Thursday 14 December 2017

Joe's Funny Friday hits the stage in side-splitting wake for Celtic Tiger

SOME came to see our country's politicians being mercilessly lampooned on stage.

Others clutched their tickets in anticipation of a night of hilarity in the midst of our economic doom and gloom.

And for quite a few, it was a night on which they could happily worship at the altar of Joe Duffy. Yes, the nation's most sympathetic ear stepped from the studio to the stage at the National Concert Hall last night for a unique show -- Funny Friday: The Celtic Tiger Years.

Since 2003, Joe's iconic Liveline show has featured a Funny Friday slot that has put a smile on listeners' faces. And in the minds of last night's audience, the decision to bring the show and its contributors to the stage certainly wasn't before time.


From Bertie Ahern's appearance in the cupboard and Giovanni Trapattoni's broken English, to Dan Boyle's treacherous tweets and the dreaded NAMA, nothing was spared as Joe and his band of performers put on a stellar show for a capacity crowd.

It was, in Joe's own words, "a wake for the Celtic Tiger", featuring songs, stories and jokes from entertainers including Syl Fox, Brush Shiels, Doc Savage, Packie O'Callaghan, Clint Velour and Frank Twomey.

Speaking to the Herald, he explained: "We've been doing this for seven years and we wanted to see how it would work live on stage."

The crowds flocking to the National Concert Hall last night certainly needed no encouragement to get in to the spirit of proceedings.

Clint Velour of the Camembert Quartet obliged with the first crowd-warmer by introducing his aptly titled ditty We Are Where We Are, a play on the throwaway remark used by countless politicians attempting to explain our economic crisis.

For years, the men and women of Ireland have used Joe Duffy and his show as an earpiece for their woes.

And last night, the comic songs showcased on stage proved a perfect embodiment of the situation faced by many in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland.


Expensive houses bought off plans, beers that cost €6, and the former Ceann Comhairle's penchant for attending race meetings. If ever we wanted to view a microcosm of the nation's ills during the boom times, Joe and his merry band of entertainers provided it in spades.

And of course there was a special mention for our nation's leader, with a ditty designed to immortalise that over-used phrase "going forward".

It was all lapped up by an enthusiastic audience.

John and Margaret McDonnell had travelled to the show from Dunboyne, with Margaret revealing: "I'm here to see Joe, and Mary O'Rourke of course!"

"It's all a bit of slagging about the Government and it's good fun," she added.


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