David O’Doherty, (pronounced O’Dorrity, not O’Doherrty or O’Docherty), is at his peak. He has been selling out the Upstairs Forum for several years now with his music/stand-up schtick and he’s, well, sorta cruisin’. His show, You Have to Laugh, is more a command than a sigh.
He makes a point of being 42, making him yet another comedian obsessed by their age. (Do comics all have families who give them grief about what they should be doing with their lives by a particular stage?) O’Doherty seems bemused by this period in his life in a “is that all there is?” way.
His nonchalant confidence and slacker vibe makes his performance appear entirely effortless. He calls himself a scruffy Chris O’Dowd (from the IT Crowd), but he looks far more like an Irish Super Mario Bro, complete with a trucker cap, funny mo and massive stubble. He mooches about the stage punctuating his musings and jokes with the occasional, superbly executed microphone swing that is so loose, it looks accidental.
He’s a great Irish charmer. Is it the voice itself, or the way he talks? His loquaciousness feels entirely off the cuff, yet is plainly well-scripted and as comfortable as your favourite pair of Uggs. That’s not to say his material is not challenging; he’s mastered the art of being smooth while stirring. His songs are cute, topical and a touch philosophical, although he doesn’t sing so much, as musically speak.
O’Doherty is never mean spirited but gently pokes fun at all sorts of issues in a way that brings us along with him. This is a comedian at the peak of his craft who could make reciting an accounting text book funny.