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01st Jul 2022

Meg Reilly: “I just want to make people laugh – that’s what I’m born to do”

Katy Brennan

Her’s digital cover star for July 2022 is Irish comedian Meg Reilly.

“I don’t think we talk enough about these universal experiences between Irish people – immersions, wooden spoons, Irish mammy jokes, y’know?”

Like it or not, TikTok has forever changed the entertainment industry.

The app has come a long way since the dance video and coffee tutorial days of the pandemic – it’s now the birthplace of a new generation of musicians, actors, and comedians.

Meg Reilly is one of them.

Known by her screen name @fewcans, Meg has really been making her mark on Irish TikTok after first exploding onto the scene with her short comedic sketches in November 2020 – and she’s certainly one to watch.

The 23-year-old didn’t become a viral star by accident, she planned for this with, as she puts it, “a manifestation, universal, law of attraction” plan.

“I decided to take the stories that I had from working in a lingerie/sex toy store and put those stories into videos, because I saw others doing it and I was like ‘if they can do it I can.’ But also, I wanted to be an actor. That’s why I got into it and it took off from there.

“I didn’t think I’d go viral initially, but I took a break for six months, then I went back to it. The second time round… I kinda tried to make that happen for me.”

One of the reasons why Meg’s videos have been received so well is because they are so relatable. She’s carved herself a niche in a very special type of humour – one collectively shared among Irish people.

In a time where so many people are living abroad, missing their families and friends, scrolling through Meg’s videos can reignite a whole host of nostalgic childhood memories that kind of make you feel like you’re back home.

“I don’t think we talk enough about these universal experiences between Irish people. Like there’s always these experiences that Irish people have – immersion, wooden spoon, Irish mammy jokes, y’know?”

Meg is the mastermind behind the hilarious viral ‘how your ma acts when she buys air fryer’ video you probably remember popping up all over your feed earlier this year.

@fewcans When your Mam finally gives in to buying an airfryer #fyp #manifestation #irishcomedy #irishhumour #irishma ♬ original sound – Meg Reilly

“I hate the air fryer video. I think it’s just because it’s been said to me for so long. It makes me cringe now when I say the word air fryer – it’s been tainted for me,” she laughs.

“But it’s always the ones that I think are really funny that never go viral. I did a series about dreams and my dream ones are my favourite. There was one of them that no one really saw, but the second I made that video, when I looked back on it, I was crying laughing.

“Y’know those dreams that don’t make any sense and you’re constantly so confused and nothing is real and everything is really panicky?

@fewcans It’s actually so bad I can’t get good night sleep with all this nonsense going on in my head #fyp #dreams #manifestation #irishcomedy #irishhumour ♬ original sound – Meg Reilly

“I have sooo many of them. I used to have dreams all the time when I was younger that I was kissing Britney Spears. Before I knew that I liked girls, I would have a dream all the time that Britney Spears was just in my house and she had a bruise on her arm and the only way to make it better was to kiss it. I have weird things like that all the time!”

There’s one thing people often forget about going viral – it infringes on your private life. Putting yourself out there means people are going to recognise you, and while TikTok fame is not equated to celebrity status, it’s still pretty life-changing.

“My life is completely and utterly 100% different. I often think about my life before and wonder if people who are more ‘famous’ ever think about their life before. Like my whole world has been flipped upside down completely.

“It’s not just on nights out, like in every aspect of wherever I go, whenever I go, anywhere. So for example, I was working with kids up until recently and I’d be doing school runs at like half seven in the morning and there’d be people like, slowing down their cars! It’s very like… it’s constant.”

Looking to the future, Meg has a lot in store. After recently performing her first ever stand-up show in Dublin, it’s safe to say we’re going to be seeing a lot more of her.

“I just want to entertain, to make people laugh, I love it. I am an entertainer, I feel like that’s what I’m born to do. So, I would love to be an actor and I’ve gotten a few opportunities to do that in the past, but hopefully I’ll get more in the future.

“To have my own show would be great, like a sketch show would be fun – anything where I can get creative on how to make things funny.

“I would like in the future to have my own stand-up show, I know some of the lads like Killian [Sunderland] and Michael [Fry] did that together. I’d like a show with maybe one other comedian, or just me… and for some reason, to have random musical numbers.

“I want it to be like Abba, mixed with me and cool Irishness, Dublin Bus, drag, and gay.”