One of our nations sacred cows. The Late Late show has been a constant presence in our lives. Well, mine anyway , as far back as I can remember. Alas like all sacred cows they eventually have to be sacrificed and the Late Late is long over due its sacrificial date.
The only matter at hand, will it be a quick and painless death or will it be drawn out and agonising to watch like a Zebra kicking in agony, its neck clamped in the jaws of a hungry Lion.
Long gone are the days when we
sat in rapt awe at Annie Murphy and her sorry tale of catholic hypocrisy or Pee Flynn telling the nation who sat in bemused anger telling the country how he was struggling to maintain three houses. Maybe Ryan should get Gerry Adams on to tell us how he manages 3 houses on the “average industrial wage”. Who can remember when we watched Boy-zone’s first outing and all they did was dance around like a blind drunk man in the throes of having a seizure….There was of course Terry Keane spilling the beans on her long time affair with Haughey… Alas it is not that kind of show anymore. Probably because as a nation we are not easily shocked. Those Gay auld times ……
What followed was ten years of Pat Kenny’s robot like humorless flailing. Not really his fault. Coming from a current affairs , political broadcasting background he was not equipped to deal with the nuanced peculiarities of Z type celebrities and having the same comedians on every second week. While Gay Byrne had plenty of controversy with the lesbian nuns and the bishop and the nightie affair to name just two. The most controversial thing that happened during Pat’s Tenure was some lady was less than enthusiastic about receiving tickets to the Toy show and he proceeded to tear them up. The only other incident of note was when he was accosted live on air and called an insufferable asshole. Ten insufferable years and they were the two highlights…..
The current incumbent, Ryan Tubridy , his forte is light glitzy showbiz pop. He does that quite well affable and easy-going , A Terry Wogan lite if you will. Unfortunately when watching the rarefied appearance of more cerebral guests it can be cringe inducing. Even for those that appear on the show who are mildly famous it can be like watching your drunken uncle that keeps dropping the hand on all the women at the wedding. Usually said guest will claim noble Irish ancestry by virtue of the fact he once owned an Irish wolfhound. Said guest will proceed to tell some vague anecdote about an incident where he ended up with an orange in his mouth and plastic bag over his head while getting spanked by a cigar chomping lesbian. If only says you…..
There are of course the heart warming tales of bravery and courage and the odd topical current affairs issues. Mostly it has become banal , There seems little value in watching a TV program in which its format is done better elsewhere. Ryan is beginning to resemble that Santa that’s seen one to many child at the shopping centre. Bored disinterested and irritated.
Would a change of presenter help ? How about Brendan O’Connor ? His mildly boorish , pass remarkable and casual sexist kind of interviewing style is for those that still read lads magazines FHM or Nuts. In fairness RTE have shown that you can have two of the exact same formatted TV show, hosted by 2 different presenters and superficially make them look completely different . Like say 2 traveller’s horses at an equestrian centre. Who else Dave Fanning ? Stick to being the aging cool guy Dave. How about Joe Duffy , nope his forte is mass hysteria and outrage, every Friday night would be the coming of the apocalypse.
Miriam O’Callaghan would probably be the only person in RTE with enough cerebral gravitas to perform a much-needed resuscitation , to take it back to its topical and sometimes controversial roots. Time to give a woman the chance.
Sadly the only thing interesting about The Late Late show these days is watching the tweet machine to see who comes up with the most witty diatribe against the show. Can the show be saved from being put down ? Or is it about time this sacred cow is sacrificed to the TV Gods…..