Eleanor Tiernan

Comedian

Eleanor Tiernan

‘I don’t normally like female comedians but you were funny’. Is often said to Eleanor Tiernan.

Her reply goes something like, ‘ OK, not strictly speaking a question but something that gets said to me and others after shows and seems to expect some kind of a response. In truth, this statement has very little to do with me or any comedian it gets said to. The person is holding you responsible for causing a fight in their brain.

Eleanor Tiernan

‘I don’t normally like female comedians but you were funny’. Is often said to Eleanor Tiernan.

Her reply goes something like, ‘ OK, not strictly speaking a question but something that gets said to me and others after shows and seems to expect some kind of a response. In truth, this statement has very little to do with me or any comedian it gets said to. The person is holding you responsible for causing a fight in their brain. Two conflicting pieces of information are battling for supremacy. The first statement or rule was pre-existing ie “All female comedians are not funny”. The second is the evidence the comedian’s hilarious performance has provided (“A woman was funny”) which is in direct competition with the first. Both of these statements cannot be true. One has to go and the person must choose which. The discomfort of having to make this choice is what is being communicated to you. Obviously you can do nothing for them. There is a price to be paid for leading an unenlightened life. Any response to their statement would only interrupt them from paying it.

However sometimes, for mischief, I do try to convince them that either I am not female or that I wasn’t funny.’

Eleanor Tiernan is an Irish comedian and was featured on Stewart Lee’s Alternative Comedy Experience on Comedy Central and has played Latitude, Glastonbury, Montreal Just For Laughs and all of the top Irish comedy festivals.

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