Following my Father Jack reference in yesterday’s post, I’ve been asked by a confused Non-Irish to explain what I meant. I could just tell you to watch this short clip…
…but it probably still wouldn’t make an awful lot of sense, right? And so it falls to me to represent my people and tell the rest of the world about Father Ted. I can’t really explain why it’s funny, but it is. Three priests living on a remote island: Father Dougal (simple-minded and completely incapable), Father Jack (retired – an alcoholic who rarely says more than Feck! Girls! Drink!) and Father Ted (doomed to live on the island with the other two thanks to some dubious financial incidents in his past). Their housekeeper, Mrs. Doyle, loves tea and wants everbody else to love tea, too.
That’s about it really.
The show was a a clever mix of silly plots, repeated catchphrases and likeable characters, and I don’t know anyone who didn’t love it. I’ve spent many happy evenings watching back-to-back episodes with friends. And while I can’t exactly do that with you, dear readers, I can share some favourite moments with you via the magical medium that is t’internet.
I particularly like this scene, where Mrs. Doyle (famed for her go on, go on, go on… ye will, ye will, ye will insistence that people have ‘a wee cup of tea’) tries to persuade Ted to try some cake.
Who could forget the priests’ infamous attempt to write a song for Eurovision? Another classic clip!
This one, however, is probably my ultimate favourite. Father Jack has sadly passed away due to a mix-up between his brandy and a bottle of floor polish, and – who would’ve believed it? – it turns out that he had a lot of money stashed away, which he has left to Ted and Dougal. There’s a catch, of course. Jack had a terrible fear of being buried alive, so if the other two want the money, they’re going to have to spend the night by Jack’s coffin. Erk. They do it – and in my favourite ever Father Ted moment, Ted gives a beautiful reading from James Joyce’s The Dead…
I’ve a horrible feeling that I may have lost some of my readers now. The Irish sense of humour is like no other. However, I am taking some confidence from the fact that I made Dirk watch the show once, and I think he got it… although it was difficult to tell if he was just laughing in a frightened “I really don’t understand you people” kind of way.
So what do you think? Father Ted: Love it or hate it?