Joe Mcdonough
Joe McDonough
Columnist: Wise Craics

Meet Joe McDonough: Adding Humor to iIrish Life

Joe is a columnist who brings a unique sense of humor to the world of iIrish writing. Humor is everywhere, usually composing many of the five senses, but writing humor is a different animal, and requires a different way to convey those senses. Joe’s journey and family background add depth to his craft.

Joe introduced himself as a newcomer to the world of column writing. He emphasizes his lack of a formal background, and mentions having no in this field until he began writing for iIrish. He humorously remarks, “I’m gonna be that guy…,” reflecting his candid and unpretentious nature.

Digging into Joe’s Irish roots, Joe shared a charming family anecdote about his grandparent’s reservations about marrying an Irishman, offering a glimpse into his origins. He explained that his parents are second-generation Americans with a strong connection to Ireland. Three out of his four grandparents come from the Emerald Isle, while the fourth grandparent’s lineage leads back to Poland or Germany, a mix that reflects the rich tapestry of American immigrant history.

Joe’s column, aptly named “Wise Craics,” stands out for its incorporation of humor. The column ‘s start was inspired by a Polish pipe fitter’s visit to his bar, Gunselman’s, in Fairview Park. The patron expressed a desire for more jokes in iIrish’s newsmagazine. Joe shared this request with John O’Brien, who had been  encouraging (twisting his arm) Joe’s brother Kevin to take on the task of writing a humor column, to no avail. Joe, however, embraced the challenge, sending over some jokes and earning himself a regular column spot.

When asked about advice for aspiring writers aiming to infuse humor into their work, Joe delivered a straightforward, yet witty response: “If you’re not funny, steal somebody else’s jokes.” His unpretentious approach to humor and life, is a  large part of why Gunselman’s has been so successful.

Joe is a down-to-earth columnist with a knack for humor and a strong connection to his Irish roots. His journey into column writing, driven by a chance encounter with a bar patron’s request for jokes, illustrates the power of community and the unexpected avanues that shape a writer’s path.

Joe’s column provides a fun blend of Irish culture and humor, making it a must-read for those looking to explore the lighter side of Irish storytelling.