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Watch: Mario Rosentock recalls his infamous meeting with Roy Keane

Comedian and impressionist Mario Rosenstock is back with his previously postponed The Very Best Of Gift Grub Live tour, hitting up Dublin’s 3Olympia Theatre from April 5 until April 9, 2022.

Ireland’s most successful impressionist celebrates 20 years of Gift Grub with the upcoming shows featuring more than 170 characters.

A string of shows that were originally supposed to take place in 2020 have been updated with new characters, touching on everything that has happened in the last two years.

Gift Grub first aired on May 3, 1999 on Today FM’s Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show and has seen huge success ever since, gifting Irish listeners with hilarious impersonations of some of the country’s most well known celebrities and politicians.

Mario became particularly well known for his impressions of Ireland’s most famous footballer, Roy Keane. Speaking to Dublin Live at the 3Olympia Theatre ahead of his shows there in Spring 2022, Mario recalled the experience of meeting Keane and doing an impression to his face.

He said: “I met him in a hotel room and I had six minutes with him. Obviously, he scared the bejesus out of me. I faced him down and I did him to his face. He knew that I was coming in. He had agreed to meet me.

“I went in and the first thing I saw was the big green eyes. The hand goes out and it was like, remember Jurassic Park? The velociraptor? That’s the way Roy is. He fixes on you like a velociraptor.



Ireland Assistant Manager Roy Keane and Shane Supple at the Stade de France in Paris

“His hand was really squeezy. We sat down and he went, ‘So, what do you want to talk about at the end of the day?’ Then I started putting on the Roy Keane voice.

“He says, ‘make me laugh’. Probably one of the most horrific things you can be asked in the world is when Roy Keane looks at you and asks you to make him laugh.

“You obviously know he’s not going to laugh at a joke. I said something preposterous instead. I said, ‘well at the end of the day, the FAI is a monument of professionalism’.

“He’s always part of [the tour] somewhere.”

Mario also revealed that singer Ronan Keating wasn’t too happy with his impression of him.

Giving us some detail of what audiences can expect from the upcoming tour, Mario explained: “There are about five areas in the show when I go right down into the audience.

“I come in in my high-vis running outfit, running to Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen. Then I take off my high vis and turn into a priest, Father Ray D’Arcy and basically for the next 15 minutes it’s mass with Ray D’Arcy.

“There’s natural stuff that kicks in instinctively when it comes to an audience in Ireland. So when I go, ‘Lord hear us’, people just naturally go, ‘Lord graciously hear us’.

“I’ll say, ‘this is the word of Ray’ and they’ll all say, ‘thanks be to God’. Then I’ll get two people to come up and do the readings. They do be terrified.”

Tickets for Mario’s 3Olpympia shows are on sale now via Ticketmaster.

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