Fred Cooke: ‘I turned to junk food and sleep and drinking. I was lonely

I like being a husband and a dad. It fits me. The time was good for it to occur. I really feel so fortunate to be beloved by Julie who not solely understands me for who I’m, but additionally respects me for what I’m. Every day she makes me snort. I do know that is sounding like my marriage ceremony speech nevertheless it’s true. There is a pure chaos inside me that must be grounded. I wanted this stability. But it’s a stability that nurtures my artistic chaotic self.

I by no means realised how a lot time I needed to myself till I turned a dad. From the interval of once I turned a full-time comic in 2008 to September 2020, I hibernated. Slept till the afternoon, acquired up, went to a deli-counter, after which informed jokes that night. I beloved it. I beloved the liberty.

But for on a regular basis I assumed I used to be free I used to be truly lonely. And as a result of I used to be lonely I turned to junk meals and sleep and consuming — pondering I used to be dwelling a life with out constraints, however actually I used to be misplaced. Finding Julie was the most effective factor that would have occurred me.

Julie Jay and Fred Cooke with their son Ted
Julie Jay and Fred Cooke with their son Ted

Two weeks in the past Julie and I went to her buddy’s joint fortieth birthday celebration at a Japanese restaurant. I sat throughout from her and her magnificence blew me away. It actually hit me in that second how mad I’m in regards to the girl I married. Not solely due to her seems to be, however her unbelievable presence and skill to carry a room within the palm of her palms. Like most {couples}, there are various days once we battle and bicker over foolish issues. We go away the home in silence till one in all us is courageous sufficient to speak once more. But that’s what marriage is — working by means of issues and speaking and dealing with arguments head on.

It was definitely intense being a first-time dad in lockdown. Once per week I left Kerry to shoot the Tommy Tiernan Show in Dublin with a letter of permission. The freedom I felt as soon as I acquired within the automotive was like heading off on a J1, however that sense of freedom would solely be momentary, and earlier than I had hit Limerick I might be dying to be again with Julie and Ted.

Parenting has turn into a lot simpler and enjoyable now that he’s older. I like to see his character creating and looking out on the world by means of his eyes. He doesn’t see the keyboard as an instrument stuffed with musical guidelines and exams. It’s simply one other one in all his toys — solely this one has extra buttons on it. I wouldn’t push music on him, however I’ll have sufficient music round the home that hopefully he’ll choose it up by means of osmosis. He loves hitting balls up and down the hallway so hopefully we’ve acquired ourselves our very personal Mcllroy.

Julie is an unbelievable mother. Ted spends his days following and imitating her. I typically joke on stage that I’m nervous about Ted’s intelligence as Julie acquired 400 factors greater than me within the Leaving Cert. They get one another in approach I don’t. Not to say their chats in Irish.

Dad stated to me as soon as, “love is blind, and marriage is an eye-opener”. I don’t know if there’s a lot reality in that, however over these final couple of years, I discover my eyes have been opened to how fortunate I’m to be given these two individuals I like dearly.


The greatest a part of getting married is discovering out that now I personal not one, however two melodicas. Cha-ching! Like the key millionaire that he’s, Fred stored this beneath wraps earlier than asserting his funding on our honeymoon, and by honeymoon I imply the drive again to our home after the marriage.

I like calling Fred my husband, it’s my favorite insult to hurl. Since we’ve been married we’ve had many challenges thrown our approach: not least juggling our numerous jobs with childcare and dwelling in stunningly stunning (however far off) West Kerry. Pre-pósadh and infants we have been momentarily dwelling a quite simple if admittedly terrifyingly gigless life in lockdown. As relieved as we’re to be again working it has been fairly full-on this final whereas, however the true problem threatening our marriage is Fred’s penchant for leaving presses open when he will get distracted. Give me adultery! Financial mismanagement! Anything however an open press!

The hardest a part of marriage was most undoubtedly the marriage itself. The stress! Horses and carriages and full hair and make-up — Fred’s calls for have been so long as my fake-tanned arm however simply to see the smile on his face on the large day made all of it worthwhile.

What I like about Fred is his kindness. He has the most effective coronary heart, and I like the curiosity he has in different individuals. Somebody will come as much as acquire the census and Fred may have their entire life story in minutes, as a result of he loves the chats, and I believe that’s such a terrific signal of him. 

Infuriatingly Fred sees the most effective in everybody: it’s one thing we’ve agreed to work on as a pair.

Ted, our son, is the most effective craic. I’ve been obsessive about him since Day One. Every morning once I go into him I say: “Guess what Ted, we get to spend another day together”, and he laughs and I snort and I can’t fairly consider my luck. Fred has been away rather a lot for work and when he’s gone Ted and I are a cheerful little duo, however I at all times love when he comes residence as a result of Fred is a tremendous dad. Hearing the laughs they’ve with one another is the most effective factor.

The lack of freedom that comes with parenting is certainly an adjustment, and the juggling is absolutely troublesome at instances, particularly when it means cancelling a gig or a piece engagement if there is a matter with Ted or if childcare falls by means of. At the chance of doing feminine stereotypes irrevocable hurt, I’ve by no means been a great multi-tasker, and Fred is even worse. Chaos is certainly our love language and consequently we’ve on a couple of event been left holding the newborn at Barack Obama Plaza.

 Comedians Julie Jay and Fred Cooke with Emma Mahony from ADAPT Kerry
Comedians Julie Jay and Fred Cooke with Emma Mahony from ADAPT Kerry

Last weekend Fred and I performed a neighborhood gig in Dingle for the Féile na Bealtaine competition. I had been anxious all day, nervous that Fred wouldn’t make it, that Ted would object to going for a stroll with my auntie whereas we have been on stage, that folks wouldn’t snort, that I wouldn’t be good. But make it Fred did, and he went out and stormed it. Listening to him again stage I used to be so proud that he was my man, and that fifty% of that melodica was mine. He was so type in what he stated to me after, and that’s why I like Fred: different individuals in my life have at all times made me really feel like my feelings have been an issue, however Fred loves me exactly due to them.

The greatest a part of a wedding is having someone legally obligated to be in your aspect. And I like him utterly — open presses and all.

  • Getting Out For The Night is the brand new present from Fred Cooke and Julie Jay. It takes place at Siamsa Tíre, The National Folk Theatre of Ireland, in Tralee at 8pm on Saturday, May twenty first. Tickets are €15, guide on 066 7123055 or This present is a part of Siamsa Tíre’s ‘Adopt a Show’ fundraising initiative, the place proceeds from ticket gross sales go in direction of local people teams and charities. Use the code ADAPT when reserving and proceeds from the sale of your ticket will likely be donated to the ADAPT Kerry Women’s Refuge.

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