Monday, 16 January 2017

Interview With One Third Of The Fupin Eejits - Eddie Whelan

''If you can laugh at yourself you are going to be fine.
If you allow others to laugh with you, you will be great''
A quote that really reflects the motto of a group I'm going to be talking about today. 
Psychiatric nurses Eddie Whelan, Senan Byrne and Stevie Cahill make up a comedy three piece known as The Fupin Eejits. Sketches you've probably came across on Facebook such as The Leaving Cert sketch and on popular app 'Vine' for those of you living under a rock and haven't yet heard of Vine it's an app that allows you to make 6.5 second long videos that loop and aim to have you in stitches by the end something that these three lads seem to do very well. 
 I first came across The Fupin Eejits when I discovered their helium balloons vine and to this day it's a video I don't think I'll ever get over, sheer comedy gold!! 
I was delighted when I got the opportunity to meet with one third of the The Fupin Eejits Clonmel's Eddie Whelan to chat all about how the group started, where their ideas came from and how things have changed since they began. 

Who would have known that by downloading one app so much could change for the three lads but it was Senan who got the ball rolling and encouraged Eddie to jump on board: 
''Senan and myself initially became friends through work. I always knew he had  a keen interest in computers and technology so it wasn't unusual for him to be asking me to download apps for the phone but at the time we never thought an app simply called Vine would have such an impact on us. Now Senan on one front is usually so mature and professional however to this day I still think he only wanted to have someone goofy in videos so the embarrassment would not just be on him as he used videos to express his creative genius.Our interest grew when some of our videos together went relatively viral We ended up doing a few videos together and they actually did very well on Vine and went viral. Again it was through work we bumped into the legend that is Stevie Cahill, who was already massive on his own page 'The Irish Take'. The three of us just clicked and became great friends, we always have such a good laugh together anyway that all we needed was a camera to record what we were doing''
It's unbelievable what makes Irish people laugh, the originality of 'fupin' is comical to me a nd few know it actually came from the greatest show ever placed on television Father Ted, the Fupp off! episode (Father Ted -Fupp off!
''I'll have to give the credit to Senan for this one, It came from Father Ted - the episode where they can't curse at the picnic and the reason being is because we didn't want people to think we were taking ourselves as serious comedians. We knew we were going to be making goofy videos so we're slagging ourselves before anyone else gets it in, it's original'' 

Eddie and Senan are both Tipp men hailing from Clonmel and Stevie from up the road in Kilkenny and when watching the videos you'll notice they're all filmed around these local areas, a prime example is 'Trainspotting' which was filmed in the one and only fine town of Carrick On Suir in Tipperary (swear I'm not biased at all) but it's not the lad's aim to keep it local it just has to be that way: 
''It's all down to timing, we're all psychiatric nurses in Kilkenny so it can be hard to find time. Stevie is married to Claire with three lovely children, Senan is engaged to Lynsey so I probably have the most free time, but trying to find the time for us all that's the hard part'

From my own experience I know that there's days when I sit down to write a blog post and I have no inspiration but with such amazing, original content uploaded regularly you have to wonder where the ideas stem from: 
''Our ideas comes from everyday life, we're all mature and in our thirties so we like to put our own slant on things. We don't copy anybody else we like to think that we're that little bit more original. I was always acting the eejit as a young fella, the class clown and Stevie openly admitted he was a messer too so making videos is a form of expression we're under no pressure which is great and we've full time jobs so this is just a hobby'' 

Nursing and comedy seems miles apart but in reality they say a sense of humour is the best way to handle a profession in nursing, for Eddie this is a statement he really agrees with and having other hobbies to occupy your mind is the best way to go, 
''I was told humour is so important in my very first lecture in nursing especially in psychiatric nursing, you need to have a sense of humour and I really enjoy making people smile, even if it's at my expense'' 
I'm also big into sport and play with Moyle Rovers GAA, I love soccer and hurling but it's hard to find time to commit to a club with so much going on. This year I'm going to try get back into it all''

With so much going on one might ask 'would you ever go fully in to comedy' but it's not on the agenda for Eddie just yet, 
''I actually really enjoy my job so I don't think I'd ever give up the nursing and that's what makes it so relaxed and enjoyable making the videos. There's no pressure on any of us. The boys and myself all enjoy the acting side of things but we are however looking into stand up sketches because that's something we would like to try, why not?!'' 

So with all this committed time to making people laugh are there any benefits to it? 
''Benefits? Senan and Stevie are getting the benefits alright but they told me it's because they do most of the editing and Stevie once told me that I was the best extra in Ireland. We got brought over to Bordeaux for the Euros and also got to see the twitter offices in London which was a brilliant experience''

As stupid as I'm going to sound here, I actually got starstruck when I first met Eddie a couple of months back, and do you want to know the most embarrassing part?? Eddie didn't even realise!! It was back in October I passed him leaving a shop and just stood there speechless but thankfully for my sake Eddie and the boys do get recognised quite a lot *praise the Lord I'm not the only one* 
''If getting called a f*cking eejit is being recognised then we get it all the time. I don't know if it's becuase people mispronounce the name or they just don't like me!!
We're doing something that we enjoy, we're three really good friends and we enjoy making videos that make some people laugh.
 And just for the record me and Stevie never fight, we always agree on everything ''
*** Said With A Big Smirky Head***  

Tommy, the unofficial fourth member of The Fupin Eejits appears in loads of videos and on Eddie's snapchat (such as this video about Donald Trump) and honestly makes my day every time I see him appear, 
''The main question I get 'is that Tommy fella your father?' for the record he's a family friend who retired from nursing a few years ago, he was initially in one of my snapchat videos by chance and the feedback I got was unbelievable, I suppose people love his laid back attitude so now when I put up a snapchat without Tommy people tune out. Tommy has become my best friend now because of this....I'm only messing, he pays for the coffee...Ahhh I'm only messing''

There's still a big stigma towards mental health in Ireland and with the lads being psychiatric nurses it's a serious issue they have considered speaking about in the future with a lot of celebrities coming out about it in recent times.
''Great question Lynda! It's something me and the lads have been threatening to address as we feel celebrities are coming out talking about dealing with depression and anxiety issues which is great however mental health also involves disorders such as bipolar and schizophrenia and it's something we'd like to highlight in the future''  
You can check out the lads on facebook - FupinEejits
Youtube - Fupin Eejits
Twitter - fupineejits

A huge thanks to Eddie for meeting with me and taking his time out to give us an insight into the world of the Fupin Eejits!! Without a doubt one of the nicest, funniest men I've ever came across in my life!!
It was an absolute pleasure :) 

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