O’Doherty has been decorated with numerous awards for his achievements in comedy. In 1999, he won the Channel 4 So You Think You’re Funny Comedy Competition at the Edinburgh Fringe and was also a finalist in the BBC New Comedy Awards in the same year.
O’Doherty is well-known for combining his comedic performance with tunes played on his miniature electronic keyboard. He delivers both his sung and spoken jokes with an extremely dry sarcasm. Most of his songs focus on unusual topics such as angry mathematicians, finding love (Orange) and advice on how to dislodge a badger from one’s leg.
Then in 1998 he did his first open spot at the now defunct Norseman Comedy Club in Dublin’s unfortunate Temple Bar district. In 1999 he travelled to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the first time and won So You Think You’re Funny?
But then in 2002 he went to Edinburgh with a new show “small things”, met comedians such as John Oliver, Bret McKenzie, Taika Cohen, Andy Zaltzman, Josie Long, Jemaine Clement and Daniel Kitson each doing wonderful and unique things, and decided that he definitely did want to be a stand up comedian
In 2005 he supported Tommy Tiernan and Rich Hall on tours of Ireland and the UK. He learned a lot from them.
His 2006 show David O’Doherty is my name was nominated for the if.comedy Award at The Edinburgh Fringe and was performed in Dublin, Melbourne and New Zealand. He recorded his first live album in front of 35 people in his flat. That autumn he toured America with Demetri Martin.
2007 saw his first major Irish tour and a series of documentaries, The Modest Adventures of David O’Doherty on Irish television. As a part of the series he released a single, Orange which reached number 30 in the Irish charts. This was regarded as a failure as the aim had been to get it to 27.
In 2008 his new stand up show Let’s Comedy was performed in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and at the Edinburgh Fringe, where it received the if.com Award for Best Show. That Autumn he toured across Canada with the Just For Laughs roadshow, at one stage getting so drunk he made out with an actual frozen fish.