Wednesday 24 January 2018

'Imagine what it was like when I was high on testosterone'

Andrew Maxwell at the Lincon Gala Dinner in The Burlington Hotel - he was a wisecracking pupil in school.
Andrew Maxwell at the Lincon Gala Dinner in The Burlington Hotel - he was a wisecracking pupil in school.

John Costello

He was a wisecracking, purple-wearing, exam-loathing motor mouth as a pupil. But, apart from his fashion sense, comedian Andrew Maxwell hasn't changed that much since his school days. So, with his new tour of Ireland about to kick off, he explains his U2 connection and why his school days were the making of him.

So, kiddo, what did your teachers make of you?

It was hard for them to shut me up! It is hard enough now but imagine what it was like when I was high on testosterone.

What school did you go to?

Mount Temple.

Ah, where U2 hatched their plan for global domination.

Yeah, and a lot of the same teachers who taught them were still there. Donald Moxham, the teacher who mentored me, also mentored U2. I am doing stand- up basically because of Mount Temple.

How so, dude?

They tolerated my constant wisecracks. There was a creative culture there. In other schools the teachers might not have been so easy on me.

What about the academic side of things?

I was a very average student. I did not really apply myself.

And did you go on to third level?

After the Leaving Cert, I wanted to study theology in Trinity. Even though it had one of the least number of points, I didn't get enough. So I went to Ringsend Tech to repeat the Leaving, but after I did my first paid gig (for six quid!), I dropped out and never looked back.

What was your worst fashion faux pas?

I went through a phase of wearing purple.

Was there anything that made your school different?

Mount Temple is co-ed so there was about a 50-50 mix of boys and girls. So when it came to chatting up girls, friends of mine who went to all-boy schools were at least two years behind.

Living in London, what is the biggest difference in terms of education?

The level of esteem in which education is held. It is still pretty normal in Britain for people to drop out of school at 16, but it is still rare enough in Ireland -- apart from the crayon eaters, obviously.

Hmmm... I always found crayons quite tasty myself. [No surprise there -- Ed]

Andrew Maxwell's new nationwide tour runs from February 14 to March 29. For information visit

Irish Independent

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