An Interview with… Rory O’Connor
Rory O’Connor (32) is one of Ireland’s largest online comedians. In a short few years he has amassed over half a million followers on Facebook, all flocking to see his hilarious skits. To find out more about the famous Meath man, his new show and everything from his favourite sandwich filling to prolific life advice, we sat down and had a wee chat.
So, who is Rory O’Connor? Well he’s the man behind Rory’s Stories, which actually turns out to be fairly representative of his own life. O’Connor makes video skits and posts them online, gaining tens of thousands of views on videos regularly. I asked him how he comes up with all these relatable Irish skits. He replied: ‘Just living my life, honest to God. I just spot something, think ‘that’s a video idea,’ WhatsApp it to myself to have it down and then generally film it a few days later. You’d be out chatting to someone and then you’d spot something [and think] that’s actually a good video, then film it.’ O’Connor doesn’t need a film crew to help produce his work, he relies on technology a little closer to home: ‘I film a lot of it on my mobile phone. Mobile phones are so good now, I don’t need [a camera].’
The secret to his viral GAA personality skits, is fairly straightforward: ‘During the [GAA] season if anything happens in a match, I’d usually get a supporters opinion on the game. I’d get a county jersey and put on their accent and have the craic and take the piss out of their county.’ I mean, who doesn’t love a good rant about their home county?
The Guinness loving comedian has written two books to date – Rory’s Stories Guide to the GAA (2017), The Rory’s Stories Guide to Being Irish (2019). As a young father, O’Connor had to find a convenient time to write. ‘When I was writing my books, I was getting up at half-four/five in the morning and writing. […] I find that the human mind is sharpest first thing in the morning.’ He goes on to talk about future projects adding ‘We are looking at one for next year. […] The Rory’s Stories Guide to Life could be a good steppingstone.’
In the past, O’Connor has received considerable online backlash for skits that, for some, cut a bit too close to the bone. In August 2018 he posted a video entitled ‘What greets a man when he comes home from work…’ This video depicts a couple arguing. Content that a ‘vocal minority’ deemed offensive. In response to these past events, O’Connor said ‘I think if you want to get into comedy and you have a fear of offending people, you’re not going to be good at your job. Good comedians speak the truth, so you’re going to get backlash.’ He talked about the August 2018 video admitting ‘That got a lot of backlash. I got absolutely lashed out on Twitter over that for three of four days. I actually deleted my Twitter, I was sick of looking at it. […] It’s not nice, but I’ve a thick neck and I just move on. I certainly wouldn’t be apologising for my content anyway.’
To all the students in UCD who aspire to O’Connor’s level of success, rest assured it didn’t start out that way. O’Connor spoke to me about his brief college experience: ‘I did Sports Management, lasted six weeks – they asked me to spell ‘anatomy physiology’ and I was out that door quicker than my shadow!’
After a sold-out tour in Spring 2019, he is playing eight shows around Ireland across October and November. He summarises his shows as ‘Honest. Relatable. Funny.’ Tickets are available online on Ticketmaster.
Conor Capplis – Editor