Q&A: Reginald D Hunter on his upcoming Belfast gig and why comedians are 'losing their teeth'
Comedian Reginald D Hunter is set to perform in Belfast this week, and after an Irish couple angrily stormed the stage during a recent show in Letterkenny, we are definitely intrigued.
The US funnyman will bring his Some People v. Reginald D Hunter show to the Ulster Hall on Sunday, October 22.
Having lived in the UK for over 20 years, Reginald is a well-known face in the comedy scene having also appeared on shows including 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, QI and Have I Got News For You.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, the 48-year-old gives a glimpse of what his Belfast audience can expect and reveals why he thinks some comedians have "lost their teeth".
You are performing your new show Some People v. Reginald D Hunter in Belfast this week - what should the audience expect?
They can expect a lot of laughs, a lot of focus on current events and one or two items that might offend people.
But it's so easy to do that these days!
Why do you think that is?
I fear that a lot of comics are losing their teeth. It's getting to a point were nobody wants a social media backlash or a social backlash of any kind.
I'm not a shock jock, I don't have a particular interest in offending people but it is peculiar the different things people become offended about.
And even more importantly, the things that people don't become offended about.
Have you ever had an audience member make it known they were well and truly offended?
Yes! We were in Letterkenny the other night and a married couple tried to storm the stage near the end of the show.
How did you handle that particular situation?
I fear I didn't look great doing it because when I saw the husband move I stood up and immediately started bracing myself.
I have a broken leg right now so running away was not an option.
So my options were either fight or try to look cool while getting beat up - they're not great options.
How did you break your leg?
I will simply say that tequila and showers do not mix.
You are booked to perform at the Ulster Hall - have you experienced any of the city's other great venues?
I did my first comedy gig in Belfast in 1998 at the Empire, and I've been coming back ever since. I played Mandela Hall last year, so I get around.
How do you find the audiences in Belfast have reacted to your routine?
We have enjoyed each other. I find that the further you get from London, the less likely the audience will write letters after your show.
Are you enjoying being on tour or does it become quite tiring?
I find that anything gets tiring after three months, just like not working for three months would get tiring.
The stand up part is easy, that's the one part of the day where you're not a bad son or bad boyfriend and everyone is looking at you and smiling.
Some comedians would say their shows heavily depend on the reaction and interaction with the crowd - is that the case for yourself?
I would say sometimes the material I have written is in search of a reaction from the audience, but I find that the audience reaction is only set in stone if you've turned up and the local football team has lost or something.
What moments from this current tour have stood out for you?
Letterkenny definitely stood out!
And in Carlow a couple stood up and walked out. They actually stood up at the same time and just walked out.
Does that bother you?
Sure it bothers me, you don't like it when anybody just leaves. But is the deal that I'm supposed to come in and tell jokes about things you already agree with and things that are safe?
I can't do that.
Every comedian worth his salt has to talk about something occasionally that quite possibly puts his career in jeopardy.
The place you can go when you want to hear people speak in reverent tones about stuff is called church.
Comedy is the safest place to go be irreverent, especially about things that need a little poke at.
The comedy world recently lost the great Irish star Sean Hughes, did you ever encounter him?
I met him a few times, I know his legend much better than I know the man.
He was a highly regarded member of comedy, and in this particular hour of this cultural revolution, comedy needs all the voices it can get and so it's a huge loss.
Belfast Telegraph Digital