Having rared his children to self-sufficiency, Joe Rooney has a new lease on life and is ready to take on 2020 - he's even joined Crossfit! We sat down to discuss his new show, recording his material and his kids.
Best known for his iconic role as Father Damo in Father Ted and his time as Timmy Higgins on Killinaskully, Joe Rooney has crafted an impressive comedic career across screen and stage.
Now, having amassed a huge amount of material as a stand-up, the Galway man has created an unmissable gig that will highlight the best of his material - in his new show, Shut Your Cake Hole.
"I've got a lot of material after doing a few Edinburgh [Fringe Fetivals] and I'm afraid that I'm going to forget it all so I'm going to record it and have it there so I can move on and have the best of what I have," he said.
While it may seem strange, comedians often don't record their material - no video, no audio, not so much as a scrap of paper - which means that Joe is relying on his memory and the kindness of fellow comedians to come up with the goods.
"I've been driving around with other comedians and they remind me of bits that I've totally forgotten about so I thought, 'I really should record stuff'," he laughed. "I would love to record a new set every year. I was getting lazy and not writing new stuff so this is a way to push me to write."
"Knowing this will be recorded, it's something to leave behind," he laughed.
A born entertainer, Joe has tried his hand at everything from acting and stand-up to podcasting and music (remember his Guernica days?). However, as the father of two young kids, his early career choices had to be made responsibly in order for him to provide for his family.
Now that the kids have grown up, the 56-year-old says he's ready to take some risks and travel further afield.
"My kids are not kids anymore! My youngest is 18 and the freedom I have now is like 20 years ago when I had freedom. It was gone and now it's back again, I'm going back to gig in Edinburgh and getting gigs abroad in the likes of Dubai."
Having signed up to Crossfit as part of his New Year's resolutions, the comic is preparing his mind body and soul for a brand new show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this coming August. Seeing as all previous material will be committed to film after Saturday, Rooney is under pressure to perform.
"I only work with a deadline. If there's no deadline, I don't write. Recording this puts myself under pressure to write another hour that's equally as good as this show for Edinburgh," he said, smiling.
We have no doubt he's up the challenge.