GOLDEN GIG­GLES

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.

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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

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