4. FOOTBALL/KICKING BISHOP BRENNAN UP THE ARSE
We all know about Kicking Bishop Brennan Up The Arse, but it’s easily forgotten that it was the second of a two part episode.
Ted’s competitive streal gets brought out by the annual Craggy Island v Rugged Island Over 75s Priests football match.
While Talking tactics, a little bit of Jack’s back story becomes known as Dougal asked Ted about Jack’s football career, to confirm that Jack had a trial for Liverpool, only for Ted to correct him, that Jack was actually on trial in Liverpool.
On the eve of the game, one of the Craggy Island players dies. A great example of the dark humour of the show, as death is just viewed as an occupational hazard for an over 75 footballer, like a hamstring strain is viewed for a Premier League player.
Suffering another blow, that Father Jack has overdosed on sleeping aids, Ted puts jack onto an electric wheelchair, and uses joke hands to hide the fact he’s controlling him.
The real stars of the football match are off the pitch, Dougal and Mr Doyle.
Mrs Doyle deosn’t really get football (in real life, Pauline McLynn supports Aston Vila) so Ted gives her a book about football to help her understand the game.
Later in the episode, Mrs Doyle can be seen leading terrace chants for Craggy Island and verbally abusing opposition players.
Dougal, wanting to be involved, gets given the job of “Corner flag looker afterer”
In a brilliant subplot, Dick Byrne asks Cyril to steal a corner flag as a souvenir. What follows, is comedy gold, as two idiots try to outsmart each other.
Ted’s team win the match, but to use a football phrase, Dick’s team get a last minute reprieve, as the referee (played by Jason Byrne) spots Ted’s cheating.
It’s a forfeit game, and Ted gets an extra special one “For being a bi cheating bastard” – He has to kick the much feared Bishop Brennan up the arse.
To use another football phrase, onto the second-half.
Ted isn’t initially concerned, after all, Bishop Brennena hates him and wouldn’t voluntarily Craggy Island, but he does, after a rogue tip-off from Dick Byrne that an likeness of Bishop Brennan appears on the skirting board of the Parochial House.
This episode has one of my favourite constructed jokes from the show.
Bishop Brennan is angry that his schedule has been changed to include a trip to Craggy Island as “I have to be in Rome for an audience with The Pope” to which Dougal replies “I love that show, did you see the one with Elton John?”
Brennan gives Dougal a deathly silence. You could have finished the joke there, and it would have been funny, but they managed to extract some more out of it, without killing it, as Dougal interprets Brennan’s silence due to him not being a fan of Elton John, before adding “Dame Edna, she was funny” under the mistaken belief that The Pope had a light entertainment show on ITV.
So Ted kicks Brennan, then denies it, prompting Brennan to believe he imagined it. Ted then revels in the glory and demands Dougal get a banner of it made outside the Parochial House.
Brennan confronts Ted about the kick, and Ted convinces him that he imagined it, except he got rumbled when Dougal erected the banner, as requested outside the Parochial House, leaving Ted to face Brennan’s wrath.
To use a football analogy, he clinched defeat from the jaws of victory. Superb.