Behind the Beard with Rick Murtagh

Comedian Rick Murtagh

Jacqueline Stewart shines the spotlight on comedian, Rick Murtagh for Dafty News.

It’s been a busy 5 years for West London comic, Rick Murtagh, who began his career in stand-up in 2012, after beating the gong and becoming a finalist in a ‘King Gong’ a comedy competition at The London Comedy Store.

In 2013 the young comedian performed at the Camden Fringe. The following year saw the funny-man perform at the Edinburgh Fringe. The same year Rick entered a second comedy competition called, ‘Beat the Frog’, at the ‘Frog ‘n’ Bucket’ in Manchester, and yes, a finalist, which led to a booking in front of 2,000 bikers in that year! Funny-man Rick has also performed at the Brighton Fringe 2016.

“Onstage, I describe myself as blunt, conversational, confessional, and opinionated.”  – Rick Murtagh

At only 27 years old and now living in Brighton, the hard-working, comic travels all over the UK performing his routines. The talented, comic’s ability to draw you in and hold your attention, with his amusing stories about the weird situations he finds himself in which is something we can all relate to. You will notice that his tales are always engaging and entertaining while pulling you deeper into his world, with plenty of laughs along the way.

Spotlight on stand-up comedian Rick Murtagh
Spotlight on stand-up comedian Rick Murtagh

Nothing phases the charismatic Rick Murtagh, as he does think on his feet, from being upstaged with a dodgy mic —  to being heckled with many, noisy beer glasses during one of his solo shows.

With two one-off solo shows under his belt: ‘There’s been a Murtagh’ at the Willoughby Arms, Kingston, London (2015), and ‘Self-Indulgent (p)Rick’ Brighton, (2016), Rick is now working on his next solo show.

“I am influenced by American comedy, but my style is forever evolving and I’m always looking to experiment.”Rick Murtagh

Rick with Milton Jones
Rick with Milton Jones

The comic can also boast that he has performed on many pro nights with acts such as Carl Donnelly, Andrew Maxwell, Bob Mills, Addy Van de Bourgh, Paul Tomkinson, John Moloney, Milton Jones, and Kevin Bishop.

We now delve deeper to find out more about the comedian:

Q:  Who are your favourite comedians?

Rick: “My biggest influences are:  Bill Hicks, George Carlin, Doug Stanhope, Paul Mooney and Richard Pryor, and many more.”

Q: What influenced your decision to break into the world of stand-up?

Rick: “I was about 19/20 years old and was blown away watching Bill Hicks and George Carlin. I have always been a fan of comedy, but, no-one had inspired me, other than Bill Hicks. To me, he made a lot of sense. I started in stand-up at 23 years old, and even then, I never really wanted to be a full-time comedian. I just wanted to give it a try to say I did it; this was June 2012, and here I am in 2017 and still going.”

Laughing, Rick remembers his school days with the first time he entered a talent competition.

“I won a talent competition by doing a stand-up routine. Okay, it was only doing Ken Dodd and John Moloney jokes, so you could say my talent back then was technically plagiarised.”

Q: What advice can you offer to anyone who is thinking about going into the world of stand-up?

Rick: “From my experience, I can only offer a few bits of advice, as I’m still learning and evolving in stand-up. One thing I would say:  If you want to do stand-up, make sure you know why.

Do you want to do it because you think it looks easy and you’ll get on TV after your first gig? If that’s the case, then you’ll probably quit during your first 5 min set. If you are serious about this then please be aware that it’s hard, very hard. You’ll bomb, but the great thing about that is, you’ll learn to get better – don’t be one of those dudes that think he/she never bombs cos’ they don’t learn.

Don’t think you’re making money straight away. If you are good enough you’ll get a couple of paid gigs, but it’s tough to get consistent work unless you are very good.

Network, hang out, be cool with people. You will meet people that suck but you’ll have the same experience working in any job.

Don’t let people tell you how to do comedy, but always absorb the good advice that experienced acts are usually generous enough to give – I have been fortunate to have gotten brilliant tips and had terrific conversations with established comedians who are always inspiring and helpful.

Most of all, have fun, it’s comedy, not politics. The moment you take it too seriously to the point of misery you’ll lose the love of it.

Be yourself, embrace your mistakes, work hard. It is simple stuff but can be easy to forget.”

Q: What are your plans for 2017?

Rick: “I’m planning on being booked to do any gig around the country.”

You can see Rick Murtagh:

4th March at Round George, Brighton

6th March at The Stand, Edinburgh

27th March at The Regent, Islington, London

10th April Storytelling Night at Jean’s Café, Surbiton, London

12th April at Ape and Apple, Manchester

You can follow Rick Murtagh on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram




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