When Sean Hegarty was listening to comedy podcasts to kill the hours working nightshift at a nursing home, little could he have imagined what a sliding doors decision that would be.
Fast-forward 14 years and the Lurgan man has built up a stellar reputation as one of the brightest and funniest comics in the country.
And not only that, but the career change would see him meet and then marry fellow joker and Derry Girls star Diona Doherty, with the couple welcoming a baby into the world last year.
So with a life-changing move into the often precarious and sometimes fickle world of stand-up and showbiz, it helps that Sean has a thick skin to cope.
But he admits that even then it is tested by the regular abuse that he and fellow personalities face on social media, including his wife and her co-stars from BBC Northern Ireland's new series Dry Your Eyes only a matter of days ago.
Sean (38) said: "We watched Dry Your Eyes as it went out and when it was over, I said to Diona straight away, 'Well done, that's really, really brilliant, that's class’.
"Once we had a wee chat about it, she went on Twitter - and Twitter is just a cesspool of just muck.
"People who are negative, people who... I mean, you don't even have to verify your account, you can make a profile in 10 seconds and go on and tweet whatever you want.
"It really is a cesspit and I hate the thoughts of even going near Twitter. I am on social media but only for work, I'm on it because of the job that I'm in, otherwise I'm a very private person.
"You get the odd clampet but people are going to slag you no matter what you do, and the more successful you get, the more you just have to live with it.
"But the worst thing is that a lot of people think because we do this kind of job, that we encourage people to give their opinion all the time.
"That's why I love putting on solo shows because I attract my own audience and into one-liners and the style of comedy that I do."
Sean will be able to flex his comedy muscles this Friday coming with a show at The Limelight in Belfast, where he will make it a family affair, with wife Diona on the bill as his support act.
His comedy style is in a similar vein to the likes of Jimmy Carr and Tim Vine - a gag-packed set of one-liners and machine gun delivery of joke after joke.
He quipped: "I get called a laugh-a-minute comedian, but that's quite offensive because I tell about five or six jokes a minute.
"I didn't really choose that style of comedy, it chose me almost. When I began doing stand-up, I was very under-confident and this was a way of me getting the laughs inside the first 10 seconds, whereas some comedians build up a minute or two story. I like to go straight in there and just get the laughs early."
Sean cut his teeth in comedy by honing his craft in his native Lurgan and reckons he has performed in every single bar in the Co Armagh town - not bad for someone who was introverted as a child.
"I've been doing stand-up now for 14 years, but growing up at school I was the shy one," he told the Belfast Telegraph. "I didn't want people to know my name, I didn't want anyone to look me in the eye, so I was very shy.
"It wasn't until I started working in a nursing home, they were long hours overnight when I was working nightshift, and I would download comedy podcasts and after I while, I just started taking notes.
"And after a while I was like, 'Here, I could probably do this myself’. I felt I had better material.
"From that I thought, if I can do the Empire with five or 10 minutes material, I can do this - that went well and I did more gigs and it snowballed really."
He modestly adds that "it's going alright so far" but that humble assessment is a massive understatement.
His credits include BBC shows Find Me The Funny and Soft Border Patrol as well as making the semi-finals of Irelands Got Talent in 2018.
He has also been an online hit with comedy characters such as oddball Rodney and deluded coach Decky the Gaffer, as well as a brilliant Mastermind skit that went viral a couple of years ago with host John Humphrys.
He said: "That is the good side of social media, when it can be like a shop window for comedians and I think some of them here are on he cusp of doing great things worldwide.
"I think when that happens, it'll be like Derry Girls for the TV world, it will really just put us on the map and doing shows like Live at the Apollo or 8 Out Of 10 Cats, or an American show or a Netflix special.
"There's so many comedians over here that are just on the cusp and it's a lottery as to who's going to be the first one to make that big jump and be successful over the water. But the second somebody does, I think it will open doors over here.
"You can see even with TV shows at the minute like The Tourist, Jamie Dornan doesn't change his accent and that is brilliant to see, and even with Derry Girls, too. If you'd have thought five or six years ago that there'd be a network show set in Derry, everyone would expect subtitles.
"So the more time and energy people give us over here, the bigger and better the things we can do."
Sean and Diona (32) celebrated the birth of their daughter Winter last year and he has three sons from a previous relationship, James (18), Charlie (12) and Tom (10).
And he agrees that having had so many jobs before finding fame and now being a father again, it almost feels that he has packed in enough twists and turns for two lifetimes.
He said: "I have little Winter now and I I've three older boys and my oldest is 18 and having kids that are also on social media... they go into school and they get, 'There's Rodney's son' and things like that.
"Being on stage is like an out-of-body experience almost and it is still a thing that I'm trying to come to terms with, I really don't know what has made me do this.
"I feel like I was born to be different and I feel like I was put on this earth to do something extraordinary, so whether it's comedy or something to do with comedy, or whether I get a presenting job in the future... I never thought my dream job would be stand-up, I just fell into it and I'm still doing it, but I really can't put my finger on what made me do it and how I'm still doing it.
"I think it comes down to giving up the day job. Credit to anyone who does that - and I've done every single job imaginable - and I think this is the one for me.
"We'll be driving somewhere and we'll drive past a shop and I'll say to Diona, 'You know, I used to work in there’.
"And she'll be like, 'Jesus Christ, how many jobs have you had’?! I've done all sorts of jobs.
"I definitely feel like I've lived two lifetimes - I feel like I should be close to retirement!"
Sean Hegarty is playing The Limelight on Friday (January 14). Tickets are on sale from Ticketmaster.