It’s the black-tie affair they all want to get into. PAUL NOLAN hands out the awards for the comedy highlights of the year.
Paul Nolan selects the comedic highlights of 2018.
CLIP OF THE YEAR Triumph The Insult Comic Dog meets Ted Cruz
With Conan O’Brien on hiatus, Stephen Colbert did the States some service by getting Triumph The Insult Comic Dog on a plane to Texas to cover the Senate race between Democratic hopeful Beto O’Rourke and Trump stooge Ted Cruz.
Unsurprisingly, the cigar-chomping hound’s encounter with the latter proved the highlight, yielding the two best lines of the year. First, as Cruz emerged from a rally, Triumph yelled from the back of the press scrum, “You can’t ignore me Ted – I’m not overwhelming scientific evidence of climate change!” Then, having been informed by Cruz that “it was a Democrat, not a Republican, who took you to the vet”, Triumph hit him with the mother of all zingers: “At least I wasn’t neutered and spayed like Trump did to you.”
Game, set and match.
COMEBACK OF THE YEAR The League Of Gentlemen
Having delivered a superb two-part Christmas special in 2017, summer of this year found the League Of Gentlemen hitting the road for a rapturously received tour. All of the Royston Vasey favourites – Legz Akimbo, Herr
Lipp, Edward & Tubbs, and more – were on-hand as the show hit Dublin’s 3Arena in August.
The references to Brexit showed the League’s flair for social commentary remained fully intact, while the black mass wedding between Val Denton and Papa Lazarou was worth the price of admission alone. Let’s hope that as Mark Gatiss sets out to follow up the runaway success of Sherlock with a new Dracula adaptation, he and the other members of the League don’t neglect to revisit Vasey on occasion.
COMEDY DUO OF THE YEAR Flight Of The Conchords
In what was a bumper year for comedy at 3Arena – Jon Stewart and Dave Chappelle also performed a double-header in October – June found Kiwi favourites Flight Of The Conchords hitting the Dublin venue for two nights of fun and frolics.
Originally postponed from earlier in the year due to injury,
Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement were in top form, with their wry social observations and note-perfect musical parodies as excellent as ever. In an added bonus for fans, meanwhile, support in Dublin came from the Conchords’ long-time mate David O’Doherty.
PRANK OF THE YEAR Sacha Baron Cohen meets Roy Moore
Expectations were high for Sacha Baron Cohen’s satirical look at the Trump-era US, Who Is America? Unfortunately, the series was decidedly hit and miss; heavily influenced by Chris Morris’s Brass Eye, like that show it made some very sharp points – except it was nowhere near as funny.
Nonetheless, the series’ high point was spectacular. Posing as Israeli security expert Erran Morad, Cohen hoax interviewed the odious Roy Moore whilst holding a supposed “paedophile detector”, which beeped whenever it went near the Republican politician.
The fallout was no less remarkable – Moore announced he was suing Cohen for $95m.
POLITICAL COMEDY OF THE YEAR Real Time with Bill Maher
As the Trump era lurched from one disaster to another, Maher remained among the most astute commentators on his Presidency. Of course, the comic has previous with Trump; as detailed in this year’s special anniversary documentary on Maher and Real Time, the real estate mogul once threatened to sue the comic for $5m, after a gag in which the latter said he would donate that amount to charity, if Trump could prove “he wasn’t the spawn of his mother having sex with an orangutan.”
SITCOM OF THE YEAR Sally4Ever
With her one-time comedic sparring partner Sharon Horgan having conquered the US with her hit Divorce, it was fitting that Julia Davis finally enjoyed some Stateside success with her HBO series Sally4Ever. Focusing on the timid Sally (Catherine Shepherd), who leaves her dull boyfriend for the wildly outgoing Emma (Davis), it ranks alongside Human Remains and Nighty Night as one of the finest achievements of Davis’ career.
DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR The Zen Diaries Of Garry Shandling
Directed by Judd Apatow – who cut his teeth as a writer on Shandling’s masterpiece The Larry Sanders
Show – this twopart, four-hour doc featured interviews with the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman, Conan O’Brien and Sacha Baron Cohen. As well as being brilliantly funny, it was a profound and moving insight into the life of a true comedy genius.
FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS PROUDLY DISPLAY THEIR GOLDEN GIGGLES AWARDS