The best Irish comedians of all time

Ireland is home so some amazingly funny folk! Check out our top picks for the best Irish comedians in this list, did your favourite make it?

Ireland is known for its sense of humour worldwide. Dry, sarcastic, and full of biting wit is what we’re all about. Colloquially called “banter”, or just “having the craic”, it seems that this inherent humour is embedded in us from birth. No surprise that some of the finest Irish comedians ever to grace the world’s stage have left such a strong impact on the comedy circuit.

Looking your fix of Irish comedy? Here are our top ten Irish Comedians of all time!

Ireland Before You Die’s top tips for choosing your favourite Irish comedian

  • Watch various and different performances from Irish comedians. This will give you a good taste as to what’s out there and what matches your humour, and go from there.
  • Couple this with your personal preferences – choose your comedian towards your style, such as wordplay, storytelling, or political satire.
  • A lot of Irish comedians do podcasts and interviews, and this is another way to find out your favourites. You will gain a greater insight into their personalities and influences, and their style of humour.
  • While it is fun watching Irish comedians on YouTube or online, make sure to go and watch live performances. Get the humour and craic firsthand for a memorable experience.
  • Follow Irish comedians on social media to keep up to date with their latest content and up coming tours and shows that you can catch.

10. Maeve Higgins – one of our favourite famous Irish comedians

Maeve Higgins is living it up in New York City with Amy Schumer.

Originally from Cobh in County Cork, this female jokester first took to the stage in 2005. Since then, she has killed the competition and firmly become one of Ireland’s funniest females for her hilarious comedy routines.

She has performed in comedy festivals worldwide and on radio stations (such as Today FM – her debut show). She took part in our much-loved, now nostalgic, Naked Camera and even had her own show Maeve Higgins’ Fancy Vittles in 2009.

She currently lives in New York City and hangs around with a gaggle of other giggle-worthy gurus and comedy stars such as Amy Schumer. See where she ranks on an alternative list of the best Irish comedians of all time.

9. Dermot Morgan – known for his hilarious portrayal of Father Ted

His face is super recognisable and one of the top Irish stand up comedians.

This comedy legend was iconized over his term playing Father Ted Crilly in the hilarious Irish comedy sketch, Father Ted.

Previously a schoolteacher, Dermot Morgan decided to ditch the life of moulding young minds and began a quest to make us laugh – and that he did.

Although the show only ran from 1995-1998, it remains one of the most-quoted series of the past few decades, and today it is still the source of many Irish jokes.

Sadly, Morgan passed away the day after filming the last episode of Father Ted, but his memory lives on still.

READ MORE: Where does Dermot Morgan’s Father Ted character rank in our list of the top 10 Father Ted characters?

8. PJ Gallagher – one of the funniest famous Irish comedians

PJ Gallagher is a big name in Irish comedy.

PJ Gallagher is a famous Irish actor and stand-up comedian. He is best remembered for his involvement in Naked Camera, alongside pal, Maeve Higgins.

His other most noteworthy credits include Celebrity Bainisteoir and Meet Your Neighbours, both on RTÉ. He also presents P. J. and McCabe in the Morning with Jim McCabe on Classic Hits 4FM.

7. Tara Flynn – one to watch on the Irish comedy scene

Tara Flynn is another of the top Irish stand up comedians.

This fiery female Irish comedian, writer, and actress is one of the hottest “ones to watch” on the scene.

She balances her focus and uses her platform to discuss anything from funny observations and anecdotes to political issues.

Her new podcast (which is getting sterling reviews) is about battling her own fears and insecurities. With a fresh approach to comedy, she’s funny, she’s informed, and she’s certainly one to watch.

READ MORE: Ireland doesn’t have just established comedians – check out our article on the top 10 Irish comedians you need to keep an eye on

6. Des Bishop – one of the top Irish stand up comedians

Though he's not originally for here, Des Bishop is one of the top best Irish comedians.

This funny man came onto the scene in Ireland in the 1990s. He originally moved from the US when he was 14 and soon started to develop observations and comedic commentaries on the Irish.

This inspired material that would one day shape his stand-up, comedy routines, and brilliant sketch shows.

Top credits to check out include Don’t Feed the Gondolas (Network 2), The Des Bishop Work Experience (RTÉ Two), and Joy in the Hood (RTÉ).

5. Graham Norton – known for his impressive talk show

Graham Norton is a great presenter and another of the best Irish comedians.

Graham Norton has got to be one of Ireland’s most-loved comedians and stage names.

This Irish comedy legend has been nominated for numerous comedy awards, including eight BAFTA TV awards.

He has even won five BAFTAs for his eponymous TV comedy chat show, The Graham Norton Show.

READ MORE: Ireland’s 10 most famous GAY & LESBIAN people of all time, including Graham Norton’s ranking

4. Dara Ó Briain – one of the most recognisable Irish comedians

Dara ó Briain is another of the best Irish comedians.

Starting out slowly on the Irish and British comedy circuit, Dara Ó Briain has steadily climbed his way to the top of the comedy ladder in Ireland.

Having taken part in comedy panels such as Don’t Feed The Gondolas (Network 2), and game shows such as It’s a Family Affair (RTÉ Television), he is now certainly one of Ireland’s most recognised faces.

He is also known for taking part in comedy panel shows, such as Mock the Week, The Panel, and The Apprentice: You’re Fired!

He regularly plays the biggest comedy festivals and comedy gigs to great crowds who queue up well in advance to snag tickets.

3. David O’Doherty – one of the best Irish comedians

Dylan Moran is another of the best Irish comedians to check out.

David O’Doherty is a top Irish standup comedian. This comedy legend burst onto the scene with a bang at Dublin’s Comedy Cellar in 1998.

Having studied at Trinity College in Dublin, he always had a knack for showmanship. Finally, he harnessed his talents into a comedy career right as the millennium turned.

He has won tonnes of awards for his stand-up, sketches, and sets, written books, plays, and even comedy CDs. If you don’t know him, check him out now!

2. Dylan Moran – as good a writer as he is a comedian

Another of the best Irish comedians is Dylan Moran.

This Irish comedy legend is synonymous with our island. He has been iconised by his memorable performances in his show Black Books (which he starred in and co-wrote), and also has many comedy credits such as Shaun of the Dead and Run Fatboy Run.

He does tonnes of stand-up appearances in comedy festivals. He is often considered (and nominated) as one of the leading comedians on the Irish comedy scene today.

1. Tommy Tiernan – our king of Irish comedy!

Tommy Tiernan is one of the best Irish comedians.

A top ten Irish comedian list would not be complete without our very own Tommy Tiernan. Not only is he a critically-acclaimed comic, but he is also a writer, actor, and presenter.

One of the most popular comedians in Ireland, he is known for his side-splitting comedy routines. He has appeared on The Late Late Show (USA), Father Ted (Channel 4), and has his own TV series The Tommy Tiernan Show on RTÉ One.

Other notable Irish comedians

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While we have listed some of the best famous comedians to hail from the Emerald Isle, there are others who deserve a mention.

Barry Murphy, Brendan Grace, , Brendan O’Carroll, and Eleanor Tiernan are some of the most well-known famous comedians from Ireland.

Meanwhile, Kevin Gildea, Fred Cooke, Joanne McNally, Fintan Stack, and Aisling Bea, who has starred alongside famous comedians, such as Paul Rudd, are also some of the top funny Irish stars.

Your questions answered about Irish comedians

Read our article on the top 10 Irish comedians and still have some outstanding questions? Then we have you covered! Below, we outline the most frequently asked questions on this topic.

Where in Ireland is Dara O’Briain from?

Dara O’Briain was born in Bray, County Wicklow.

What is Chris O’Dowd’s accent?

Irish. Chris O’Dowd was born in County Roscommon, Ireland.

Who is the most successful Irish comedian?

Both Tommy Tiernan and Dara O’Briain are arguably Ireland’s most successful comedians of all time.

What nationality is jimeoin?

Many people believe jimeoin to be Australian as this is where he rose to prominence. However, he is actually Irish!

NEXT: Stay on the theme of laughter and read IB4UD’s article on why Irish people are known for their sense of humour

Find Your Dream Hotel in Ireland

On the hunt for the ultimate hotel for your Irish adventure? Explore a curated selection ranging from the charming heritage of boutique accommodations in Dublin's vibrant heart to the tranquil luxury of rural retreats and the captivating coastal vistas. Start your search below to find the perfect stay with our trusted hotel partner.

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