Features, Film&TV, Fuinneamh

Why is The Tommy Tiernan Show so successful?

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In an age of Instagram influencers, viral TikTok dances and daily Covid-19 case figures, the Tommy Tiernan brings a welcome change to the usual façade of late-night talk shows.

Airing every Saturday night, the show offers an unconventional approach to interviewing, with each week’s guests remaining unknown to not only Tommy, but the viewers as well.

Only this type of entertainment would work for Tommy Tiernan, a stand-up comedian. Completely un-scripted and authentic, the questions asked by Tommy allow the guests to be totally honest, with most of the questions being intense and intimate, giving off the feeling that he is almost asking us the same query.

By asking these often-avoided questions by his guests, it offers an alternative expression and appearance we may not have seen in that person before. Most TV interviews are pre-recorded, with guests knowing all the questions before they even asked, making it predicable and conventional.

In a period of level 5 lockdown, there isn’t much sense of excitement in our everyday routines. This is where the show stands out, Tommy’s genuine interest and slight comedic attitude provides a different manner of chat show host that we have come accustom to viewing.

Credit has to be given to him over his unique way of coming up with questions enterally on the spot, possibly without him even knowing who the person sitting across from him is.

It grants him access to ask intimate questions that favors accounts of true stories and tales from their past. People are more obliged to listen when they know the answers are not pre-planned and are all off the cuff.

What also makes the show so good is its diverse range of guests. Anyone could appear from behind the curtain. An ex-politician, a sports person, a musician, an activist, the possibility is endless.

For example, on the Saturday before Valentine’s day the guests included writer Marian Keyes, who was honest about her use of Botox and life in the spot-light, Ex-Dublin zookeeper Gerry Creighton, who offered a look at his life caring for lion cubs in his childhood bedroom and lastly musician Dave Balfe, who’s interview stunned the TV audience as he talked frankly about his own tear-jerking antidotes.

The range of people interviewed on one night alone is incredible and exciting for viewers. It takes an awful lot to get people talking nowadays however the show weekly sparks conversation with many. Tommy Tiernan is certainly cultivating a reputation as Ireland’s most formidable interviewer.

Tiernan and one of his most memorable guests, Brenda Fricker

 

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