The Top Five Irish Comedians

There are many great English comedy programmes, from Fawlty Towers to The Office, but Ireland gave us the immortal Father Ted and one of the best current sitcoms, the Brendan O’Carroll gem Mrs. Brown’s Boys. As individual Irish comedians go, here are five of the greatest to grace the stage and screen.

1) Tommy Tiernan
The most famous product of Cardonagh, Tiernan has attracted controversy on occasions for the subject of his jokes but he holds a reputation as one of Ireland’s best-loved comedians. His work includes numerous stints on American chat programme The Late Late Show and a cameo in the last ever episode of Father Ted, as Father Kevin.
“Irish people skiing! We get panic attacks if we’re in a house with more than one set of stairs!”
2) Dylan Moran
Moran is widely known for his sitcom Black Books in which he portrayed book shop owner Bernard Black, a heavy drinker and smoker who hates customers. His satirical, deadpan style won him the ‘So You Think You’re Funny’ award at Edinburgh Festival, as well as a BAFTA for Black Books.
(On last words before you die) “You might think of something quite good, but you probably won’t. You’ll say something rubbish like ‘do you think this is off?”’
3) Dermot Morgan
The lead character in hugely popular sitcom Father Ted, Morgan died of a heart attack at the age of 45 in 1998 just a day after the last ever episode of the programme was filmed. His work includes the successful morning radio comedy Scrap Saturday and he is a firm favourite with comedy fans to this day.
“Another thing the sheepskin coat brigade love to say is ‘the Irish rugby team always had professional men, we never had men who worked with their hands’. That certainly applies to the scrum-half at the moment.”
4) Dave Allen
Allen’s seated comedy routines won him many fans, as did his appearances on BBC talent show New Faces and his own ‘Tonight With Dave Allen’ and ‘Dave Allen At Large’. He passed away in his sleep at the age of 68 in 2005.
(Policeman sees a drunken man with a penguin having already told him to return it to the zoo)”I thought I told you to take that penguin to the zoo. The man says ‘I did, and he liked it, so I’m taking it to the library now!”’
5) Dara Ó Briain
The host of BBC Two panel show Mock The Week, O’Briain’s reputation as a stand-up grew as he toured around the world. Also a guest host of Have I Got News For You on a number of occasions he has been a staple part of comedy in the UK and Ireland in recent years.
(On why he loves video games) “They do a thing which no other art form does – you cannot be bad at watching a movie, you cannot be bad at listening to an album, but you can be bad at video games, and the video game will punish you and deny you access to the rest of the game. No book has gone ‘what are the major themes of the book so far?’ and closed when you don’t know the answer.”
Dave Hope is a up and coming comedian, writing on behalf of FreshMilk Clothing