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 since birth. No surprise that some of the finest Irish comedians ever to grace the world’s stage have left such a longing impact on the comedy circuit.
Here are the top 10 Irish Comedians of all time!
10. Maeve Higgins
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.
She has performed in comedy festivals worldwide, 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 now lives in New York City and hangs around with a gaggle of other giggle-worthy gurus such as Amy Schumer.
9. Dermot Morgan
This comedy legend was iconized over his term playing Father Ted Crilly in the hilarious British sitcom, 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. Sadly, Morgan passed away the day after filming the last episode of Father Ted but his memory lives on still.
8. PJ Gallagher
PJ Gallagher is a famous Irish comedian and stand-up actor. He is best remembered for his involvement in Naked Camera, alongside pal, Maeve Higgins.
His other most note-worthy credits include Celebrity Bainisteoir and Meet Your Neighbours, both on RTÉ, and he also presents P. J. and McCabe in the Morning with Jim McCabe on Classic Hits 4FM.
7. Tara Flynn
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. She’s funny, she’s informed, and she’s certainly one to watch.
6. Des Bishop
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 – material that would one day shape his stand-up and sketches.
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
Graham Norton has got to be one of Ireland’s most-loved comedians and stage names. Based in the UK, he has been nominated for eight BAFTA TV awards and has even won five BAFTAs for his eponymous TV comedy chat show, The Graham Norton Show.
4. Dara Ó Briain
Starting out slowly on the 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 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 regularly plays comedy festivals and shows to great crowds who queue up well in advance to snag tickets.
3. David O’Doherty
This comedy legend burst onto the scene with a bang at Dublin’s Comedy Cellar in 1998. Having studied in Trinity College in Dublin, he always had a knack for showmanship and finally harnessed his talents into a comedic 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
This comedy legend is synonymous with Ireland. He has been iconized 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 in comedy festivals and is often considered (and nominated) as one of the leading comedians on the scene today.
1. Tommy Tiernan – Our King of the Irish Comedians!
A top 10 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.
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.