We sat down with comedy duo Johnny "Smacks" McMahon and Johnny B O’Brien of The 2 Johnnies to discuss their first tour, the success of their podcast and their ever-growing fan base. Watch their interview in the video above.
In 2016, Johnny Smacks was working behind a butcher's counter in SuperValu while Johnny B made hurleys for his family business in Cahir. One fateful day, the two appointed themselves as MCs for their local GAA club's fundraiser - a role that inadvertently steered them towards a career in comedy.
"If you can impress your own people, then you know you're on to something," explained Johnny Smacks. "Plus, I was working at the time and I don't really like working, so anything was going to better than that," he laughed.
Basking in the glow of positive feedback, the boys decided to make a go of it as a musical-comedy-duo, bringing Tipperary style to the Irish masses across YouTube, iTunes and social media. And while many of us dream of packing up our jobs for a life of stardom, for The 2 Johnnies, it's a reality.
"Within six months, we had given up the jobs," confirmed Johnny Smacks.
Although the two are new to comedy, both men seem exceptionally well suited to a life on stage. Outside of the family business, Johnny B was the lead singer of covers band Johnnie B and the Boogeymen, something he says he left behind as soon as he felt the buzz of stand-up.
"After we did our first comedy gig - where every second and every syllable matters - I went back to the covers band and after the first song, I thought, 'Oh my God, I'm so bored, I'm never doing this again, I want to do comedy for the rest of my life'. Nothing ever came close to it," says Johnnie B.
As for Johnny Smacks, he had always planned on seeing his name in lights.
"We always wanted this, even subconsciously. I remember meeting with a career guidance counsellor in sixth year and telling her I still wanted to be a soccer player. I was always a dreamer."
Within an exceptionally short amount of time, the duo had four songs reach number one on the Irish iTunes charts - it was the kind of success that only George Ezra himself could slow down. In August 2018, the folk singer's smash hit Shotgun kept Summer Tune out of the top spot but, through hard work, perseverance and some farm-specific lyrics, The Silage Song took Ezra down a peg.
They say all is forgiven now.
Earlier this year, The 2 Johnnies Podcast launched with the help of their producer, Late Late Show researcher Maura Fay. Every Monday, the three share their takes on life and the latest news, as well as their own personal stories.
"We can follow whatever mad idea that we have and try and make it happen," says Johnny B.
"There are no rules and we're making it up as we go along," agrees Johnny Smacks. "We have young people onto us, asking how to become a YouTuber. We don't know! You're going to have to ask some young lad whose good at Minecraft or something."
"We're not YouTubers, we're just on YouTube," confirms a deadpan Johnny B.
At first glance, the podcast may seem fairly niche but after sitting at number one in the Irish Podcast charts for 38 weeks in a row, it would seem that the pair has mass appeal, both on and off the stage.
"The audience is strange," says Johnny Smacks. "You've got kids of seven years old singing our song about Coppers, saying 'You can't take her home to your mother', they don't understand what we mean but they like the songs... so we do kids shows.
"Then obviously, you've got everybody from 18 to 35 - the podcast demographic - and then we travelled to junction 14 and there was a lad cleaning windows, he was around 60, and he was like, 'I like the podcast thing you're doing'."
Johhnie B added: "There are people who have never listened to a podcast or been to a live show and they're coming to our show, which we think is a good thing."
Tickets for Get Loose are on sale from €23 from Ticketmaster outlets and venue box offices nationwide except Vicar Street priced at €28. For more information, click here.