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Movies & TV

07th Jan 2024

Tommy Tiernan was in stitches after Dylan Moran played out phone recording on his show

Patrick McCarry

Tommy Tiernan

“I was thrilled… this is genius!”

The Tommy Tiernan Show returned to RTÉ on Saturday night [January 6] and featured the usual mix of familiar faces, musical acts and folks with fascinating stories.

Comfortably ensconced in his hosting role, with the show now into its sixth season on the national broadcaster, Tiernan pulled some great insights and reflections from his guests.

There was a change to the show, too, and a return to how it was presented during the Covid-19 pandemic. In a significant alteration from last season, there was no studio audience for episode one of the returning chat show. TV viewers picked up on the tweak, with many in favour.

The guest list for the show, in which Tiernan is unaware who he will be interviewing until they arrive on-stage, was Dylan Moran, Sarah De Lagarde and Sean Ronayne. As two gigging comedians, who have plenty of experience on the circuit, Tiernan was able to elicit some choice musings from Moran.

Reflecting on a touring life that often leads to long tracts with just one-self for company, Moran said:

“Well you know we all spend a lot of time alone, you spend a lot of time alone, in the car in-between gigs. You spend a lot of time in the rehearsal room of your skull. So you know the sound of your own footfall when things are askew [and] when things are all right.

“When the world looks wonky. When it should have stopped raining by now so you’re not seeing things right. And it gets lonely and it makes you a bit funny in the head and I feel a bit tired about it, if I am being honest with you.”

Dylan Moran, who had a hit Channel 4 comedy called Black Books, has always been a comedic innovator and he had Tommy Tiernan in stitches as he played out a phone recording of some of his improvised music, played during his latest shows.

“I have something at home,” said Moran, “a keyboard – a stupid child’s one. It lights up to tell you where to hit; I still can’t figue it out!”

“I’ve played everywhere. I’ve played all over the world. I used to tell the audience I’ve played in Vienna, because there are amazing musicians there… it is [all improvised], yeah, because I can’t play the same thing twice. I wouldn’t know how!”

Moran then proceeded to play a clip of his music, recorded at a show, called ‘1, 2, 3, 4’ where, after a while, he actually hit upon some decent chords. Tiernan was rolling as the iffy music played out. Later in the clip, he exclaimed, “That’s not you” as Moran happened upon something resembling music.

“Same tune. See, that was music,” Moran dead-panned. “I was thrilled with this. I had no idea I could. This is genius!”

The Tommy Tiernan Show will have a 12-week run, taking audiences up to March of this year.

While The Late Late Show continues to find its feet under new host Patrick Kielty, Tiernan continues to deliver the goods. Not all the interviews are compelling but, like Moran’s music, when they hit, they are well worth the listen.

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