Seven things to keep in mind if you're going to Vodafone Comedy Festival
Fact: stand-up comedy is the most difficult profession in the entertainment industry, maybe even the world.
You get up, you talk to strangers and if you don't make 'em LOL within two minutes, they'll come after you. And hell hath no fury like an Irish audience scorned.
Luckily, the annual four-day Vodafone Comedy Festival at the Iveagh Gardens has somehow managed to avoid any major controversies. Which is good-going, considering that live comedy in a 'festival' environment can be precarious at the best of times.
Never mind the clubs; spare a thought for the poor support acts and MCs who risk life and limb to entertain late-night audiences that have been supping pints under the sun all day.
Sometimes, these things end badly (American comic Jen Kirkman wasn't best pleased with the crowds at last year's festival - she told us so on Twitter), and occasionally, they turn magical (some comedians are amazing at damage control).
Whatever the case, there are certain… inevitabilities, let's call them, that one must keep in mind upon entering the Gardens this weekend.
One: not everyone will be funny - deal with it. Two: there will always be hecklers. Three: American comedy doesn't always translate onto an Irish stage. Four: the comics always blame the room when jokes don't land. Five: people will be drunk. Six: people will be offended. Seven: people get all dramatic about the comedians they like.
And, of course, you'll come away with at least one new favourite joke-teller (last year's appearances by Nate Bargatze and Milton Jones changed my life).
Most importantly, it's a cracking weekend, with a great bill.
The great Tommy Tiernan and Reginald D Hunter are in there, as is Deirdre O'Kane, Nick Kroll, Jon Richardson, Joanne McNally, Panti, The Pajama Men, Jason Byrne, Tom Stade and many more.
Show 'em all a bit of respect, please.
The Vodafone Comedy Festival runs Thursday-Sunday