It’s a British comedy invasion! Creative Fund: Comedy Edition is a new show on OnlyFans TV (OFTV), OnlyFans’ free, safe-for-work streaming service. OFTV provides premium original content across comedy, cooking, music and so much more and features talent such as Whitney Cummings, Bert Kreischer, Rebecca Minkoff, London Hughes, Tyler Posey, and Holly Madison, to name a few.
Creative Fund: Comedy Edition is a competition reality series where ambitious and up-and-coming comedians showcase their talents to an all-star panel of hosts and judges, including Mae Martin, Jamali Maddix, and London Hughes. Only the best will earn a spot in the finals, where the winners of the OF Creative Fund will go home with a grand prize of £100,000 to support their careers. On the Comedy edition, hosts Jack Guinness and Sofie Hagen bring together ten OnlyFans creators from the UK and Ireland for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to take their comedy careers to the next level.
Over a series of challenges and four episodes, including creating a viral video, writing jokes for their fellow competitors and telling their jokes in front of a truly tough crowd, the creators are whittled down until one reigns supreme. British comic Mary O’Connell emerged as the season’s big winner and here, she talks to us about how she got bitten by the comedy bug, recounts her experience on the show and tells us what is next for her. Get to know this rising comedy star.
Congratulations on Creative Fund. I binged it yesterday and it’s just amazing but far too short. I would’ve loved more episodes.
You know, there’s so much that wasn’t in there. We had so much fun hanging out together and there are so many funny moments that I would love to see some behind-the-scenes, which I think would be great.
How did you get into comedy?
I actually did like five gigs when I was 17 as a school project. I stopped after that because I was just sort of like, I don’t know, I thought like the comedian lifestyle was a bit sad and I still had a bit of hope then. But I started back up and I guess I sort of more properly committed to comedy in about 2019, but I’ve done it on and off for a long time. I did a bit of comedy at uni. I was in the Comedy Society at my uni. I did dates, like sharing a room with like three other comedians and doing a show for like the money in a bucket and that sort of thing. I’ve always been a performer but comedy’s my main thing.
Who are your influences in comedy?
There are people I aspire to be like. I love Mindy Kaling. I think she’s like an absolute powerhouse. I think she’s incredible. I love Issa Rae and Robin Thede and Tina Fey, the people who sort of do it all. They produce the star and stuff and they write. In terms of sort of stand-up influences, I like people who are maybe a little bit offbeat and alternative.
There’s a comedian in the UK called Paul Foot, and he was the first person I ever saw live. It was just like a room above a pub. I was 15 and I couldn’t get in, so I had to take my dad to watch. He’s very weird and alternative, I think a little bit like Noel Fielding. I love people who like really say something about society. I love Eddie Pepitone. I think he’s incredible and so underrated. I love Katt Williams. I think he is like such an entertainer. The fact that he can command arenas – I think comedy in arenas is very difficult and only a few people can sort of do that well –and I think he does an incredible job of making political stuff so accessible and that’s something that I really admire…and he’s just got funny bones, he’s hilarious.
How did you get involved with Creative Fund?
So, I applied for it in September. Jamali Maddix, one of the judges posted about it on his Instagram – and that was when the top prize money was 50K. Because, you know, they doubled it and I was like, “Oh my God, that’s a crazy amount of money. So, of course I’m going to apply.” but I didn’t hear anything back for a while. I came to it very late. I got a message from [mentor] Sofie Hagen on a Monday asking if I’d heard anything from OnlyFans and I hadn’t. So, the following day on Tuesday, she’s like, “What’s your number? OnlyFans is going to call you.” And then they called me up and said “we want you to be in the competition. It’s a six-day shoot and it starts tonight. You have to check into the hotel tonight.” But, I think in the application you submitted a two-minute bio and a five-minute set and just answer a few questions about yourself. I think that’s how it went.
What was the experience like filming the show?
I mean, it’s all so bizarre because it’s such an intense week. It’s such an intense week that you can’t really plan for and the days were quite long. They must have been so long for the crew. It was a very high-pressure environment. All of the contestants were really, really lovely and I enjoyed bonding with them throughout the whole experience. But it was the most stressful week of my life for sure, like a hundred percent. Obviously, it completely paid off and I’m so glad that I did it, but I was stressed the whole time.
What was the biggest challenge that you faced on the show?
I think the hardest challenge was the third one where they got us to do a set about sex and relationships in front of an audience of pensioners and a buffet. That was pretty brutal.
Did you learn or take away anything from the show?
Absolutely. I think I definitely learned how to just work under pressure because it was so stressful. I learned how to maybe write quickly because, like in the partner challenge, I was writing like three minutes for my partner Dom, and I really enjoyed that one. That was maybe my favorite challenge because of the nature of getting to know someone and getting to know someone’s vulnerabilities and helping them express something on stage.
I wrote some jokes for him, which he’ll probably just like carry on using and I’m so proud to see him use them because I’m like, “Oh, I’ve helped create something.” And I thought that was really cool. And I didn’t know that that was a skill that I had.
One of the contestants, Joe, aspired to work in a writer’s room. Do you want to continue doing stand-up or do you want to segue into more of a writing kind of career?
I want to do a lot. I work in TV for my day job and I’d like to have my own production company where, like the people I look up to, like Mindy Kaling and Issa Rae and Robin Thede and Tina Fey, I’d like to be able to write, produce and star. My main medium is stand-up, but I have written for TV before and I’d like to continue doing that. I’ve got to properly learn how to act. I don’t consider myself to be an actor. I’m actually starting a screen acting course on Sunday, so we’re going to see how that goes because I thought acting was going to be easy, but it’s not. It’s so hard.
On the finale episode, you performed in front of your parents, is that the first time that they’ve seen you do stand up?
Oh, no. They’ve seen me do stand-up so many times before. They’re very, very supportive. They’ve always been very supportive of me. The amount of times I’ve like done jokes about dicks in front of my parents…people are like, “Mary, do you not care that your parents are here?” I’m like, no. Usually if they’re there I’ll point them out in the crowd and be like, I just did a really rude joke. My parents are here, guys. They’re super proud of me.
Is there a joke or a bit that you wish that had been aired that got cut?
Yeah, there is a joke. It’s one of my favorite jokes and, so, I’m hopefully going to get a full set and put it on OnlyFans so people will be able to see it. It’s so cool that I now have this platform to use.
As far as OnlyFans, are you going to treat it like a Patreon where people will get to see things if they subscribe to you?
Absolutely. I’ve gotten to know the platform a lot more now. Like there’s so much other content on OnlyFans, like people do cooking videos, people give financial advice and stuff. It’s really broad what you can find on there. And so, with the content that I make, I’m sort of thinking about doing that. I’ve started doing a podcast and I’m thinking about doing things like releasing it all early on OnlyFans and maybe doing extra bonus videos and stuff and potentially, like if I later down the line I do a web series, I would release the episodes to the web, to the wider audience, and then post behind-the-scenes stuff on OnlyFans.
I’m writing an Edinburgh show at the moment, that’s my big project at the moment, and I was thinking of doing video diaries and showing the process and the rehearsal process and working with the director and just sort of like giving like a little bit of insight into my life as a performer. There are so many ways that I can use it.
What are you planning to do with your winnings?
Umm…it’s so bizarre seeing that money in your account. I’m like, oh my God. My Edinburgh show is called “Money Princess” and it’s sort of about having money anxiety and it was called that before I entered the OnlyFans thing, before any of this happened to me.
And so now I have to incorporate this into the show. I mean, it’s such a great story, but I’m still sort of like processing it, in terms of doing stuff with the money. I’m kind of just going to do everything I was always planning to do, but it’s now just a lot easier, like being able to get a proper producer for my podcast, being able to hire a director for my standup show and get PR for that so I have the time and energy to focus on writing more and producing my own creative projects…and maybe like a nice holiday as well.