One To Watch – Johnny Buckley Internet Comedian And Sensation
In this week’s One to Watch, RSVP’s Susan Knox chats to internet comedian and sensation Jonny Buckley who has been taking Facebook by storm with his hilarious alter-ego Geraldine McAleese.
Hi Jonny! First of all, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am currently 26 and living in Cork City (the real capital!). I work in digital marketing for a local company, so part of my job involves using social media and websites, which suits me perfectly! I am a fan of all things theatre and performing arts and used to attend a stage school here in Cork called CADA Performing Arts working on fun shows such as the Everyman Pantomime.
When and how did you first begin making videos?
I started in the Summer of 2013 making little Vine videos, but it fully started out in February 2014 when I was living in Dublin. It was a way of staying connected to Cork and I also missed being on stage so I took to the internet with my silly ideas! Graham Norton responded to a tweet of mine about my video and that gave me the push to start the comedy page and Geraldine McAleese was born!
Where do you get your inspiration from? And where did the idea of Geraldine McAleese come from?
I grew up on the northside of Cork City surrounded by charming people who used come out with the funniest lines. It wasn’t until I left that I appreciated the humour of Cork and really noticed it every time I returned home. So I suppose that Geraldine is a collection of everyone I have ever met in my life around Cork City. The name happened by chance; I always just had Geraldine in my head so I decided to pick a really well known surname to match – so I chose our past presidents!
Do you ever find it difficult to come up with content?
It can be tricky at times because there is so much content out there now and you are trying to find the most relevant and relatable idea. If something is very topical I would try to create a video around that. Usually if I see or hear something funny about the place, I would take note of it and that develops into a new video. Most of my content is a variation of something I have seen in real-life. So if you see me giggling at you around the city, your story might be my next video!!
Who would you say are your influences and inspirations when it comes to comedy?
I am a huge fan of Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids) and just find her humour so hilarious. She can really feel that comic beat and knows exactly how to make people laugh at the right times. Locally, Mrs. Browns Boys is an obvious inspiration and influence for me, Brendan O’Carroll created this character based off his life in northside of Dublin also and a collection of people he has met growing up. I would love to have the scope to have more characters in my videos too!
A lot of people would only love to make their own videos on Facebook and YouTube, but they are too afraid of what other people will think. Did you ever feel like this? And how do you overcome that fear?
Absolutely, I still feel like this every time I click that upload button. When I first started doing videos I knew that it wouldn’t be everybody’s cup of tea but realistically you can’t please everybody. You will always have people who love or hate you no matter what you do. You could be the most quiet person who keeps to themselves and people wouldn’t approve, so I am doing this because I enjoy it, and as cliché as it sounds, if you love me then I love you back, and if you don’t like me then that’s OK too!
YouTube has seriously blown up in the past year or two, and everybody seems to want to make it big on it, do you ever feel pressure because of this?
YouTube is growing so fast and it becoming harder and harder to be that stand out person. I do feel pressure to make regular videos and when I don’t I feel like I am letting opportunities go. But this is still a hobby for me and I work full time already so I want this to be fun for me and not get too caught up on the numbers. I think once people start trying too hard on YouTube it can be worse for your channel, you are better of just being yourself and people will like you for that.
If you could go to dinner with three famous people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
Kristen Wiig – because I would ask her everything she knows about comedy and not stop laughing at her at the same time!
Cheryl – because I have been obsessed with her ever since she rocked that red outfit in “Fight For This Love” and I think she would be some laugh on a night out!
RuPaul – because who doesn’t love Drag Race?! Might even pick up a few tips for Geraldine!!
Do you have any advice for people who want to make videos and content such as yourself, but are a bit apprehensive about it?
It can be very daunting putting yourself out there for people to love or hate but if you have an idea and it’s something you love then you should just go for it. I am lucky that I haven’t had terribly mean comments but if I do see negative comments I just try and focus on the positive ones. Honestly, you never know until you try and the internet is a global thing so you will always have somebody who enjoys your content so do it for the people who like it and support you and F the haters – I pure sound like Taylor Swift now!
Do you have a favourite Irish YouTuber?
There is such a growing community of Irish YouTubers and we all chat on a Facebook group page “Official Irish Youtubers”. My favourite Riyadh Khalaf, his content is hilarious and have been following him a while now. His channel has exploded over the past year or so and it’s really great so see Irish YouTubers like him really making a living out of it now.
If you could collaborate with ANYONE for a video, who would it be and why?
I would love to collab with Miranda Sings and Glozell Green. They are both YouTubers and they are seriously so so funny. I actually don’t think I would get any work done if we did a collab together because I would probably just spend my time laughing at them!
When you’re lacking inspiration and drive to make new content, how do you pick yourself back up again and create side-splitting funny videos?
I have moments where I find it hard to make videos because I don’t want to make half attempts at them. If I am lacking motivation I usually just watch other videos to give me a boost or read over some comments and remember that I love doing this and love to make people smile!
What has been your biggest achievement in life to date?
I just graduated with a Master’s in Public Relations with New Media last week. If you told me 10 years ago I would have a level 9 qualification I would have laughed but I am so happy and proud I pursued it.
What is the ultimate life goal for you?
I would love to live in America someday, it’s been a dream of mine my whole life! I hope someday I could take my comedy to the stage and create a show around various characters. I love posting online but there is nothing like performing to a live audience! For now I am going to try and build it more online and hopefully bring a smile to a few more faces.