granny. She's right too.


Apart from property, what's the most expensive thing you have ever bought?

I bought a car a few years ago in Britain when sterling wasn't nearly on a par with the euro like it is now. I also had to pay €2,000 VRT (Vehicle Registration Tax) to bring it into Ireland - which was a stinger.


What was your worst job?

Probably working in concrete in Australia when I was backpacking over there about 10 years ago. I remember shovelling cement in 40-plus degree heat and 85pc humidity - with an extremely angry, shouty boss.


What was your biggest financial mistake?

Probably shelling out a lot on a comedy website a few years.


What was your best financial killing?

My first corporate booking - they pay well but can be tough and you really need your years of stage experience to do them. I suppose that's what they are paying for.


Are you better off than your parents?

I don't think so. We are probably on par. If I am better off, it's purely because I don't have kids!


If you won the Lottery, what would you do with the money?

I'd look after my family, convert my 1992 Honda Nighthawk into a Cafe Racer, and then take a break from gigging to eat my way around the globe and run amok a bit!


If you could design your own euro note, whose face would you put on it?

Michael D Higgins of course, what a little legend he is. He has a great note face.


Have you ever made an insurance claim?

Never. I'd only make a claim if I was really badly injured or something.


iTunes or Spotify?

I love Spotify and I use it daily. I also have a record player which I love to chill and listen to.


What was the last thing you bought online?

Tickets for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.


Do you ever haggle?

Only where haggling is appropriate. It's generally frowned upon in Tesco! I got a really cool painting in Asia once for a solid haggled price.

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