RTÉ is bringing online comedy stars to RTÉ2, hoping their fans will come too – The Irish Times
After a long hiatus on the RTÉ2 comedy front, a group of Irish comedians known and loved for spreading their videos on social media will soon bring their skills to the public service broadcaster’s screens.
Michael Fry, Seán Burke, Justine Stafford, Emma Doran and Killian Sundermann will feature on No Worries if Not!, a TV sketch show from September, marking a sort of revival of RTÉ’s recognition and promotion of emerging talent.
There hasn’t been a similar showcase on the channel since Republic of Telly ended in 2016. “That’s where our conversation started. We said we needed another Republic of TV, in the sense that we needed a vehicle for young comedy talent,” says RTÉ Content Director Jim Jennings.
Indeed, RTÉ bills the show to advertisers as a “loud and fast” combination of Netflix’s Republic of Telly, The Fast Show and I Think You Should Leave. The series, ‘designed to go viral week after week’, will include ‘oversized versions’ of some of the ‘classic tunes’ from some of its major contributors, as well as ‘a whole host’ of new sketches and characters, as well as a larger cast of diverse comedians. voice.
Jennings says more comedy is “in the works”, with new head of the RTÉ Entertainment and Music Group, Alan Tyler, tasked with bringing new names to RTÉ2. “It will take time, but we are determined to do more.”
Comedy is risky, he says. “You have to try a lot of things and you have to stick with them because some of them won’t work and some of them are an acquired taste.”
As a result, development of the comedy on RTÉ2 has fallen victim to funding pressures on the broadcaster, which has nearly €100 million less to play than in the “good old days”, before the recession and the rise power of the online advertising giants.
Returning to a sketch show format is certainly better late than never. Pandemic lockdowns might have been light on the laughs overall, but as Stafford noted at RTÉ’s new season launch event on Thursday, it’s been a rich time for the video phenomenon. online comedy (often solo).
With the stars of No Worries if Not! having amassed many fans, all thanks to their own ingenuity – and several already boasting hilarious and reliable recurring characters – surely the biggest risk for RTÉ would come from ignoring this talent, not airing it.