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The Funniest 'Father Ted' Moments

Updated on February 2, 2012

'Father Ted' is the greatest sitcom ever produced on television. That remark seems quite biest coming from an Irish man, but there has never been a show that has me in knots laughing quite like this one.

For anybody who is unfamiliar with the concept it is about 3 priests and their housekeeper, who live in a parochial house on the fictional Craggy island off the west coast of Ireland. It was released in 1996, running for three seasons. Written by Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews, it stars Dermot Morgan as Father Ted Crilly, Ardel O' Hanlon as Father Dougle McGuire, Frank Kelly as Father Jack Hackett and Pauline Mclynn as Mrs. Doyle. The show is complete surrealist comedy, and over exaggerates a time when Catholicism ruled Ireland. When the show was released, married Irish couples couldn't get divorced, and the disgusting revelations about child abuse where still cloaked by the Irish Catholic church. What was rampant however was the sex scandals involving priests and bishops who secretly had children with their lovers and tried to keep it hidden. It also analyses the pure lunacy of the Irish in how they think, act and feel in every day matters of life. Soon after the show finished, Dermot Morgan tragically died of a heart attack in his home in London, the show was offically over, however there was no chance of it making a return for a special without it's leading man. 'Father Ted' has become iconic in Britain and Ireland and was voted the 11th best British sitcom of all time...even though it's really Irish...

Mrs Doyle Swearing

This first moment portrays the brilliant comic talent of Pauline McLynn in her breakthrough role. It was said that even after the amount of takes performed Dermot Morgan kept cracking up, watch out for the smile as he tries not to break character when he walks her out of the room. The episode is about a novelist who writes steamy sex books and visits the island looking for some clarity, Ted is a huge fan who has a massive crush on her and Mrs Doyles shows disgust at her writing. Out of all the Mrs. Doyle moments in the show this is probably the funniest...

My Lovely Horse

One of the most famous episodes from the show, 'A Song For Europe', 'My Lovely Horse' is the priests entry into the 1996 Eurovision Song Contest. At the time Ireland kept winning the contest, so Linehan and Matthews thought it would be funny if they wrote that the priests entered the qualifying competition and won to go to the contest, because Ireland couldn't afford to host the annual event every year at the time. Initially they plagiarize a Swedish song that was in the contest years before, but the priests eventually have to use their own terrible version when they realise they could be found out. This clip is a dreamed up music video they have for the good version, when they think they'll be brilliant at the contest. The song was written by Neil Lennon, singer of Belfast band 'The Divine Comedy', who also wrote the theme tune to the show...

I Hear You're a Racist Now Father?

This is hilarious, at least I find it hilarious, I think the main reason is because it highlights how funny Irish people can actually be without realizing it. Ted has unwittingly insulted a group of Chinese people living on a part of the island known as 'Chinatown', and word has gotten around the Island that he is a racist....

Small...Far Away...

This moment is taken from the episode 'The Holiday' and the catchphrase is still used by the Irish today if somebody can't comprehend their environment around them. The scene was shot in the studios in London, and the director went for one take for this one single clip, to get a genuine dose of laughter from the audience. It's just so ridiculous it has me in fits of laughter every time I watch it...

Noel The Priest

Graham Norton, who plays Noel the priest, was an unknown actor at the time. Now he is the biggest chat show host on B.B.C. mixing in large amounts of comedy while interviewing top celebrities, he is extremly funny. Dougle and Ted get stuck in 'The very dark caves' that has a big sign with the subcaption 'It's almost like being blind!' and are looking for a way out when they happen to bump into Noel and his suffering entourage. Noel thinks he's great, but everybody just finds him annoying, the amount of energy this man puts into the scene is unbelievable, and his natural comic personality gets to the point that you're laughing so hard you get convulsions...

The Dent

This moment is in simply because of the lunacy to the scene. The writers are huge fans of 'The Simpsons' and wanted to add in as many Homer Simpson style moments as they could. The priests acquire a car as a prize for a raffle to raise funds to fix the leaky roof on their house. I can relate to this scene due to the fact that I sometimes produce work that's absolutly fine, and I tinker with it so much it becomes an absolute mess, and then convince myself, in all my stress and panic, that its absolutly fine...

Dougle Insults Ted

The very beginning to the episode 'The Holiday'. Right from the very get go it gets a laugh out loud moment not seen in other sitcoms. What's so funny about it was the popularity of Irish Novelist Roddy Doyle at the time, when his book 'Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha', a story about an eight year old boy living in Dublin in the 1960s, had won the Booker Prize. His books have over the top profanities on every page, basically just implying how much the Irish swear on a day to day basis. Dougle in all of his innocent nature, picks up on this...

That Would be an Ecumenical Matter

When three arch bishops come to visit the island to bless the holy stone of Clonrichert, Ted worries that Jack, the alcoholic evil man with only only four main words to his vocabulary, (drink, feck, arse and girls), will insult and shock them leaving a bad impression, he devices an answer for Jack to learn if he is asked any religious questions...It's brilliant...I'm leaving the best until last here folks...the show wouldn't be right without the disgusting, vile, foul mouthed Father Jack Hackett...


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