‘Who would play me in a movie? Tilda Swinton’
In Conversation: Kevin McGahern and Edwin Sammon
Kevin McGahern and Edwin Sammon
When were you closest to death?
Edwin: On the operating table for eight hours when they were taking out my large bowel.
Kevin: Getting a lift with an alcoholic drunk-driver when I was about 10. Children thumbed a lot more in those days. I remember getting a lift and realising halfway though he was absolutely ossified and driving like a lunatic.
Have you ever stolen anything?
Kevin: I was a big thief when I was a young lad. I had very little money. I used to do this trick where I would go in and take off the sticker of a price of something less expensive and stick it on the thing I wanted.
Edwin: That’s just stealing a discount.
Kevin: I also used to steal American sweets from those shops that sell American sweets. I just felt they were ripping us off, so it was justified.
Edwin: Whenever I’m getting a maple and pecan pastry with my coffee, you know the loose pecans that have fallen off the other ones? I take them as well. I’m so ashamed.
Kevin: I sometimes mislabel food you weigh in the supermarket.
Ed: I don’t let the bananas fully rest on the weighing scales.
Kevin: I put bananas through as onions. That’s more sophisticated deception than theft.
What one thing would you love to buy?
Kevin: A 1977 white Dodge Challenger.
Edwin: A horse.
Kevin: Playing a lot of Red Dead?
What is your most dominant personality trait?
Kevin: I self-analyse to the point that I’m completely deluded about myself, so I honestly couldn’t answer that.
Edwin: Is rampant egotism a personality trait? Because you definitely have that.
Kevin: I think you’ve got a very friendly face, is that a trait?
Edwin: Is depression a personality trait? Sadness? A deep well of sadness that I hide with smiling eyes.
Who would play you in a film?
Edwin: Who’s that actor who plays all of those sad sacks?
Kevin: Paul Giamatti.
Edwin: Perfect. You’d have a bunch of people playing you like that Bob Dylan movie.
Kevin: Tilda Swinton would be in there. I’m going to go with Christian Slater.
Edwin: I would like to hear an American actor do a Cavan accent.
What is your strongest memory from childhood?
Edwin: I remember very clearly being in Galway at the beach and getting back into the grandparents’ car, because the grandparents wouldn’t get out, they’d just look at the beach from the car. I got in and started taking off my shorts and looking for the towel to dry myself, and they turned around and I realised it wasn’t my grandparents. I was in the wrong car.
Kevin: I remember telling my first joke after watching Mrs. Doubtfire. There’s a joke in the film where she says “Holding this meat reminds me of Winston”. Someone says “What happened?” She says “It was the drink that killed him”. “He was an alcoholic?” “No he was hit by a Guinness truck.” I tried to crowbar the joke into conversation with my relatives. I didn’t know anyone dead, so I said to my aunt “hey, auntie Maureen, did you hear granddad died?” She was like “Don’t ever say anything like that ever again.” I felt so terrible.
Edwin: Wait, so your granddad wasn’t hit by a Guinness truck?
What is the meanest thing anyone has ever said to you?
Kevin: The most traumatic thing to hear as a child for someone in our business is “Stop showing off”.
Edwin: I was just talking to a girl one time and she was being really mean to me because I think she thought I was trying to chat her up. She just looked at me and said ‘I don’t like beards.’ I said “Don’t grow one”.
Kevin: Girls are way better at sticking the knife in. Lads just hit you.
Edwin: I’m not a big fan of conflict.
Can you play a musical instrument?
Kevin: I play a bit of guitar, ukulele, I started learning harmonica but I just gave up.
Edwin: I play the drums a little bit, and fiddle around on the bass as well.
Kevin: The usual white male middle-class instruments.
What was your favourite item of clothing as a teenager?
Edwin: Brown Levi’s jeans, they looked great.
Kevin: I had this sort of green, Kurt Cobain grungy cardigan that I wore to school every single day. Everyone had to wear their jumper to school, but I started wearing this over my shirt and the teachers didn’t say anything. I felt like I was running that place.
What is your go-to late night snack?
Edwin: A toasted ham, cheese, Ballymaloe sandwich and a cup of tea.
Kevin: Mine is, like clockwork…
Edwin: Small taco fries, a leg of chicken, and a baby Coke.
Kevin: Yes, from Supermac’s. It’s all you need.
Kevin McGahern’s Solo Polo stand-up tour is currently touring around Ireland, with support from Edwin Sammon. For more information visit kevinmcgahern.com