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Cummins Up for Air
He’s the funnyman and MC who doesn’t mind getting into a stand-off with rowdy punters. Steve Cummins explains how a Limerick upbringing made him the man he is today.
Paul Nolan, 01 Aug 2012
“There’s Dermot Whelan, Karl Spain and myself. Dermot’s Limerick accent has disappeared along the way, no more than my own, and Karl Spain ate his Limerick accent (laughs). You can put that in, I love Karl. He’s the nicest guy in the world, genuinely one of the sweetest men you’ll ever meet, but he’s a slagging bastard. If you’re gigging with him, and he’s announcing you on, he’ll say something horrendous. Like, he’ll say he met me on Facebook and I was a 14-year-old girl, stuff like that. Or there’s a great one where he goes, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, some of you may know that Ricky Gervais is playing Dublin tomorrow night. Unfortunately, he couldn’t be here, but here’s Steve Cummins!’ There’s people literally going, ‘Aw!’ as I’m coming on!”
Although there isn’t a regular comedy club in Limerick these days, Dolan’s Warehouse does occasionally host stand-up shows. Cummins acted as MC for one such gig a while back, although the headline performer was not your run-of-the-mill comic.
“Mick Foley, the wrestler, who played the character Mankind and was WWE champion for years, was doing a speaker’s tour and a bit of comedy afterwards,” he recalls. “He was booked into Dolan’s and they contacted me through Karl Spain, who knew I used to watch wrestling as a kid. They said, ‘Would you support Mick Foley?’ I said, ‘Damn right, even meeting Mick Foley would be cool.’ It was lovely, they treated me like royalty there. But you had 400 hardcore wrestling fans in a room, and there was maybe one woman there, and most of them are wrestling nuts. There was this big screen covering the stage and it was showing some of Mick Foley’s matches. The crowd is watching it as if it’s live and loving every minute.
“I was going to intro myself from offstage – which is a kind of soul-destroying moment – and go on, do about 40 minutes, call a break, come back and introduce Mick Foley. As soon as they start lifting the screen, the crowd are chanting, ‘One more match!’ And I go in my best, deepest voice, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage’ – and now the audience are cheering – ‘Steve Cummins!’ And at that point, you could just hear 400 people going, ‘Who the fuck is Steve Cummins?’”