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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Today's Irish Times

The Essential Dave Allen, Edited by Graham McCann, Hodder, £8.99

The son of a former general manager of this very newspaper, the late, Dublin-born Allen himself worked as a journalist and as a Butlin's Redcoat before making his mark as a hugely popular comic, first in Australia, then on BBC and ITV. This is a collection of his greatest material - jokes, anecdotes, monologues, lyrics, poems and sketches - divided into thematic sections, ranging from childhood to growing up to the afterlife. Allen's artful, observational humour was often merciless - particularly regarding Catholicism - but was so sharp and classy that people could forgive him anything. This is a joy to read and there is, of course, something extra for Irish readers, who will immediately identify with the domestic cultural peculiarities that Allen both mocks and celebrates with almost poignant affection. Declan Cashin

1 comment:

Wayne Cronin said...

Love Dave Allen ... they just don't make comdeians like him anymore.