Game for a laugh

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - The Shape I'm In - Es­ther McCarthy

ONE of Ire­land’s favourite fun­ny­men is look­ing for­ward to some fes­tive down­time af­ter a very busy few months. Mario Rosen­stock will spend Christ­mas with wife Blath­naid and their chil­dren Bel­lamie (5) and Dash (11), who can hardly wait for De­cem­ber 25. But Mario is un­sure of what he’ll find un­der the tree on Christ­mas morn­ing.

“I guess a lit­tle sur­prise from my wife if I’m very lucky — I’ll have to be very well be­haved up to that point. I love those scarves that are worn with blaz­ers, that’s what I’m into at the mo­ment.”

A few things are cer­tain — there will be ten­nis and tick­les and treats over the fes­tive pe­riod for the sports fan and fam­ily man.

Rosen­stock, the star of To­day FM’s Gift Grub, is also re­turn­ing to Cork in the spring with his mas­sively suc­cess­ful In Your Face tour. Hav­ing sold out a six-night run in the Opera House ear­lier this year, he’s re­turn­ing for two dates in 2019 — March 6 and 7.

He loves per­form­ing in the city and feels that Leesiders have al­ways en­joyed his shows.

“I think that they love the piss-take, they love tak­ing the piss. And it’s also a highly po­lit­i­cal town. For some rea­son, from the very early days, they re­ally got my hu­mour.”

What shape are you in?

I would be very healthy. That doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean I’m do­ing all the right things at all. I’m out of shape at the mo­ment, I’d say, be­cause I’ve been work­ing ex­cep­tion­ally hard for three months. My main thing is ten­nis. I play ten­nis to a de­cent level, but I haven’t been able to play a lot in the last few months.

What are your health­i­est eat­ing habits?

I eat good food. We eat a rounded diet at home, all home-cooked mainly. My wife tries to cook as much as pos­si­ble at home, though I’m not much of a cook. She’s into re­ally healthy, sim­ple meals.

What are your guilti­est plea­sures?

We have two kids in the house, so there are jel­lies, and I of­ten end up raid­ing the jelly jar. I’m a real re­ward per­son — if I feel I’ve had a good day I’ll give my­self a re­ward. A glass of wine and cheese and crack­ers, is there any­thing nicer? I find that keep­ing them out of the house ac­tu­ally works.

What would keep you awake at night?

Worry, stress. But I’m a good sleeper.

When I hit the pil­low I’m asleep within ten se­conds. I can crash out im­me­di­ately.

How do you re­lax?

I re­ally love play­ing ten­nis and I think it’s one of the most re­lax­ing things I can do. I find when I’m in­volved in a re­ally good game, you go into that re­ally fo­cused space.

I love watch­ing doc­u­men­taries. I watch a lot of tele­vi­sion. It’s an oc­cu­pa­tional haz­ard — I have to keep on top of ev­ery­thing that’s hap­pen­ing. I watch a lot of cur­rent af­fairs and sport.

Who would you in­vite to your dream din­ner party?

Mo­ham­mad Ali. Napoleon — I’m fas­ci­nated with Napoleon — Michael Collins, and I’ve al­ways had a soft spot for Vivien Leigh.

What’s your favourite smell?

Burn­ing fire­wood. I quite like the smell of petrol, ac­tu­ally. And the smell of au­tumn, what­ever that is.

What would you like to change about your ap­pear­ance?

I’m happy with my eyes, be­cause I can do Miriam O’Cal­laghan with those eyes. I would def­i­nitely get a flat­ter tummy. I would have a ten­dency to have a belly. And moobs, I would get rid of those. When I eat badly I get moobs and a belly.

When was the last time you cried?

I was semi-weep­ing when Ire­land beat the All Blacks in Novem­ber. I love rugby, I love sport, and for as long as I can re­mem­ber, Ire­land never beat the All-Blacks [on home soil]. You can see the com­ing to fruition of the his­tory that has gone into this, and what it means to so many peo­ple.

What traits do you least like about oth­ers?

Bul­ly­ing. I hate bul­ly­ing at any level, mi­cro level or macro level. I hate mean­ness as well. Par­tic­u­larly petty, small-minded mean­ness.

What traits do you least like about your­self?

I can be too blunt. I can be rude when I don’t mean to be rude, but I sound rude. I can be a lit­tle ar­ro­gant at times. I’m try­ing to be aware of it.

Do you pray?

No. Only when I’m des­per­ate.

What would cheer up your day?

Play­ing a game called Tickle Bed with my daugh­ter Bel­lamie. It’s a de­liv­ery of tick­les. She can choose which tickle it is. There are about 30 dif­fer­ent types of tick­les. It’s like De­liv­eroo for tick­les.

“I of­ten end up raid­ing the jelly jar”

FIRST IM­PRES­SIONS: Co­me­dian and im­pres­sion­ist Mario Rosen­stock is bring­ing his live show on tour again next year.

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