Two of Ireland’s best known comedians with weekly shows on the national airwaves, Oliver Callan and Bernard O’Shea, make their debuts in the University Concert Hall in the coming days.
MIMIC Oliver Callan came to prominence on The Gerry Ryan Show and Tubridy on RTE 2FM with award-winning sketch series Nob Nation. He is the star of Callan’s Kicks, a new comedy satire series on RTÉ Radio One on Friday evenings. Callan’s Kicks features hundreds of characters from Taoiseach Enda to President Michael Twee Higgins and his “Vice-President” David Norris. Other targets include GAA fashionista Paul Galvin, Ireland football star Robbie Keane and RTE stars from Pat Kenny to Marian Finucane.
“It is a night of comedy and music, covering politics and sport featuring characters from President Michael D. Higgins to Tom Cruise to Rory McIllroy,” Oliver Callan told Limerick Post last week.
In an fortnight when Ireland endured another miserly budget and people without work got lists of jobs available in Canada from the Department of Social Welfare, Callan is never short of material for his show.
“These stories come as gifts these days, we are now hearing of Garda checkpoints for dole cheats as if the gardai weren’t stretched enough with all their moonlighting on Love/Hate.”
Callan says that his comedy, “starts with anger and has a political point”, but as a nation we are not likely to take to the streets in large numbers so we do need to find other ways to vent frustrations.
“Comedy is therapy for the nation, providing a buffer for people through mimicry. If the real people showed up you might be able to throw eggs and get angry, but I’ll bring them in their clownish form so people can laugh the misery away.”
Callan is a former journalist who has produced four hit albums and packed out shows in Dublin’s Olympia Theatre and the INEC Killarney in the Spring. Describing how he takes the intimacy of the radio show on the road to big venues Callan says, “it is a whole different energy, it is louder, its more boisterous, funnier and angrier at the same time.”
For the upcoming Limerick show Callen promises that his Willie O’Dea and Michael Noonan will have big parts to play.
“Switch off the news for the next week I’ll give you all the news you could want on November 2nd.”
Oliver Callan performs at Limerick’s University Concert Hall on Saturday November 2.
The fifth season of Republic of Telly is back on TV screens on Mondays. Earlier this year Dermot Whelan announced he would no longer be presenting the show. Comedian Kevin McGahern has over as host. McGahern is best known for his role as ‘Sim Card’ on RTE’s Hardy Bucks and also appeared on television adverts for Three Ireland.
Bernard told Limerick Post, “Kevin is excellent, I’ll miss Dermot but it is good to work with someone new as well. It is a great show to work on. The show has morphed into being based around the three presenters.”
Bernard also recently hosted The RTÉ Two New Comedy Awards alongside Jennifer McGuire, in a nationwide search to find the best in new stand-up comedy talent.
Republic of Telly airs every Monday on RTÉ Two at 9.30pm. Bernard O’Shea performs on Thursday November 7 at University Concert Hall.