After a short hiatus, 'The Tommy Tiernan Show' returned to Irish television last night with a frank reminder of why it's one of the best chat shows the state broadcaster has ever produced.
The first guest out was Hozier, discussing his work, his faith and why it is that he's come to become as popular as he's become - all with questions done on the fly, with no pre-planning by Tiernan afterwards. Even if Tiernan just so happened to be reading the lyrics to 'Take Me To Church', it felt natural and authentic.
Next up came theatre artists Aisling Byrne and Mark Smith discussing their work in the world of theatre, and how Mark's Down Syndrome doesn't limit him from doing what he wants - in this case, acting.
Watching #MarkSmith & @AisTalkShop on @Tommedian #TommyTiernanShow. Inspirational man you are Mark & you mentioned you’re a fan of Phantom? I’d like to personally invite you to the show when we arrive in Dublin in June/July. Please get in touch
Killian (The Phantom) pic.twitter.com/RZv1wi9HOg
— Killian Donnelly (@killiandonnelly) January 4, 2020
The final guest, and one that was probably the most rushed for time and maybe didn't land quite as well as it could have, was Cllr. Paddy Holohan, the former UFC fighter-turned-Sinn Féin local councillor. What made the interview so surprising, however, was how Holohan was actually a genuine fan of Tiernan's comedy, even naming his son after him.
"and I named him...Tiernan"@PaddyHolohanMMA tells Tommy something very special.#TommyTiernanShow pic.twitter.com/NNiFSL1kGA
— RTÉ One (@RTEOne) January 4, 2020
Holohan excitedly explained how he sold the premise of joining UFC with a segment lifted from Tiernan's comedy standup special from many years ago, explaining that the Irish "don't invade, we infest...", and specifically how we land in a country with "a phone number and sleeping bags."
Again, what makes these moments so special and why they're so deliberately different from any other talk show is that they're never pre-planned, they're never rehearsed or ran through, and they form naturally and authentically in a format where we're so used to the exact opposite.