British TV orders up a comedy series about the Irish famine

Playing the Great Hunger for laughs! Holocaust, Ebola next?

British TV station Channel 4 has commissioned a sitcom about the Irish Famine in which one million Irish died of starvation and one million emigrated. What a great subject for cheap laughs!

No this is not an April Fools story, this is a January 1st story, incredible as it may seem.

The writer will be Dublin-based Hugh Travers, a 31-year-old, who has already had a major hit with a show called “Lambo.” He is a former film student at UCLA.

The sitcom will be called “Hungry” and Channel 4 has given the Dublin writer full freedom to write his own scripts which he says is seriously daunting.

Asked by the Irish Times why The Famine, Travers stated, “Well, they say ‘comedy equals tragedy plus time’,” he says, laughing.

“I don’t want to do anything that denies the suffering that people went through, but Ireland has always been good at black humor. We’re kind of thinking of it as “Shameless” in famine Ireland.”

The Showtime US version of “Shameless” series depicts the dysfunctional family of Irish American Frank Gallagher, a single father of six children. While he spends his days drunk, his kids learn to take care of themselves.

So we are basing a sitcom on The Famine on a drunken Irish American series.

Hard to beat that I’d say.

What’s up next?? A sitcom on The Holocaust maybe with funny fat Nazis eating victims alive?

Or how about a comedy about Ebola with black kids dying on screen and doctors telling funny jokes about them?

'Sure you are being way too sensitive,' I can hear people say, 'time to have a laugh about the Famine. Did you hear the one about the starving children? Some of them ate grass...Ha Ha Ha.'

As a kickoff to the New Year I doubt I will write a story about a more ridiculous idea for the rest of 2015.

The 31-year-old Dubliner started writing in college and got a film scholarship to UCLA. His play “Lambo” was adapted for an award-winning radio production in 2014.

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