Today we chat to Adam Burke, the resident MC of the Hardy Har Comedy Club. 


Who are you?

I am Adam Burke. I’m the promoter and resident MC of the Hardy Har Comedy Club and I do my own bits of stand up and sketch comedy all around Ireland.


adam burke











How long have you been involved in comedy?

I have been involved in stand- up comedy for over six and a half years and have run comedy nights for about five years. That being said, I have been involved in various forms of ‘entertainment’ and ‘performance’ for a very, very long time now! And I’m really no closer to being a success, which doesn’t make me bitter at all.


What is the gig you run?

Hardy Har operates out of the Harbour Bar in Bray, a pub voted as the ‘Best Bar in the World’ by Lonely Planet. The comedy nights are free admission and run once a month (on a Thursday) and in the first half of the show we give new, rising comics some short sets and then in the second half we give experienced or more established comedians longer sets. In the five years we have been going we have had over 130 different acts on the stage- which is a nice turn over for a monthly gig. We are all about supporting Irish comedy in all its forms and we are a humble little operation. We know we are not the Lounge or the International or the Empire but what we do have is a nice, cosy and eclectic venue with bums on seats, ready to support Irish comedy! We also have urinals now, which is a huge milestone in our history… and soap in the bathrooms. We are really moving up in the world!

Who is on next month?

Well that depends on when you are going to publish this interview. In November I have Ding Dong Denny O’ Reilly topping the bill and our Christmas show will be headlined by Paul Currie. Both will be making their Hardy Har debuts, so we are still grinding out new faces for our die hard supporters. These guys will also be supported by loads of great stand- up comedians and in a rare change of proceedings I will actually be performing a set in the Christmas show to let people see some of the new stuff that I’m working on. So, the Hardy Har audience get one night off from being abused by their MC- call it an early Christmas present!















How did you get into running your own gig?

I wanted stage time- consistent stage time in which I could challenge myself to build the skills to interact with my audience and produce new material on a regular basis. I approached the Harbour Bar and being as sound as they are they said yes. We trialled it for three months and never looked back. We have had a couple of breaks due to a change of ownership but nothing has really changed. The venue are great, the customers are great and the majority of the comedy nights are great and that is all thanks to the great group of comedians working in this country! Now, people come to me looking for gigs and remembering how I was back then I always try hard to oblige. There is a waiting list but there is a chance for everyone in Hardy Har- and a second chance too if they don’t have the perfect first gig!!

Who is the best comedian you’ve had on in your opinion?

Well, that depends on how you measure ‘best’. We have had top acts like Dead Cat Bounce, Pat McDonnell, Steve Cummins, Robbie Bonham, Jack Wise, Fred Cooke, Colm O’ Regan, Chris Kent etc. We try hard to get Laughter Lounge regulars to headline our gig. But even the shorter spots or open spots are filled with lots of great people, really talented, hard- working people. My Facebook has a link naming over 130 who played the venue before our hiatus, if anyone wants to check it out. I measure ‘best’ on who I like to share a stage with and who I think is sound. So for me, Tommy Nicholson is the man. He is sound, a gentleman, he always delivers the funny, he appreciates every booking and he is a kind, humble and helpful man with zero ego. I love Tommy Nic!

Worst gig you have ever done?

I booked a gig as a fundraiser one night, got a lot of good lads to get involved and when we showed at the venue there was no stage, three levels for punters to sit on (none of which pointed at the area in which we were meant to perform), a poor attendance and a crabby owner who instead of listening to our concerns said something along the lines of ‘Oh get over yourself, just get up there and be funny’. I took all the lads to one side outside of the venue and told them I thought it was a disaster waiting to happen, that I would like us all to pull out of the gig due to the lack of preparation put into it (I forgot to mention, there wasn’t even a microphone!) and I promised (and ultimately delivered) on honouring their spots with a gig back in my own venue at a later date. That was the worst gig I almost did!! But there is learning in every gig and I still took a lot from that night!

What plans have you got comedy wise?

At the moment I am working on my first solo show. It is not for Edinburgh or any other festival or competition. It is for me. I want to see if I can do it and how well I can do it. The theme of the show is fatherhood, as I have two little monsters under the age of 2 at home, so it is pretty much my life at the moment. They say you should write about what you know and well, I know what it is like to be a Dad who is on the verge of meltdown. So, in 2014 I hope to perform ‘Breaking Dad’, my first one- man show! The first preview of some of what I have been working on for this show will be at the Hardy Har Christmas Special on Thursday, December 19th- headlined by Paul Currie. So, anyone who would like to come and check it out, I would greatly appreciate the support. Oh and I am also working on a ‘Breaking Dad’ comic strip which I hope ‘comedyireland’ will find a space for on their site. I’ve always enjoyed doodling and my doodles have even wormed their way in to past stand up performances so it would be nice to share these too with anyone who has an interest!

Are you on Facebook? Constantly! My wife said ‘You spend too much time on Facebook’. So I clicked ‘block this person’. You can find me at!

Are you on Twitter?

What’s Twitter?

Have you any questions for us? 

No. But thanks for the interview and thanks for supporting Irish comedy!


Many thanks to Adam for  his time, and superb answers. We also look forward to sharing his comic in the near future.
Please do add Adam on Facebook, and follow his gigs and pop along to his gigs!

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 19.41.52



About The Author

Leave a Reply