1. Kimpatsu says

    It is such a shame that the lead actor in Father Ted died so youngg, thereby curtailing the show.
    My favourite episode wsa Speed, when Dougal was trapped on the runaway milkfloat, and the Catholic Hierchy’s answer was to say mass after mass for him.
    Needless to say, it didn’t work…

  2. Kimpatsu says

    It is such a shame that the lead actor in Father Ted died so youngg, thereby curtailing the show.
    My favourite episode wsa Speed, when Dougal was trapped on the runaway milkfloat, and the Catholic Hierchy’s answer was to say mass after mass for him.
    Needless to say, it didn’t work…

  3. says

    HIGHLY recommended. It was hugely popular in Ireland, and played no small role in increasing the secular momentum (arguably). There’s even an episode where a bishop becomes an atheist (although he then becomes a hippie). Ardal O’Hanlon’s Father Dylan Maguire is a very faithful representation of the intelligence of the average priest ;-)

  4. Matt Penfold says

    I loved the show. There is nothing in it that would annoy a militant atheist like you. Quite the contrary in fact. When it first aired in the UK the Catholic church really got quite upset about it. The writers grew up in Ireland when it was pretty much under the control of the Catholic church and this was their way at getting back. God, and faith, are not really what the comedy is about, instead it makes fun of the silliness of Catholic pettiness and ignorance.

    I think the best episode was a Christmas special where Ted, Dougal and some other priests found themselves in the largest lingerie department in Ireland.

  5. V Profane says

    Father Ted is great TV, very funny and suitably respectful toward the Catholic church: not at all.

    Graham Linehan, half of the duo behind the show, has a blog which includes some pokes at relgious idiocy, so I think you’d be safe from aggravation.

  6. manigen says

    Father Ted is genius; nearly perfect comedy. You won’t be irritated by it on any level.

  7. Linda says

    Definitely not a show for the fundies. My favorite moment was Ted explaining perspective to Dougal by alternately pointing to a cow outside in the field and holding a small toy cow up near Dougal’s face: “Small cow close up; Big cow far away”. And of course, then there were the hairy babies. Damn, now I have to go and find the DVDs somewhere.

  8. Sparky says

    I have to ask, does anyone know where you can find copies of this stateside? It looks absolutely hilarious, just the thing I need to make me feel better about the concept that Mike Huckabee is actually a serious candidate in the upcoming election.

  9. Leonard Hatred says

    It’s one of the best comedies of all time. Superbly observed, with great characters and good actors. No chance of it “offending a militant atheist” whatsoever – they’re the worst priests in the world, and the Church is the butt of every joke imaginable. Father Dougal doesn’t even believe in God. ;)

  10. Altabin says

    Ditto everything above. The Catholic Church in Ireland got very pissed off about it; but oddly enough, Catholics themselves just love the show. Liberal Catholics whom I know are crazy about it, and that isn’t so surprising — liberal catholics have always been somewhat cynical about the hierarchy, and know that they are smarter than most priests. But also ultramontane, rad-trad catholic blogs are crammed with Father Ted references. I’m not sure I understand why.

  11. says

    Father Ted is a good show, but not, IMnsHO great. It’s mostly a three-joke-cycle comedy, but the three jokes are pretty funny, especially if you, like me, enjoy crude and scatological humor.

    I don’t find it deeply irreverent towards religion; it’s superficially irreverent, but the main characters are explicitly represented as atypical and inferior: they’ve been exiled to Craggy Island (the worst parish in Europe) by the Church for their deep character flaws, and these flaws are the basis for the show’s humor.

    It’s certainly not subversive towards Catholicism or religion in the same sense that Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister were subversive of democratic government, set in a context where the viewer expects representative or even excellent characters. (Indeed, I’d love to see a Yes, Minister style of show set in the College of Cardinals or some high-level Papal office.)

  12. Stephen Wells says

    Don’t forget the elderly and horrific Father Jack, whose entire vocabulary consists of “Drink!” “Feck!” “Arse!” “Girls!” and “That would be an ecumenical matter.”

  13. eruvande says

    Sparky: DVDs are available through Amazon and the usual others.

    It’s a fantastic show. My favorite is when Father Jack has been drinking Toilet Duck and starts hallucinating. Beautiful!

  14. says

    Recommend it? I’d pretty much command you to see it if I could. Really, this is must-see stuff.

    You’ll notice straight away that the BBC, emm, doesn’t command production budgets quite on par with those of their American counterparts. Still, the wretched production values are part of the charm.

    Some of the episodes allude to (then) current events in Ireland or to people well-known there and Britain, but not necesarily across the Atlantic. But that really won’t detract from your enjoyment.

    Trivia: die-hard Father Ted fans who speak Irish might wish to search YouTube for a short film called Yu Ming is Ainm Dom (“My Name is Yu Ming”). Frank Kelly, who plays Father Jack, has a smallish role in it.

    Now, have you ever heard of A Scare at Bedtime…?

    vbloke @6: what, no love for “A Song for Europe”?

  15. AllanW says

    PZ, you have to watch it. Mildly subversive of the Catholic church and hugely funny caricatures of priests.

    If you don’t fall in love with Father Jack or the housekeeper character you have no funny-muscle in your body.

    My favourite episode? The christmas special where a bunch of them end up in the lingerie department of a large store and have to escape (ala wartime prison film) before people see them.

  16. DrFrank says

    Father Ted is true genius – frankly, if you don’t find it hilarious then it’ll just prove once and for all that Americans lack a proper sense of humour ;)

  17. Conor Burke says

    Father Ted is brilliant. I highly advise it – it’s such a pity the main actor had to die so young.

  18. hinschelwood says

    Great comedy. I’d go for the second series out of the lot. It had got into its stride by then. The third series got a bit repetitious. There’s good stuff in all of them though.

  19. says

    Father Ted is a fantastic show (also Black Books too). Impossible for me to pick a highlight. Though I did like the bit where Father Ted has to bring out a chart he prepared earlier for Father Dougal. With a picture of a human head with the word ‘Dreams’ written inside and the word ‘reality’ written outside.

    Mrs Tilton @#18

    You’ll notice straight away that the BBC, emm, doesn’t command production budgets quite on par with those of their American counterparts.

    Minor quibble – but I believe it was actually a Channel 4 production, not BBC.

  20. Neutral Observer says

    Go on, try it PZ.

    Go on, go on, go on,……

    …, go on, view it and you’ll know what I mean

  21. James says

    If you rate (as I do) The Office (Gervais’s original) and Fawlty Towers as 10s, Father Ted is a 2.

    This ex-Catholic found it crude and unfunny.

  22. Ryan F Stello says

    Recommend it.

    Some of the jokes are standard brit-com fare (read: light), but the humor seemed to be geared specifically to us ‘militant atheists’, like:

    TED- So there he is. Risen from the dead. Like that feller…. E.T.


    Dougal: God, I’ve heard about those cults Ted. People dressing up in black and saying Our Lord’s going to come back and save us all.

    Ted: No, Dougal, that’s us. That’s Catholicism.
    Dougal: Oh, right.

  23. Catherine Martell says

    It makes this militant atheist extremely happy. Absolutely no chance of it aggravating an unbeliever; rather the opposite.

  24. says

    It is absolutely brilliant, I don’t know if it is just British humour, but I cant see why people from other places wouldn’t find it funny.
    Also as a (almost) life long militant atheist it has never annoyed me, they very rarely mention the dictator-wizard in the sky.

  25. says

    The same people who created Father Ted also made the IT Crowd which is 10x better in my opinion. Father Ted has some good moments but I never felt the urge to watch more then a couple episodes. IT Crowd on the other hand, I’ve watched several episodes more then once (though the second season is a bit of a let down).

  26. minimalist says

    The thing about Father Ted is that it’s not exactly a satire of the Catholic Church — it’s more of a parody of sitcom conventions using Catholic priests.

    So a lot of Catholic satire gets into every episode (it’s unavoidable), but the main point is that you have every element of a British situation comedy (awkward situations, rivals, an Archenemy), only they’re priests. They behave like sitcom characters first and foremost, and only secondarily do they act like caricatures of the priesthood.

    Still a very funny show, but I’m not sure it hold up well to repeated viewings. I own the DVDs nonetheless (all available in the US).

  27. Dan says

    Ardal O’Hanlon (Dougal) went on to his own show (My Hero) where he played essentially the same character, except he is a superhero. If you like him in Father Ted, you would probably like this one too.

  28. Morgan says

    Down with this sort of thing!

    It’s great fun. Most I’ve found who don’t like it are either offended by the portral of foolish priests or turned off by the crudity of the humour (or both, or claiming the latter to cover the former).

  29. says

    It’s pant-wettingly funny. Religion has nothing to do with it, really, except in the sense that it provides boundless humour.

    If you like Father Ted, I’d highly recommend Blackadder, Red Dwarf and Black Books.

  30. Christianjb says

    The Catholic church in Ireland hated the show and I heard they refused to give the actor who played Ted a Catholic funeral/burial. Sounds like a recommendation to me.

  31. says

    a.h. @25,

    ah sure, you’re right (Ch. 4 not BBC). I must be getting very nearly Jack’s age…

    BTW, has the Pantload ever seen this episode:

    Ted: I’m not a fascist, I’m a priest. Fascists dress in black and go around telling people what to do… whereas priests…

  32. bpower says

    An awesome program, manages to take the piss out of the catholic church NON STOP, but very sympathetic to the ‘ordinary’ priest. The only bad guy is the Bishop, modeled on Casey, I believe.

  33. says

    Ya will like Father Ted… Ya will, Ya will, Ya will….

    It’s an affectionate look at the priesthood, but not religious in the sense you mean.

    It is superb. (I have to disagree with the recommendation of ‘My Hero’ though).

    Drink! Arse! Girls! Feck!

    Personal Favourites: The ‘speed’ parody. The setup where the priests accidentally find themselves in the lingerie dept. The fascism episode (I’m *not* a racist!) and the episode with Richard Wilson (who starred in the farcical sitcom ‘one foot in the grave’ – his catchphrase in that was ‘I don’t *believe* it!’)…. oh, and Ted explaining to Dougal about near and far away….

  34. bpower says

    Bishop: The amount of people’s live irrefutably damaged, it was a disgrace.
    Father Dougal: Nuns aren’t people.
    Bishop: Nuns ARE people.

    Like I said, funny shit.

  35. Chili Pepper says

    Best line was Father Jack waking up from a nap long enough to blurt out “Feck! I’m still a priest!” before lapsing back into unconsciousness.

  36. Dr Strangelove says

    I don’t find it deeply irreverent towards religion; it’s superficially irreverent, but the main characters are explicitly represented as atypical and inferior

    I disagree. While the show doesn’t set out to humiliate the Catholic Church, it certainly shows the creators have a very low opinion of it. For instance, the bishop character has an illegitimate son and shares his hot tub with naked babes :) Every clergyman in the series has some major malfunction (then again, most characters in the show have one).

    Father Ted has been one of my favorite sitcoms for years; it’s not quite as good as Blackadder but it’s close.

  37. says

    And the list of “Things That Don’t Exist” that Ted makes Dougal hang on his wall: the Loch Ness Monster, Frankenstein, Magnum PI, non-catholic gods and Darth Vader…

  38. Actually Named Ted says

    From one atheist to another…you will probably pee yourself laughing at this show. I own all the episodes on DVD. Quit blogging and start watching.

  39. bpower says

    One more thing,Dougal is exactly my kind of Atheist, he was shocked that people actually believe in the dogmas of the church.

    Just watch some of it.

  40. Quidam says

    It will aggravate a militant atheist about as much as Monty Python’s The Life Of Brian would.

  41. Timcol says

    “One more thing,Dougal is exactly my kind of Atheist, he was shocked that people actually believe in the dogmas of the church.”

    There’s a great piece of dialog in one episode where two priests are talking about godly stuff and Dougal looks in wonder at the other priest and says something like “You don’t actually believe all that stuff about sin and eternal life and heaven do you?” Then laughs…

    You will love it PZ. It makes the Catholic priesthood look like utter, incompetent fools…

  42. says

    I started watching Father Ted years ago – I was rather young at the time. As a child of a typical Catholic father (left the church at 14 and mean as hell), and a non-practicing Protestant mother (anyone wonder why I’m an atheist??), I found the show to be full of blasphemy and truth. What more can you ask for? Oh yeah, it was hilarious! So enjoy it. The atheist in you will LOVE it.

  43. Sigmund says

    I have a friend who works for the Catholic church in Ireland (he’s actually an atheist) and according to him plenty of priests love the show. Its quite strange, considering it frequently takes the piss out of the whole notion of supernaturalism, the value of prayer or the various church rituals. Theres never an instance in either series where it is assumed that religion is anything other than nonsense. My favorite episode is the one on the doomed plane full of priests back from a visit to a shrine where the priests are asked to decide amongst themselves who gets one of the only two parachutes (“shall we just pray for God to save us?”).

  44. MH says

    I have almost died laughing at Father Ted several times. It’s easily one of the finest sitcoms ever made. Sparkling scripts, perfect timing, and lovely chemistry between the main characters. Make sure you see the Xmas special episode as well, as it’s one of the best.

    Most importantly, let us know what you think of it!

  45. Jack Rawlinson says

    Fear not, PZ. Father Ted was a hilarious Irish comedy from the nineties which gently (and sometimes) not-so-gently poked fun at the Catholic church and its priests in Ireland. It had an occasional slight surreal touch and a lovely fondness for the absurd. The three main characters (who played the ever-to-be-disappointed Father Ted, the clueless dimwit Father Dougal and the perma-drunk, lecherous old sod Father Jack) were brilliant. There were lots of digs against religion in there amidst plenty of light-hearted, character-based fun. I recommend it.

  46. says

    Yes indeed! Even my Catholic wife loves this show immensely because it pokes so much fun at her Church and quotes from the show daily.

  47. Moggie says

    I’m not sure I’d call it a British show. Ok, it was made for a British channel, but the writers and most of the actors were Irish, and the location filming was in Ireland. I suppose you could call it a joint Irish/British production: that would be an ecumenical matter.

  48. says

    Definitely a great show. I agree it was not just about bashing Catholicism and Catholics. Most of them are not shown as bad people, but flawed. And that is the inherent humor. Usually shows steer away from showing a bad or screwed up priest. But this show threw them out for all to see. It is a silly show, but great for people who like to see piety and priest take a prodding. It makes the priesthood human and not divine emissaries of a great truth. The lie cheat, steal, drink, chase women, and make mistakes. But still you kinda like them, even the hyper high pitch priest, monkey priest, etc.

    Ted isn’t bad. He does his job, but he wants money, fame, and love (the love of God ain’t enough). So when large sums of money get in his hands, things aren’t going to go well, or when an attractive woman chats him up. He often wants to do the “right thing” but…

    Dougal is a nice guy. Dumb as a post, but nice. The fun is that in his simple way he constantly asks the question you aren’t suppose to ask about religion, and benignly challenges basic dogma. He keeps comparing it to cults, fantasy films, etc.

    And Jack is just debouched. Drunk, mean, and at uninterested in the job. He tells everyone off, swears, decks anyone between him and a bottle, and runs around nude. And in one episode it is clear he is the natural progression of most priests.

    And on their home, Craggy Island, you have the violent couple, always on the verge of killing each other, but when the priest walk in they play nice and hide it, often with knives hidden behind their backs and injuries out of view. And the psycho with the “I shot JR” shirt who may have killed someone and likes to torture bunnies. Ted does his best to ignore and not notice.

    Sadly, it would be hard to do the show now. Then the joke is about priest fancying women. Now it would be…And that would be impossible to sell or laugh at.

  49. says


    Father Ted is brilliant. As someone who grew up in Ireland the stereotypes in the show are spot on (esp. the variety of guest priests who wander through every episode). The Christmas special where the priests wander into a lingerie section and have to effect an escape is classic. The program has aged well. Dermot Morgan who plays the main character Fr. Ted earlier had his own creation called Fr. Trendy which was a savage indictment of the ‘trendy’ priests of the 70’s and 80’s in Ireland. You may love it or you may think it weird not sure how the cultural references will travel.


  50. Scruffy McSnufflepuss says

    Those nitwits at Blogs 4 Brownback wrote something I’m hoping wasn’t serious. God, that place is scary.

    The Statue [of Liberty] is such a graven image. As proof, one need merely look at the New York state license plate. The Statue is very prominently displayed on this license plate, as befits a state renowned for Godlessness, savagery, Marxism, Atheism, and sexual deviancy. Conspicuously absent from this license plate is any depiction of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, Whose agonies on the Cross washed away the sins of the world and gave us hope in Salvation. Yes, there’s no room for any depiction of the True Religion on the New York license plate, but there is room for a Bolshevist French harlot clad in nothing but a bedsheet, brandishing a firebrand and a copy of some book that may well be either the “Communist Manifesto” or “Origin of the Species,” calling all evildoers to come to America and worship her as their false god. Yes, very little about this license plate is surprising, I am saddened to say.

    Hopefully, President Huckabee or President Brownback will put aside the outcry of the dim-witted and idly sinful among patriotic Americans, as well as outright silencing the inevitable uproar from Marxist, secularist, Darwinist, Helioleftist, and immigrationist circles. Hopefully, either one of those men will show the strength of character and moral vision to cast down this disgusting monument to human iniquity. Cast down the Statue, that God may yet forgive our nation for its many sins and travesties.

    True leadership means not having to apologize when you are right, just as you must humbly admit it when you are wrong. I hope our next Republican President remembers that, and demolishes this evil edifice once and for all.

    Holy shit.

  51. says

    Highly recommended – the fact that catholicism is involved is irrelevant. It’s a well written and very entertaining show. As a militant atheist myself I usually put it on every now and again to laugh at the “men in black”.

  52. tom p says

    It’s one of the best and funniest TV shows ever.
    I’m not Irish and so may miss the precise relevance of some minor things, but it’s genuinely laugh-out-loud funny all the way through. Watch it, buy the DVDs, lend them to your friends and then graciously receive their gratitude for turning them on to something so wonderful.
    Then watch it again. And again and again and again.

  53. Peter Ashby says

    Black Books is indeed deeply wonderful. Dissolute ennui has never been so funny since they stopped making Shelley.

  54. Der Bruno Stroszek says

    Every time there’s a big religious protest against some movie or other, I’m always reminded of Fathers Ted and Dougal picketing The Passion of St Tibulus, ineffectually shouting “Down with this sort of thing!” and “Careful now!”

  55. Lee Brimmicombe-Wood says

    Dermot Morgan, who played Ted, was a fierce critic of the Catholic church, who had created a character called ‘Father Trendy’ for RTE.

    Absolutely required viewing for atheists. In the first show Father Dougal eviscerates the whole business of faith on TV.

  56. Ross Nixon says

    One of the funniest programs ever. Helps if you like British-style humour (usually far better than American, BTW).
    Fundamentalists (like me) enjoy it immensely, once they become accustomed to the occasional over-the-top crudity.

  57. Kseniya says

    I believe Blogs 4 Brownback is a parody site.

    In other news, A-Wad is sounding a lot like T-Lob.

  58. Joseph Ludi says

    I’ll have to go along with most of the others here. It’s a great series. We have all the DVD’s and have watched them many times. One of our favorite lines is, while offering brownies Mrs. Doyle exclaims, “There’s cocaine in it!…..Oh no, what am I going on about, I mean raisins.” And let’s not forget the fantastic song, “My Lovely Horse”.

    I have to believe it is as funny here in the U.S. as it was in Ireland and the U.K. It really is a shame that Dermot Morgan passed away and so there are only 3 seasons of episodes.

  59. TL says

    Among my favorite BBC comedies was “People like Us”.

    “The Vicar” from series two takes a hilarious swipe at The Church.

    Most of the episodes are hilarious and both series are worth seeking out. Unfortunately, DVD format and region coding may present some difficulties.

  60. Zarquon says

    It’s pretty dumb humour, really. Get Spaced instead. It has Simon Pegg who made Shaun Of he Dead.

  61. bernarda says

    As a card-carrying atheist, I highly recommend “Father Ted”. I wonder how it ever got the go-ahead.

    Can you imagine some writer or producer coming up to a television network and saying, “I have a great idea for a story of three Catholic priests living on an isolated island. Oh yes, it is a comedy.”

    Who in their right mind would buy that? But it works.

  62. Gareth says

    Unquestionably THE best thing to come out of Ireland. Even better than Guinness! I could watch it every day of every week and still not get tired of it. The humour in it is often extremely silly – which is exactly why I like it. Definitely recommended. The one with the Chinese is great, as Ted gets branded as a racist then goes around trying to convince everyone that he’s not racist. My favourite quote from that episode is when Ted is in the pub with all the Chinese people after convincing them that he’s not racist, and says:

    “I’m not a fascist, I’m a priest! Fascists dress in black and go around telling people what to do. Whereas priests……………. more drink!”

    And the best part on that episode is this little exchange:

    It’s just so completely over-the-top!

  63. says

    I got the box set for Christmas, it’s absolute genius. The Passion of St Tibulus, what an episode – “Careful now”

  64. Kari says

    Holy crap, Gareth! (#84) I forgot that episode! I just watched the greeks clip and almost expired trying not to laugh out loud. I’m at work.
    I think Father Ted may be an “acquired” taste. The first time I saw it I thought it was disgusting (Father Jack mostly) but for some reason I went back and now I love it so.

  65. Eric says

    I really enjoyed the show, and my very religious parents enjoyed it too. My dad, who is a preacher, is actually the one who got the rest of us to watch it…

    The Vicar of Dibley was pretty good too…

  66. Alan says

    Graham Linehan is an atheist, I believe.

    Speaking of the Catholic Church in Ireland, I think there’s always been an undercurrent of animosity towards the Church. Over the summer, I was with my father getting some bales of hay off an elderly farmer back in Ireland. This gentleman was ancient, at least eighty. While we were loading up the bales, he told us about how the Catholic Church “kept the populace ignorant to retain their power” and regaled us with a risqué nun joke. A farmer. Who grew up during the pre-Vatican II era. Wow.

  67. says

    Heck. I miss People Like Us. They haven’t shown that show in ages on PBS.

    THe Vicar is a great episode. The frustrated wife who was no longer enamored of a man who sacrificed everything to help others. THe vicar who was realizing that the whole vicar thing was a passing phase of his youth and if he’s waited a week he would have gone on to something else.


  68. Onias says

    Many secularists are pissed off at the control the Church have over education in Ireland, but I think they’d be amused at a story I heard from my brother. He had an R.E. class in which they read an incredibly biased newspaper article which ended with the author decrying the “permissive society”. Then he had a sex-ed class where the friendly nurse taught them the correct contraceptive to use when rimming, or “giving a rimjob” as she told it. I couldn’t help but burst out laughing

  69. says

    One of the nice things about Father Ted and Vicar of Dibley is that it takes people of the cloth off the pedestals society tends to put them on. It would be nice if people moved beyond belief in magic beings. But bringing the vicars, priests, preachers, ministers, monks and so on down to the level of everyone else is a good start.

  70. Mono Ape says

    A little redundant after so many recommendations, but: watch it, PZ – it’s a genius comedy that often pokes at the pomposity and hypocrisy of organised religion.

    Father Dougal, describing ‘The Beast’: “They say it’s as big as four cats, and it’s got a retractable leg so as it can leap up at you better and you know what Ted, it lights up at night, and it’s got four ears. Two of them are for listening and the other two are kind of back-up ears, and it’s claws are as big as cups and for some reason it’s got a tremendous fear of stamps and Mrs. Doyle was tellin’ me that it’s got magnets on it’s tail so’s if you’re made out of metal it can attach itself to you, and instead of a mouth it’s got four arses.”

  71. says

    PZ, where have you been? You’re only finding Father Ted now? I’ve known about that show for years, and The Count, The Royal Spawn, and I love it.

    See the episode with the priest who had all the Nazi memorabilia in his possession. It just rides this side of bad taste. ;) Oh, and watch Mrs. Doyle clip Father Jack’s toenails. His nails fly around the room and break glass.

  72. says

    For anyone who wants to know, I think BBC online carries the complete Father Ted. I bought one season for The Royal Spawn for Christmas a few years ago.

    It’s sad that the guy who played Father Ted died so young. I think he was only 45. He was so funny. That entire show is a riot.

  73. GOd says

    “It’s sad that the guy who played Father Ted died so young. I think he was only 45.”

    Of course, he died young.

    Do you think I always strike people down immediately.

    Sometimes, I like to see them dangle over the pit of HELL, then cut the rope.

  74. HB says

    this might have come up earlier
    My favourite:
    Dougal saying to Ted, you don’t mean you believe in the virgin birth and all that do you?
    When Ted says yes the look on Dougal’s face is priceless

  75. says

    Father Ted was a wonderful show, it won’t upset atheists in the least, much the opposite, it’ll piss off the fundies like you wouldn’t believe.

    I liked it so much that I used to use a Father Ted icon on debate forums, in fact.

  76. KevinD says

    I found it to be uneven but definitely worthwhile. There are plenty of moments of inspired surreal lunacy, usually involving Dougal. However after watching a fairly small number of episodes quite a lot of it seemed repetitious and rather obvious. Still the best parts are on par with any sitcom out there.

  77. dkew says

    PZ’s YouTube link now says the clip is no longer available. Did Pharyngulites overtax YouTube? Way to go!

  78. kim says

    The only line I remember from the show was when he and other priests were talking about a friend who’d died: “He would have made pope if it hadn’t been for the f..king Jesuits.”

    It’s of that flavor.

  79. Ego, Egoing, Egone says

    British Comedy seems to fall into two catagories:
    Outrageous, Bizarre and Subversive or Boring, Trite and Humorless.
    Examples of the First catagory would be: Blackadder, Monty Python, Yes(Prime)Minister Red Dwarf and Father Ted.

    Examples of the Second catagory would be: Are You Being Served?, Keeping Up Appearances and the Office.

    OK, let rip with the hateful responses ;)

  80. Richard, FCD says

    Personally I think it’s a great show and I own a bunch of the DVDs, purchased in the USA from Amazon.

    But as some other posters have noted that are a lot of Irish cultural references that may make no sense outside of the country. A little like Ulysses by JJ, in some ways.

    My favourtie episode … the Nazi priest and the surprisingly large Crazzy Island Chinese community.

    While the Catholic Church gats a lot of abuse (if you know what I mean), the target is usually the strangeness of Irish rural life.

  81. Richard, FCD says

    To follow on; there’s a line the the episode “Are you right there, Father Ted” that goes …

    “I hear you’re a racist now father…what got you interested in that type of thing?”

    … that kind of curious naivety perfectly sums it up.

  82. Wilderness says

    “Tentacles of Doom” never fails to make me laugh. I love it when Dougal explains the parts of the Catholic ideology that he struggles with to the bishop.

  83. says

    Father Ted is hilarious and no, it won’t offend atheist sensibilities. (Father Dougal, the young, not-so-bright priest, is pretty much an atheist himself.)

    It’s definitely available in Region Two. If you can get hold of a multi-region DVD player (all the ones sold in mainland Europe are multi-region by law! and most of them will work with an NTSC TV set) then I can highly recommend it.

  84. Jess says

    My favourite TV show of all time.

    Father Dougal: You know heaven and hell and everlasting life and all that type of thing. You’re not supposed to take it seriously.
    Father Ted: You are too supposed to take it seriously!

  85. Dave Godfrey says

    Will it aggravate a militant atheist?

    That would be an ecumenical matter.

    Suffice it to say that “These …. are small, but those are far away.” will be recognised nearly as regularly as “nudge nudge, wink wink.”

  86. Jimmy_Blue says

    Speaking as a recovered catholic, Father Ted should be required viewing for militant atheists.

    “It’s Bishop Brennan ya little bollocks.”

  87. peterkinvara says

    Surreal irish comedy (although produced in Britain), not to be missed. Mrs Doyle, the long suffering house-keeper, brilliantly portrayed by Pauline McGlynn, is my favourite. Also, the house used for external shots in the series as the priests house, is just a few miles from where I live ( Kinvara, Galway) and still looks exactly as it does on screen, and is lived in by a local farmer and his family.

  88. says

    I don’t think there’s anything in it that would annoy an atheist. I certainly was never bothered by it; it’s (mildly, in general) anti-church.

    A lot of people love the show, but most of the time it didn’t do a whole lot for me.

  89. Roger Scott says

    A wonderful, great comedy. I dislike the RC church more than most but just loved this show.

  90. says

    A friend of mine in college got me into Father Ted and we ended up watching episodes for like 8 straight hours one night. It was so great, I don’t think I stopped laughing the whole time. I put Father Ted on my list of the best comedies ever along with Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Blackadder.

  91. Jack Rawlinson says

    Dermot: yes! The guest priests!

    Remember Father Jessup, the most sarcastic priest in Ireland?

    “Father, you’re here!”

    “No, I’m up in space doing important work for NASA”

    God, I loved that show.

  92. says

    got the complete series for christmas (it’s on amazon).
    it did not offend this atheist.
    it’s not _that_ great though. the jokes get a little old. for something mindless to watch after a long day, sure, it would do the trick.
    the Catherine Tate Show, a british comedy show, is absolutely hysterical. if you’re looking for humorous TV from across the atlantic, don’t miss it!

  93. Luna_the_cat says

    It portrays the Catholic Church in the way that it has been used by Irish communities for some time: as a dumping ground for the desperate misfits, mildly retarded, mildly (and not so mildly) criminal, and dregs which aren’t accepted into society any other way. This is entirely how it was intended. It’s also funny as hell.

    What sharon says in #111 — you want to watch this; g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan…

  94. Gib says

    The best deal for these in the UK at the moment is at, 29.95 pounds for the whole series. Free UK delivery. I’m sure they deliver to the US as well. Make sure you have a region free player that does PAL..

  95. Dylan Llyr says

    Late and superfluous as this recommendation may be, I simply insist that you watch every single episode of Father Ted right now. I’m slightly surprised that you haven’t seen it already really. It is in my view one of the finest sitcoms ever created. Effortlessly funny, and infinietly quotable without resorting too much to lazy boring catchphrases (speaking of which, avoid the Catherine Tate Show which is shit)

  96. APic says

    I envy you for never having seen Father Ted, as it means you’ve got three series plus the Christmas specials to enjoy for the first time. I’ve seen every episode so many times I’m at the stage where when i watch it, i laugh before the punchlines are made in each sketch and could probably quote verbatim from the show. Pretty much every episode is comedic genius so take a sabbatical for a few months and spend some quality time in front of your TV.

  97. Scrofulum says

    One of the few shows I can watch repeatedly and still enjoy. It’s a nice mix of daft and clever. Luckily, it’s repeated a lot here in the Untied Kingdom of Great Englandshire as it’s so popular.

    “C’mon Ted. They were only nuns.”

  98. says

    The first season is truly hilarious. Didn’t think the second or third were quite as good. No, it won’t offend the militant atheist (I am one), in fact, I think it’s very funny that the otherwise stupidest character on the show (Dougal) isn’t so stupid that he can actually swallow all the BS he learned in seminary.

    In one episode, Dougal says something to the effect of, “Aw, c’mon Ted, you’re not really supposed to believe all that stuff about the resurrection and Heaven and all that.” To which Ted, exasperatedly replies, “Yes, yes, Dougal, you are!” I just found it especially tickling that it didn’t even occur to Dougal, when studying to become a priest, that you were actually supposed to believe it!

  99. says

    I couldn’t get the clip to play before I posted before. I guess the clip is actually of the scene I was trying to remember. D’oh.

    But that is about my favorite scene from the show.

  100. Barklikeadog says

    Scruffy McSnufflepuss #66, You wrote that didn’t you? That couldn’t be real, could it? The Statue of Liberty? No seriously, The Statue of Liberty? WTF.

  101. Andrew Cooper says

    As you’ll have gathered, the show is quite popular.

    If you think the following is funny – my favourite ilnes from all the series – you’ll like it:

    Mrs Doyle: Are you looking forward to your lunch tomorrow, Father?
    Ted: Hmmm? I suppose so.
    Mrs Doyle: You do like pheasant, don’t you Father?
    Ted: Pheasant? I love pheasant.
    Mrs Doyle: Well there’s a little clue. The thing you’ll be eating likes pheasant as well.

  102. says

    The most subversive thing about this show, which I love, is that Dougal, who is pant-wettingly stupid, is the only one who effortlessly sees that the whole dead-guy-on-a-stick religion thing is dumb junk.