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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: January 8, 2009 @ 12:02 pm

    That was Nightlive

    Fiona McCann

    Monday night, chez nous . . .

    Me: We have to watch this John Ryan thing.

    He (being from New York and newly relocated to Dublin): Wha’?

    Me: New spoof news show thing on the telly, with John Ryan.

    He: Like a Daily Show thing?

    Me (afraid this might be setting the bar a bit high for RTE): Er, sort of, I suppose.

    He: So who’s this John Ryan then? The Irish Jon Stewart?

    Me (now sure the bar is entirely out-of-reach): Er, not exactly. He’s like this chiselled-jawed blonde lad who had fingers in all sorts of Irish publishing pies until they all got eaten (pies, not fingers) and he went off to America and started publishing dog magazines for Americans who go in for that sort of stuff.  

    He (being an American): Dog magazines?

    Me (conscious of the fact that one should know one’s audience): Yes. Ahem. Never heard of New York Dog? Interesting. Anyway, he also did loads of other things that all went west with him and now he’s back with this show. So we have to watch it.

    We watch it. We see that John Ryan calls himself Jonny Hansom. I laugh and cringe in quick succession. It’s not the Daily Show. But the girl who plays Lorraine Keane – woops, I meane the entertainment correspondent – is hysterical. Yizzer thoughts?

    • Jordan Ely says:

      Nightlive? Night dead. The most cringeworthy, unfunny crap on the telly that I had the misfortune to watch for some excruciating time. (And there’s plenty of competition for the most…)

    • Fiona says:

      Jordan Ely: Night dead – I see what you did there. Yep, there were cringeworthy moments, I admit. But what can I tell you – I laughed on occasion. And what followed, in my book, was even more cringeworthy – that awful Dead Cat Bounce sketch about an office-employee’s interior monologue in an American accent as he raps about a colleague’s ass. BAAAAAAAAD.

    • Quint says:

      ‘Night Dead’. That’s good. That’s very good.

    • I’m not really sure why Night Live was being hyped as a sort of Daily Show equivalent, as it’s so clearly a carbon copy of The Day Today instead – a satire on news media with fake stories rather than satirists mocking real news stories. And John Ryan was blatantly copying Chris Morris’s mannerisms at times. I was pleasantly surprised, to be honest – there were some very funny bits, and you’re right, it was a zillion times funnier than the awful Dead Cat Bounce.

    • Fiona says:

      Penny: Good point – it’s not Daily Show format at all. Still, I knew very little about it until I saw it Monday night. And yeah, Chris Morris rip-off, but I’ll watch again next week just to see where it goes. Don’t start me on Dead Cat Bounce. There’s still steam coming out of my ears.

    • paul m says:

      “‘Night Dead’. That’s good. That’s very good.”

      Careful now you’re giving away quality ideas for a new rte show that revolves around a supposedly catchy title and nothing more. Sure only a few months ago i was talking to my mam in a cafe and she said because of the downturn five of her women friends had to go back to work…

      did anyone see BBCs review of the 2008 assessment of RTE’s coverage of the Olympics opening ceremony?

      from 2m15
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pT4Z4D5CgW8

    • Fiona says:

      Paul: Just watched that – but isn’t the piece you referred to from Russia Today on RT, rather than RTE? It does sound like she says RTE, but I’m not so sure . . . Hate to be defending the national broadcaster (though I am a former employee), but I’m not sure Charlie’s targetted them this time.

    • Fiona says:

      In fact, I think this is the girl in the review piece: http://www.russiatoday.com/employee/3

    • Billy says:

      This could only happen in 21st Century Ireland. Fully paid member of the celtic tiger morketing/advertising/going forward class reinvents himself as a satirist and doesn’t get laughed out of town.

      Remember wit? Used to be common enough. Got left behind in the rush for the emperor’s new bling.

    • paul m says:

      hi fiona, yep i was aware it was russia today, i just found it quite funny that when it first came up and the botch job she made in front of the fireworks then she signs of for rt (with her accent sounds like rte), and for one second i could picture her reporting for our national broadcaster.

      anyone remember ryal nugent hosting rte coverage of fireworks display along the liffey, he turns to camera after its finished and says..

      “did you see that!”

      as for the intentional comedy on rte well it seems they’re blindly fishing around for loads of short run short formats that never seem to be given time to develop. They overhype what are essentially pilot series rather than doing what other broadcasters do and put them out there with minimal song and dance to fend for themselves. if they stick then hurrah you have a new series.

      Both Soupy Norman and its predecessor Couched (and in some respects apres match) have all but been overlooked for the great tv series that they are. Again too short a run to build momentum but a core fanbase nonetheless overlooked by RTE. For those who havent seen either:

      hungry referee sketch from the series:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zzf9xWuLKck

      soupy norman christmas special:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELI1iigdmOs&feature=related

    • Fiona says:

      Paul M: I’m so glad you mentioned Soupy Norman – it was probably the best thing I ever saw on Irish television. I loved it – can’t believe it had such a short run. And yeah, sorry for stating the obvious about yon Russian lassy – I genuinely thought for a sec she was RTE myself.

    • Rob says:

      Too easy to criticise, too hard to construct eh! Getting in this evening, and at a loss for anything to do, I watched the late night rerun of this.

      Having been in the undecided/waste of licence fee camp earlier in the week, I have to admit that on second viewing – it isn’t all that bad. Just little subtleties that I hadn’t noticed originally, the throwaway one liners, the rolling news flashes etc.

      Let’s face it, there are enough sacred cows in this country for them to pick at, that if they can steer away from simply being a TV3 News pastiche, this will be well worth persevering with as the weeks go on.

      And isn’t it just wonderful to have the ginger it’s okay to like, man about town John Ryan back in our consciousness!

      I bow to no man in my admiration of Chris Morris, and in particular the ‘Brass Eye’ exposés, so if that’s the route that Ryan is going down, then at least he will be borrowing from the best.


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