A new festival of Irish Comedy is hoping to change perceptions of Ireland in America, promote Irish comedians Stateside and get the message out loud and clear about one annoying mistake.

It’s Paddy, not Patty! 

Words that often bust uncontrollably forth from Irish in America this time of year as our day and that adopted and loved by so many looms large.

Patty’s Day, my American friends remind me, is a very fun day.

Yes, it’s fun but it’s not Patty I find myself shouting impossibly trying to maintain a semblance of control. Cue a tried and tested explanation that seems to do the trick.

Read more: "Paddy, not Patty" website clears up common St. Patrick's Day error

“Ok Brad, let’s focus here. Patty is a woman's name. Paddy in Ireland is short for Patrick which is a man’s name and that of our patron saint and the man we honor with this celebration. You can't just go all Bruce Jenner on our patron saint. That would be like us celebrating Martina Luther King Day. Slight letter change, big difference.”

Comedy works and the penny drops, whether it’s one Brad or a theatre full.

It seems everyone is looking for Irish humor around Paddy’s Day. This is the time of year when even Saturday Night Live gets in on the festive funnies with sketches about Ireland provoking much debate and leaving many commenters calling for actual Irish funny people on American screens.

Read more: Irish comedian to appear on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” this week

Curiously for an island famous for humor, storytelling, having the craic (not that kind of crack - another important typo) and producing really great comedians, Ireland would appear to have a shortage of Irish comedy acts in America. That, however, is starting to change.

Longford native Sean Finnerty this year became the first ever Irish comedian to land a prestigious spot on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. The list of Irish comedians on US late-night TV is surprisingly short.

Finnerty sits alongside illustrious company, joining Tommy Tiernan, Dylan Moran, and David O’Doherty. For an island that punches above its weight in most art forms, we seem to be punching well below potential in the US comedy market. 

Read more: SNL miss the mark with offensive ‘kissing Irish cousins’ St. Patrick’s Day sketch

Hoping to change that, Finnerty will be one of several Irish comedians coming together from March 8-17 for the inaugural Real Irish Comedy Fest with shows throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Fest kicks off this weekend hoping to tell American audiences, in the funniest way possible, that modern Ireland is a far cry from the stereotypes of old, and among other things it's Paddy’s not Patty’s!

Whether US audiences will listen or just down another green beer is yet to be seen.

Full details: RealIrishComedyTour.com

Looking for events in your community this St Patrick’s Day or to share further information on the March 17 celebrations in your area? Join our St Patrick’s Day 2019 group and celebrate St Patrick’s Day 2019 in proper Irish style.

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