In the season premiere of The Getaway (airing at 9 p.m. EST, Oct. 15, on Esquire Network), Los Angeles-based actor David Koechner and his lovely wife, Leigh, leave their five kids behind and take-off for a romatic weekend in Dublin, Ireland, the land of their ancestors. Let’s just say that the man behind so many hilarious roles (see: Anchorman, The Office, and a slew of other comedies) didn’t even need to eat the local sea asparagus, a reputed aphrodisiac, to get “in the spirit.”
In this episode, you return to Toners, the Dublin pub where you and your Anchorman 2 co-stars toasted the movie’s Irish premiere. Do you think Guinness tastes better in Ireland?
Well, whether it does or not, you wouldn’t know the difference, because you’re convinced already. Maybe it’s the placebo effect of the country. I’m sure it’s much fresher.
An Irishman once described that freshness to me as “like an angel pissing on your tonsils.” Do you agree?
I appreciate the poetry, regardless.
What was it like filming The Getaway?
It was a lot of fun. My wife and I got to go, just by ourselves for an extended period of time. We have five kids. So, that in itself is quite a feat. It was kind of a whirlwind. We were busy everyday, which was fantastic.
We learn a lot of Irish slang in this episode, like “craic” [pronounced like “crack,” basically meaning “fun.”] Do you think any of those phrases would ever catch on in LA?
Given time, they could all work. For a term like “craic,” it would take decades for it to be understood for what it is in Dublin, given it’s notorious nature here in the states. You think of only two things with crack: either the drug scourage, or your bottom.
Why is Dublin special to you?
Well, my relatives. My mother was Irish, her family, the Downey side, and they’re very proud of it. I love Ireland. It feels like home to me. I don’t know if that’s strange or a cliché or I’ve just convinced myself of it. Dublin is a very cool city.
What really opened your eyes on this particular excursion?
How good the food can be. They even talk about it as a kind of food revolution happening in Dublin, a lot of great chefs, a lot of great restaurants. Because they’re not necessarily known for great food. So, the amount of great food was a revelation.
How was the sea asparagus? They say it’s an aphrodisiac. How did that work out for you?
I remember they said that, that it’s an aprodisiac. And, the first thing I thought of: ‘Well, we’ve already done it today, so….’ [laughs] It’s, um, pending arrival, I guess. Must have already worked — that’s how strong it is!
When you travel, how important is the food and drink?
I’m not the kind of person that calls myself a “foodie,” although I like food. I’m not necessarily as adventurous as my wife probably would be. I love company probably more than food. You can generally find good food everywhere, but to have good food and good company makes the experience so much greater.
What was it like dining with a celebrity chef like Dylan McGrath?
Well, I didn’t know him. Had I known him from the show he’d been in, I may have been intimidated. But he was so fun and friendly from the first moment we met him. That was one of my favorite meals.
Do you think you’ll go back?
I definitely want to go back. When the kids are all old enough, I think we would probably go back then. It’d be a lot of fun, maybe an even richer experience.
Any advice for folks planning their own trip to Dublin?
I think you have to go to the Guinness brewery. And, you’ve got to go see Oscar Wilde’s house, just for your own spiritual literary conscience. But, here’s No. 1: Go to an authentic Irish pub where they play traditional music. You feel like you’re part of history.
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