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Brian and Domhnall Gleeson explain how “Frank of Ireland” circumvents traditional Irish humor


A new offering in the world of Irish comedy is out today on Amazon Prime Video.  Frank of Ireland, starring brothers Brian and Domhnall Gleeson, tells the story of a newly single 32-year-old man named Frank who doesn’t appear cut out for adulthood.

The problem is, Frank has the mentality of a 13-year-old — and his journey to becoming a competent adult is complicated by his best friend, Doofus, who is even more child-like.

Frank of Ireland is one of several recent comedies from Irish creators — Sharon Horgan’s Catastrophe, Aisling Bea’s This Way Up and Netflix’s Derry Girls just to name a few — and Brian (pr: bree-ANNE) talked to ABC Audio about whether or not he thinks there’s an Irish comedic sensibility.

“I think there’s something about the extremes of emotion and I don’t want to say Irish people are more emotional, whatever, but it’s not kind of reserved or detached, which some English comedy can be,” he explained.

Describing Frank of Ireland’s style of comedy, says Domhnall (pr: DOUGH-nall), “Super straight, super deadpan and let the ridiculousness be happening rather than people just being ridiculous.”

Domhnall also notes that a good portion of their sense of humor was influenced by the late Leslie Nielsen — which explains why the series does fall back on puns once and awhile.

Besides honoring Nielsen, the brothers add their new series is a love letter to the other comedies they grew up watching — citing sitcoms like Father Ted and The Office (the British version) for shaping their sense of humors. 

“I think it made us really happy [to watch them,]” adds Domhnall, who plays Doofus.  “I’m sure if something really makes you happy, I think oftentimes you want to do that for somebody else.”

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