Saturday 24 March 2018

My cultural life: Al Porter

Al Porter
Al Porter
First Wives Club
House of Cards
Woody Allen

Al Porter is one of our most colourful and incisive comics. At the age of 23, he has established himself as a prolific comedian and radio presenter - he was the youngest comedian ever to headline Vicar Street. He presented Drive-by with Colm Hayes on 2fm. He made his UK television debut on BBC's Live At The Apollo, appearing alongside comedians Noel Fielding and Dane Baptiste. His regular radio appearances include BBC NI's panel show The Blame Game alongside Neil Delamere and Colin Murphy. He has appeared on Brendan O'Connor's Cutting Edge on RTE. He grew up in Tallaght, and dropped out of Trinity because studying English and philosophy wasn't as much fun as making people laugh.

Film: The First Wives Club

First Wives Club

My all-time favourite movies are usually those I first enjoyed in the comfort of my front room - with my Nana howling with laughter and my Mam ironing. I love Steve Martin's silly turns in Father of The Bride or Dirty Rotten Scoundrels or Jack Nicholson Oscar-winning ham in As Good As It Gets. My number one remains the very camp and kitsch The First Wives Club. A mid 1990s farce with the divine Bette Midler and Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton chewing scenery as the women scorned! It's a sugary schmaltzy treat!

Music: Dixieland jazz

Woody Allen

Music is one of my biggest loves. My tastes are hugely varied. Friends in the industry like Louis Walsh introduced me to bubblegum pop I can enjoy, while my mates in Leaders of Men or Morrissey & Marshall introduce me to great stuff from Girl Band. I used to love having The Academic in for live sessions in 2fm. I also love swing, big band and showband music but at the moment I'm enjoying Dixieland jazz again...the old New Orleans raw stuff is music for the soul and many a Woody Allen soundtrack!

TV: House of Cards

House of Cards

Currently I'm a Netflix addict like everyone else I know and I'm rewatching House of Cards. I'm eagerly awaiting the next season, and while Kevin Spacey's hit gets more outrageous each episode, I'm hooked on its US election drama. A bit like I'm hooked on the Trump farce in real life!

Book: Tuesdays with Morrie

While PG Wodehouse is classic comedy - there's a place reserved in my heart for Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie. Sentimentality wins me over in the simple tale of an elderly teacher in his dying days passing on wisdom. I first read it when I was 13 after I saw a TV movie featuring one of my favourite comic actors Jack Lemmon playing the titular role. I've reread it many times and always find some extra joy or hope in the simple lessons.

Art: Andy Warhol

I confess to knowing very little about art. I used to enjoy reading up on Dadaism after Barry Humphries' (Dame Edna) autobiography introduced me to the anarchic form. Andy Warhol's pop art and stuff like the Campbell Soup is probably the aesthetic and concept I enjoy most; but then, I find drawings my nephew gives me beautiful so I'm no critic!

Al Porter will perform at Electric Picnic in Stradbally Hall on September 4, Electric Picnic is officially sold out. Al Porter At Large, The Honeymoon Tour, kicks off on September 9 in Vicar Street, Dublin, and runs at various venues around the country until December 9. or

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