Laughing all the way to Kilkenny comedy festival

Revamped Cat Laughs festival includes Chris O’Dowd, Dylan Moran and David O’Doherty

All comedy roads lead to Kilkenny this bank holiday weekend as a revamped Cat Laughs festival begins its long-term sponsorship deal with Sky TV. Running until Monday night, the Cat Laughs festival will be hosting big name comedy acts as well as giving festival-goers the chance to meet Sky TV comedy stars and see advance premieres of popular programmes.

Roscommon actor Chris O'Dowd – now with added Hollywood appeal thanks to the huge success of the Bridesmaids film – is one of the weekend's big draws. He will be hosting the screening of the first two episodes of the second series of his acclaimed Moone Boy, which is not due on TV screens until September. O'Dowd said: "I can't wait to get to Kilkenny and show people the new series. The man I wrote the show with – Nick Vincent Murphy – is from Kilkenny so this makes perfect sense for us".

On the stand-up front, big name Irish acts such as Dylan Moran, Barry Murphy, Andrew Maxwell and David O'Doherty have either sold out or are close to doing so, while there is a lot of interest in Kevin McAleer doing his entire set in the Irish language.

International acts appearing over the weekend include the newest comedy superstar, Glasgow's Kevin Bridges who will be joined by the US comic Judah Friedlander from Tina Fey's 30 Rock comedy show.


Now in its 19th year and with a new festival director in Naoise Nunn, there's even room this year for two renowned old-school comics – Jimmy Cricket and Sil Fox. Among other highlights, the stars of Channel 4's Whose Line Is It Anyway? are returning with their comedy improv show, while a show called Kilkenny Exposed will see a bunch of comics talking about "the real Kilkenny".

Brian Boyd

Brian Boyd

Brian Boyd, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes mainly about music and entertainment