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American Culture (And Kansas City) Through The Eyes Of An Irish Comedian

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Colm O'Regan
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Irish comedian ColmO'Regan might have something to say about your mama. Rather, his Irish mammy might.

The comedian, who is in Kansas City for a stand up show Friday, achieved accidental Twitter fame while preparing for a comedy web-sketch.

"I wanted to make it look like an Irish mother, maybe 60 years or so, had a Twitter account — this was back in 2011 when Twitter wasn't as ever present as it is now," he says.

He started Tweeting ordinary things an Irish mother might say. For example:

"It swiftly became more popular than me as a real person," O'Regan says.

Eventually @IrishMammies became a book, which was a bestseller in Ireland. Two books later, he's touring the United States just in time for St. Patrick's Day. 

This is O'Regan's first time to Kansas City. Though it's not quite as green as his homeland, he says he has enjoyed the arrival of spring to our city. 

"I was actually surprised to see so many Irish flags ... going through an American city and against a very American backdrop, seeing the Irish flag, it does strike a chord and so I can really see that this is a place that does its St. Patrick's Day quite seriously, and I think it's one of the biggest parades outside of Ireland," he said.

His small village of Dripsey in County Cork has the record for the world's shortest St. Patrick's Day parade. It was 25 yards, from the door of one pub to the door of another across the street, until one of the bars closed during the recession. 

This will be O'Regan's first time celebrating St. Patty's Day in the United States, and he hopes to find an authentic Irish pub where he can settle in for a beer. On the American interpretation of an Irish pub, versus the real thing, O'Regan says it all comes down to ambiance. 

"I think what Irish pubs have patented is lighting, atmosphere, and comfortable, but that does not mean you have to have hi-diddly-igh music playing or spend thousands of dollars buying old stuff to put on the wall. It's about the lighting, it has to be dark, comfortable, and not too loud."

Colm O'Regan performs Friday at 7 p.m. at the KC Irish Center in the lower level of Union Station. Tickets are $10. 

CORRECTION: On air, we incorrectly stated that the Kansas City Irish Center was in Crown Center. It is in the lower level of Union Station.

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Slow news days are a thing of the past. As KCUR’s news director, I want to cut through the noise, provide context to the headlines, and give you news you can use in your daily life – information that will empower you to make informed decisions about your neighborhood, your city and the region. Email me at lisa@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @larodrig.