Des Bishop

Desmond Bishop (born 12 November 1975) is an Irish-American comedian. He was brought up in New York but moved to Ireland at the age of 14. He primarily resides there.

Des Bishop
Des Bishop.jpg
Bishop playing football during the 2008 Cat Laughs comedy festival in Kilkenny
Desmond Ryan Bishop

(1975-11-12) 12 November 1975 (age 44)
London, England[1]
Alma materUniversity College Cork (B.A.)
OccupationStand-up comedian

Approach to comedyEdit

Bishop's comedy was originally based heavily on his observations of Irish society, supported by his talent for mimicking the regional variations of the Irish accent. His website says, "Des has developed a unique style of observational comedy, most critical of his adopted home in Ireland and the America he left behind."[2]

Bishop's comedy has since grappled with social issues, such as poverty.[3] In 2000, Bishop was diagnosed with testicular cancer; rather than shy away from this subject, Des went on to turn his experiences into comedy material.

Life and careerEdit

Bishop has worked as a comic in Ireland since the late 1990s. He began hosting shows at the International Comedy Cellar - a venue set up by Irish comics such as Ardal O'Hanlon, Kevin Gildea and Barry Murphy. It was here that Bishop honed his act.[3]

Bishop first reached a TV audience in early 2000, after appearing on Don't Feed the Gondolas, a news based topical TV show. He later had to pull out of this show due to personal reasons.

Bishop created a "hip-hopera" called "RAP ÉIRE" along with Arthur Riordan. "Rap Éire" was a satire following the story of an ambitious American who finds himself mixed up with a group of political types during the throes of early Celtic Tiger fervour. The show had two runs - firstly in the Project Arts centre in February 2001 and afterwards in the Andrews Lane Theatre the following summer. Bishop performed every night of the first run while receiving radiotherapy for testicular Cancer (the original premier date for the play at the Dublin Fringe Festival 2000 had to be cancelled as a result of the original diagnosis of cancer).

Bishop appeared in the 2002 film In America, in which he played a high stockbroker rapping in the back of a NYC taxi cab.[4]

He reached a broader audience after his TV show The Des Bishop Work Experience screened on RTÉ Two in 2004. The show featured him attempting to survive for one month working a minimum wage job in various parts of Ireland. During the series, he worked at Abrakebabra, Waterford; The Aqua-dome, Tralee; Superquinn, Dundalk; and the Central Hotel, Dublin.[3]

A more recent TV show, named Joy in the Hood, featured him travelling to deprived areas of Ireland's major cities and mentoring local people in stand-up comedy.[3]

Bishop and Riordan co-wrote "Shooting Gallery", their second collaboration. This had a short run in Dublin in 2005.

Bishop speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese and has also worked in China[5] where he has adopted the Chinese stage name Bi Hansheng (毕瀚生)[6] and has appeared in a few Chinese dating shows.[7][8]

Personal and familyEdit

Bishop attended St. Francis Preparatory School in the Fresh Meadows neighbourhood of the New York City borough of Queens.[9] At the age of 16, he began school at St Peter's College, Wexford in Ireland. He later re-sat his Leaving Certificate at Blackrock College, Dublin.[3] He has a degree in English and history from University College Cork.

Des' brother Aidan is now a working comedian in Ireland.[10] Both are involved in running the International Comedy Club.

His father died from lung cancer in February 2011, On the 19th of March 2019, his mother Eileen died at the age of 77, after a long illness.[11]

Irish languageEdit

Bishop's TV show, In the Name of the Fada premiered in 2008.[3] It chronicles Bishop's undertaking to learn Irish to a level sufficient to perform a stand-up act in the language.[3] During this period he achieved fluency in the language.[3] He later used his Irish-language skills to sing the Gaeilge version of the song Jump Around called Léim Thart.[12]

The DVD of his live show Tongues and The DVD of the series in the Name of the Fada were released on 14 November 2008.


Standup DVDsEdit

  • Des Bishop - Live at Vicar Street (2003)
  • Des Bishop - Live (2005)
  • Des Bishop - Fitting In (2006)
  • Des Bishop - Tongues (2007)
  • Des Bishop - Desfunctional (2009)


  • My Dad Was Nearly James Bond (2011)


  1. ^ Bishop of China? - Des Bishop. OTL14030 1.20min
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Eamon Dunphy (7 March 2009). "Des Bishop". In Conversations with Eamon Dunphy. RTÉ Radio 1. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  4. ^ Des Bishop on IMDb
  5. ^ Bishop, Des. "Stand Up Comedian Des Bishop 毕瀚生 storms gig on Chinese TV in Chinese". 东方卫视. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Des Bishop China - Party Piece". Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  7. ^ "非诚勿扰 Part2 爱尔兰知名喜剧演员登台 笑星黄西亮相助阵 140712 HD". Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  8. ^ "百里挑一20140315:毕瀚生 潘云牵手失败 (38岁爱尔兰脱口秀主持人钦点美女市场总监)". SMG Shanghai Media Group 上海电视台. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  9. ^ Interview of Des Bishop by Al Roker. Today Show. NBC. 16 March 2009.
  10. ^ Aidan Bishop profile
  11. ^ "Des Bishop's father passes away". RTÉ News. 4 February 2011.
  12. ^ - Press Release - New season schedule Archived 10 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit