Yesterday (Monday August 1st) RTE Radio 1 broadcast Cullivan’s Travels – a journey through Irish satire – and the show received a huge positive reaction. The host was Ireland’s premiere satire expert Paddy Cullivan – a writer and performer on RTÉ’s Callan’s Kicks and leader of The Camembert Quartet, The Late Late Show‘s house band.
Guests included comedy actress Tara Flynn, ex BBC comedy producer / writer Sean Hardie, writer / blogger John Moynes and comedian John Colleary.
We will add the podcast of the half hour show later today but how about now watching video clips of some of the favorite moments. For Grintage, Paddy explored the world of satire on TV (not just Ireland) and selected below his 5 favourite satirical sketches EVER.
NB – to offer some background and context Paddy adds his own personal thoughts about each one.
5. Rachel Allen Sketch – Oliver Callan / Callan’s Kicks
Oliver is the sharpest satirist working in Ireland today – that’s no insult to anyone else, or because I write some things for him, but because he lives and breathes political and social satire and gets closer to the bone than anyone I know. His RTE Radio 1 show is the meat and potatoes of his work but this Rachel Allen sketch magically skewers it’s subject matter and Ireland’s propensity for benign acceptance of our supposed celebrity betters…
4. He fixed the Road – David McSavage
The Savage Eye blazed a satirical tornado when it arrived – and this sketch shows how David could distill 92 years of Irish Voting traditions in 14 seconds – so good.
3. Question Time – Not the Nine O’Clock News
A real masterpiece and a sketch which encompasses the madness of 1980s Britain, Nuclear War – but also shows how little changes in politics – all the panelists could very well exist today and the acting chops of Mel Smith in particular as a Labour harridan shine through.
2. Hilary Clinton Election Video – Saturday Night Live
Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin may very well have swung the 2008 election, and Kate McKinnon’s genius portrayal of Hilary Clinton may yet do the same. Saturday Night Live are still producing comedy actors and material that rips at the heart of the U.S. political establishment and Kate’s awkward, power-hungry Hillary is a joy to behold.
1. Spike Milligan – First Irish Rocket to the Moon
Spike’s First Irish Rocket to the Moon is simply my favourite sketch of all time. In 3 minutes Milligan covers every bit of buffoonery in the Irish Character. Leave your Offence-o-meter at the door – this is pure 1970’s PC-free hilarity from start to finish. And remember, Spike was a proud Irishman – only a proud Irishman could do something so insightful and brilliant.
BONUS CLASSIC CLIP: Apres Match – A Message from Angela
I adore Barry Murphy’s work and the sketch after we were trounced out of the Euros in 2012 was so brilliantly placed and scary it freaked everyone out in the pub. Genius.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Tom Lehrer – The Elements
A big influence on my musical work. He made one album but it’s a lodestone for Musical comedians everywhere – he later gave up Satire when Nixon and Kissinger bombed Cambodia, but he’s still the Daddy.
Ireland’s rich history of political and social comedy, Cullivan’s Travels – A Journey Through Irish Satire, funded by the BAI and produced by Sideline, was recorded live as part of Comedy Showhouse and broadcast on RTE Radio 1 on August 1st 2016.