The Irish are known worldwide for their humor and dry wit. As a nation we can laugh our way through any situation, as our history and even our recent political and financial crisis have shown.
In honor of that, we’ve put together a list of the biggest comedians in Ireland at the moment. The ones who are selling out the big venues and sending the Irish belly laughing into the streets.
These are comedians who’ve become world renowned as being fresh, original and of course a little bit risqué, and who’ve made their living out of doing what the Irish do best – telling a story.
Are there are other Irish comedians you think should be included on our list?
Here is our list of Ireland’s top comedians:
Tiernan has become world renowned as a controversial and outrageous comedian, but he remains one of Ireland household names when it comes to comedy. Most recently Tiernan sold out at Dublin’s Vicar Street venue for 10 nights in a row. Also, in 2009 Tiernan set a Guinness World Record with the longest stand-up comedy show lasting 36 hours and 15 minutes. Unfortunately it has since been beaten.
This dower and angst ridden comic has won both the “So You Think You’re Funny? Award” and the Perrier Award and the world famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Recently a poll commission by Channel 4 (British TV station) ranked Moran the 14th Greatest Comedy Stand up and the French newspaper, Le Monde, called him “the greatest comedian, living or dead.” Irish people certainly agree.
Bishop was born in Queens, New York but was sent to live in County Wexford at the age of 14. We’ve claimed him as our own now and he’s become one of the top comedic names in Ireland. Bishop, and his brother Aidan, continue to be hosts at the International Comedy Club in Dublin.
Over the years he has done various TV programs from working minimum wage jobs to working with kids in the community. He’s even tried to inspire the Irish to learn their own native language by venturing into the Gaeltacht and learning the language himself.
OBriain’s career kicked off in TV and he continues to work as a present on a panel shows today as well as having sell out comedy gigs. Most famously in Ireland he was the host on “The Panel” a comedy current affairs show. He now has his own show “Mock of the Week” in Britain and makes regular appearances on British TV. He’s even turned his and to writing with a best-selling book “Tickling the English”. In a review of the book he was described as Terry Wogan's heir apparent as Britain's "favorite Irishman.” Sorry, he’s ours.
Jason Byrne is one of Ireland most…energetic comedians and most people will tell you not to sit in the front row at one of his gigs because he will pick on you. However, over the years he’s certainly emerged as on of Ireland’s most popular comedians too. Guaranteed a full house.
This man needs no introduction having made it to international fame with his role as Father Dougal Maguire in the brilliant “Father Ted” sitcom. He is also one of the father’s of Dublin’s now vibrant comedy scene. O’Hanlon, along with Kevin Gildea and Barry Murphy set up the International Comedy Club in the early 1990s. He remains one of Ireland’s favorite comedians over 20 years on.
Delamare is a cheeky chap from Offaly who started his career back in 2004 at the Edinburgh Festival and Ireland quickly fell in love with him. He has since become a regular on various panel shows such as “The Panel” and had his own show “The Republic of Telly” for some time. This man cannot keep up with his audience. The venues just keep selling out.
Is a brilliant stand up comedian but has become best known for his TV show “Naked Camera”. The program is essentially about Gallagher dressing up as various characters and annoying the heart and soul out of members of the public on the street. He has become on of Ireland’s most recognized comedians and most loved. Ryan Tubridy was quoted as being “an inspiration to aspiring Irish actors and comedians…if PJ can do it it gives us all hope”.
O’Doherty, Ireland’s comedian with “very mild super powers” started his comedy career in 1998 and has since performed around the world. He has also received numerous awards and has turned his hand to writing with the hilarious book “100 Facts about Pandas” and “100 Facts about Sharks”. He recently had a run of sellout gigs along with the “Flight of the Conchords”.
McAleer is undeniably a dead-pan comic genius. He began prominent on the comedy scene through RTE’s “Nighthawks” in the 1980s. He became known for his sketches about going up in County Tryone. He continues to write novels and newspapers column from him home in Tryone but he remains one of Ireland’s best loved stand ups.
*First published in 2011