Monday, December 22, 2008

The wonderful Irishness of the Late Late Show

I posted the video below yesterday without watching it (due to a "no add-ons enabled" tedium with which I need not detain you). I've now watched it. It's "There's no one as Irish as Barack Obama" performed on Irish Television RTE's Late Late Show.

This is more an institution than a television programme. For 37 years it was presented by Gay Byrne, who, during his tenure, took on the sort of mantle of the Irish Queen Mother (no subtext intended, although if there was it would be reasonably funny) in terms of love and admiration from the populace. Anyway, after removing the raw plugs with which he was fixed to the studio floor, he was transported off in a bath chair in 1999 to be Chairman of the Irish Road Safety Authority - a very needed cause in Ireland given the alarming level of road deaths (which is just as alarming as in the UK by the way). So the show is now hosted by Pat Kenny who has done very well to survive 9 years in the role.

Any road down, the reason for mentioning all this nonsense, is that the "No one as Irish as" clip from the L2 Show is very typical. It sorts of imbues the Corrigan Brothers and the song with the collective blessing of the Irish nation because the audience clap and swing along to it (try getting a British audience to do that). And what an audience. There are several members of the Dublin Home for the Bewildered there. There is a sort of Boyzone debut feel to the whole thing. And then there's the Corrigan brothers. Let me just say that I suspect that they have spent most of their professional lives performing above the din, smoke and Guinness burps in pubs across Tipperary and Limerick. Subtlety is not in their kit bag. "Belt it out, man!" seems to be their motto.

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