Known simply as Mo the Comedian to his growing number of fans, Mo Gilligan is a London-based stand-up who also does plenty of character comedy. The performer first burst onto the UK's mainstream comedy scene in 2015. That year, while he was still an up-and-coming comedian, Gilligan was awarded the prestigious Amused Moose Runner's Up prize, beating many much more established comics. Prior to that, Gilligan had been performing his style of comedy to a smaller circle of fans, who realised that the stand-up had the potential for huge success. Gilligan has gone on to play some of the grandest comedy stages in the capital, including the Hackney Empire in East London, the O2 and the Bloomsbury Theatre.
Mo Gilligan's career milestones
Although by his own admission Gilligan started out on the 'black comedy circuit' in London, his style of humour and comic timing soon meant that he would break out from that niche. Providing comedy that everyone can laugh at, his first characters and comedic ideas were often tried out on social media before taking them to the stage. In fact, one of the things that makes Gilligan stand out from other comedians is his use of social media to build a following, as if he were operating more like a musical performer than a traditional stand-up.
One of Gilligan's trademarks is his observational style of comedy that he puts into his characterisations. For example, one of his most popular early characters was an individual simply known as 'the geezer'. With a catchphrase of 'get a coupla cans in', Gilligan's East London-based character parodies a certain type of middle-aged man from the area who seems to think that every time the sun comes out that it is just like Jamaica. This knowing sense of humour has attracted many plaudits. Among them is the Canadian superstar rapper, Drake, who has been heard repeating the geezer's catchphrase at award ceremonies, often to mystified audiences in the United States who have yet to hear of Gilligan's routines.
By using Instagram and Facebook to its full potential, Gilligan is able to experiment with his comedic style to see what works with audiences. As a live performer, he is noted for his high-energy style and the degree of physicality that he brings to his act. This can be seen during routines when Gilligan takes off the style of some UK grime artists, for example. Although he does not overdo it, the performer's grime routines are considered by many to be his best, not only because they are gently knowing and well observed but because they are so funny.