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Recipe for Fun

It’s what you get when you mix two Irish musicians with two Irish comics.

From left: Derek Richards, Damon Leibert, Derrick Keane, and Mike Malone.
by William Sokolic

The Irish Comedy Tour at the Levoy Theatre on March 14 features a pair of comedians and a couple of musicians who could be funny as well. So how do the two funny guys work in the musicians who could be funny into a comedy tour?

“Personally, I think it’s the other way around,” says Mike Malone, one of the two comics who are not musicians. “The two of them have a dueling piano energy that is so electric some nights that it feels nice to be able to do our little jokes at their concert. They do such a great job at getting the audience fired up and ready to laugh. Between Derrick Keane’s quick-witted crowd work, brilliant voice and razor-sharp wit and Damon Leibert’s incredible fiddle playing, the rest of the show is just a bonus.”

Leibert stays silent on stage but plays up the physical side of comedy with big facial expressions and quick retorts from his fiddle while Keane keeps the audience going with street jokes, Irish tall tales and sing-a-longs that are contagious.

They are the hosts and the glue that holds the show together, says tour founder Derek Richards. “I didn’t just want it to be a show that has four standup comedians. This variety creates an energy unlike anything out there.”

Leibert has performed concerts and festivals across North America and Europe and has worked in various theater, film, and recording projects.

Keane’s band, Inchicore, has become the gold standard for the Irish music scene in New England and across North America. “He plays festivals, pubs and anyplace that can use a sexy Irishman with a drinking problem who can belt out anything from an Irish classic drinking song to anything in the Beatles catalog,” Richards says.

That doesn’t discount the performances of the two comedians,

Richards engages audiences with his tales about his child-free existence, living in Las Vegas and his blue collar upbringing. Aside from the tour, he has appeared on Amazon Prime, The Bob & Tom Show, SiriusXM, and The Weather Channel’s Top 10, believe it or not. He just released his fourth album, Double Down, available on iTunes, Spotify and Soundcloud. Richards is also a regular on the show Normal World on Blaze TV. Catch him in the movie, Don’t Suck with Matt Rife and Jamie Kennedy.

Malone focuses his humor on what he termed as idiotic ways the audience handles life, death, love, and grief. He’s appeared on Fox, Comedy Central, Showtime and Hulu. He has a special, “Laugh After Death.”

The four have their own ideas as to who sets the tone in the show. “Leibert will tell you it’s his leprechaun suit,” Malone says. “Keane will tell you it’s his charm. Richards would blame it on his good looks but I’m here to tell you that the Irish just know how to have a good time. I think the audience feels like they are a part of the group when they come to the show. Dirty jokes and good music just make it feel like you’re back home with close friends.”

By ancestry all four are Irish from head to toe, even if born and raised in the U.S. or Canada.

As a group, they do not tour beyond the St. Patty’s Day holiday. “We put in a lot of hard work putting together a tour like this,” Richards says. “We pick up tour dates throughout the year, but most of our work together starts at the end of February through March.”

Truth is, the show is relatable to anyone of any ethnic background, Richards says. “We’re all cut from the same cloth at the end of the day and the stuff we do in the show [comedically] resonates with people of not only Irish ethnicity, but Germans, Polish, English, Greek, etc.”

If you’ve seen the show in the past, expect a few new wrinkles to keep it fresh, Richard says. “Just like a touring band, if you saw U2 do the same songs every time, you’d get bored. As comedians we try to keep bringing in new topics and conversations. The musicians always rotate new songs into the fold.”

Like Keane and Leibert, Richards and Malone have been performing together for years. “Derek was actually the first person to take me out on the road when I was first starting out. Obviously, we have crossed paths and worked together here and there since then but I can’t tell you how great it is to come together for an entire month and perform at these theaters together. Very full circle moment for me and the most fun I have on stage is working with these hooligans.”

If You Go:

  • The Irish Comedy Tour (sponsored by The Law Offices of Kavanagh & Kavanagh)
  • Thursday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Levoy Theatre, 126-130 N. High Street, Millville
  • Tickets: $29-$39, plus fees. Premium seating includes a $20 non-refundable donation to the Levoy.
  • For more information, call 856-327-6400 or visit