Category: Archive

New & Noteworthy: The laughs are on us!

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

January 12-18, 2000By Eileen Murphy

Got the post-holiday blues? Need a laugh?

Wanna know why the chicken crossed the road? Well, we can’t help you with that last one, but if you want to laugh till your sides hurt, we’ve got just the ticket.

We have five pairs of tickets to give away for the Irish Arts Center’s upcoming standup comedy show.

Ardal O’Hanlon

and Tommy Tiernan – Live!

Never miss an issue of The Irish Echo

Subscribe to one of our great value packages.

To enter, call the contest line at

(212) 581-4125

Contest lines open Saturday, Jan. 15, at 9 a.m.

and close Monday, Jan. 17, at 6 p.m.

Leave your name, address and evening phone number on the answering machine. Five winners will be chosen at random from all entries received between Saturday and Monday. Calls received before or after the contest period won’t count, nor will multiple entries (one per person, please!) Winners will be notified by phone, so make sure to include your area code!

Fans of the late, lamented "Father Ted" TV show will recall O’Hanlon as the befuddled curate, Fr. Dougal. O’Hanlon’s standup act has been described as brilliant, and draws heavily on his observations about rural Ireland. (Sample joke: "Sheep get heavier when wet. Your cow, now, is a less absorbent animal.")

Tiernan’s one of the hottest comics on the exploding Irish standup scene – literally and figuratively. The Navan-born comic was named one of Magpie magazine’s "10 Sexiest Men in the West" thanks to his dark good looks, and he also made front page of the Irish Catholic newspaper after a rather blasphemous appearance on the "Late Late Show."

The show runs for nine performances, Jan. 20-23, and Jan. 25-29, at the Irish Arts Center, 553 West 51st St., NYC. Tickets are $30, and can be purchased by calling the box office at (212) 581-4125.

U2 can’t get no satisfaction from VH1

So, VH1 polled viewers to find out what were the 100 greatest rock songs of all time, and believe it or not, not one U2 song made the list. No "With or Without You," no "New Year’s Day," no "Bad," no "Seconds," no "Where the Streets Have No Name." Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Actually, it’s rather a backhanded compliment. Todd Schwartz, the VH1 programming director, said that the band had so many popular songs that the vote was split among them. But the lads are in good company, since major acts like Madonna and REM were also left off the list, though perennial one-hit wonder Don McLean made the cut with "American Pie."

Irish acts were barely on the radar – no Boomtown Rats, no Thin Lizzy, and not even a nod to trend-setting rap-metal quartet B*Witched." Carrying the flag for the country was Van Morrison, who made the list at number 49 with "Brown Eyed Girl," and again (as part of the band Them) at No. 81 with the song "Gloria."

"Respect" by Aretha Franklin came in second and Led Zeppelin’s "Stairway to Heaven," the song whose words must be committed to memory to earn a Regents Diploma, was third. Completing the top 10 were "Like a Rolling Stone" by Bob Dylan; "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen; "Hotel California" by the Eagles; "Light My Fire" by the Doors; "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys; "Hey Jude" by the Beatles and "Imagine" by John Lennon.

And . . . drumroll, please . . . what came in at No. 1? Mick Jagger and the boys with "[I Can’t Get No] Satisfaction," of course. “It kind of sticks up as an anthem for the time it was released and for every generation that came since,” said Schwartz. Hey, you want anthems? Try "Sunday Bloody Sunday"?

Speaking of U2, the boys were thrilled to learn that they’ve been awarded the Honorary Freedom of Dublin award.

The BBC reports that the band members have been declared honorary citizens by the Dublin Corporation, an honor bestowed on just 65 people since 1876. Honorees have included Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy.

To celebrate, the band will perform a free outdoor concert after the ceremony at the civic plaza in Smithfield. The venue has a maximum capacity of 8,000, though organizers say that 60,000 fans are expected to show up. Gardai and politicians are no doubt rubbing their worry beads even as we type this . . .

Though it’s always nice to get an award, it seems a little odd that Bono, The Edge, Adam and Larry are now honorary citizens of their own hometown. And what do they get, besides a plaque and a warm handshake? Now, if it were the freedom of Stephen’s Green Shopping Center or the Ilac, we’d be a bit more jealous.

Small quibbles aside, the boys are really excited. Larry told reporters, "Dublin is important to me because it’s where I grew up and it’s where my family are."

And as far as the band was concerned, "Dublin is important to all of us," he said. "It gave us all a break; this is where it happened. There is something quite extraordinary about it."


You’ll be happy to know that Irish boy band Westlife has maintained their Vulcan death grip on the Irish/UK pop chart. In addition to having the last No. 1 song of the 20th century, they also have the first No. 1 pop song of the 21st. Unfortunately for people with any kind of taste in music, future generations will assume that we were all mad about that their cover version of that icky old chestnut, Terry Jack’s "Seasons in the Sun." Practically the only bright spot is that they beat our Cliff Richard’s even ickier "Millennium Prayer" . . .

There’s nothing more touching than a rock star who’s seen the light. And there’s nothing more entertaining than an enlightened rock star who’s busy scolding an errant sibling, now, is there?

Oasis co-founder Noel Gallagher recently told a British magazine, "I’ve had my time as a rock ‘n roll hellraiser. And now its time to settle down." This is a direct dig at little brother Liam, whose recidivist tendencies put the band’s U.S. tour in jeopardy. Liam, are you listening?

If you’re in the mood for (vicarious) romance, the Storm Theatre Company has just the ticket – literally. The company that produced last year’s critically acclaimed play "The Shaughraun" is back with "Arragh-Na-Pogue," a classic Irish romantic comedy. This funny and moving play, directed by Peter Dobbins, examines the nature of romantic love, loyalty, faith and betrayal, set during the Irish rebellion in 1798. The show runs from Jan. 10 through Feb. at the Storm Theatre, 145 West 46th St., NYC. For information, call (212) 279-4200.

To Sir (and the ladies) with love

Quick – what do Liz Taylor, Julie Andrews, Sean Connery, Liam Neeson and Mark Knopfler have that the rest of us don’t?

If you said: a place on the queen’s New Year’s Honors List, give yourself a hearty pat on the back. It seems that Her Majesty is a true culture vulture, can’t resist anything in a skirt (Sean and Liam have spent a fair amount of time in kilts, you’ll recall).

Actually, the list is compiled with the assistance of the government (read: Tony Blair), so it reflects a rather populist sensibility. Liz and Julie are now Dames, which means that they can use the title "Lady" and Sean’s a Sir, which means he can call himself "Lord Connery" if he has a mind to.

Liam and Mark found themselves a little lower on the food chain – they’ve both been given OBE’s, which stands for Order of the British Empire. (By the way, it’s the same award that John Lennon so famously tossed back in Her Majesty’s lap . . .)

In more Liam news, he’d been voted Irish moviegoers’ favorite Irish actor, beating out cuties like Gabriel Byrne, Daniel Day Lewis and our new honey, "Ballykissangel’s" Lorcan Cranitch. And we were stirred, and rather shaken, to see that James Bond star Pierce Brosnan didn’t even make the top five. And after he went to all the trouble of getting himself born in Navan . . .

Irish director Neil Jordan was voted best director, which is no real shocker, given that his production of "The Butcher Boy" was named best movie, and two of his other films, "Michael Collins" and "The Crying Game," were Nos. 4 and 5 on the list. Jordan’s only real competition came from Jim Sheridan, whose "In the Name of the Father" and "My Left Foot" came in second and third. In the best actress category, Oscar winner Brenda Fricker took top honors.

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese