Stirrings in the Cellar
We start the series looking back at classic performers of the pre-1980s generation - Jimmy O'Dea, Maureen Potter, Hal Roach, etc. In the late 1980s, comedy suddenly became the new rock and roll and a new generation emerged a different idea of what was funny.
Interviewees recall the phenomenon of 'Scrap Saturday' and the impact that it had. The bar had been raised, and new stars were created. The first act in the legendary Comedy Cellar is Mr Trellis, seen by many of today's most celebrated stand-ups as the beginning of the explosion of Irish comedy.
Ireland's first Perrier Award Winner, Sean Hughes began his career in the Comedy Cellar, Hughes ascended to heights unheard of for Irish comedians, getting his own show on British television and selling out stand-up gigs at home and abroad.
Irish television too was beginning to take notice of the burgeoning comedy scene, and on 'Nighthawks' was where many of us got our first glimpse of the stars of the future. Kevin McAleer's three minute stories for 'Nighthawks' are now classics of Irish comedy with McAleer today looking back on that time and trying to fathom the appeal of this most unlikely of characters.
Rural Ireland was represented D'Unbelievables and with their original take in contemporary rural life, they turned old stereotypes on their heads and laid the foundations for the likes of Podge and Rodge.