Timeless comedy series made with UK money and filmed largely on location in north County Clare in the west of Ireland. Exterior shots of the main characters' house were near Mullaughmore in the Burren; other locations included the northwestern Burren coast towards Black Head and the villages of Ennistymon, Doolin and Corofin.
The setting is a remote, very four-square parish house in a field on the remote and fictitious Craggy Island, off the west coast. Main characters were Father Ted Crilly (Dermot Morgan), a relatively normal character with a certain proprietorial interest in parish funds: Father Dougal Maguire (Ardal O'Hanlon), the youngest priest, a complete imbecile: Father Jack Hackett (Frank Kelly), an old senile priest whose entire head once went septic and with a passion for alcohol, whose catch-phrases were DRINK!!!, GIRLS!!!, FECK!!! and ARSE!!! (occasionally enlivened with something more coherent): and their long suffering, self-effacing housemaid Mrs. Doyle (Pauline McLynn), with her catch-phrase when offering tea or biscuits, "ahh willya go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on!", and her pastime of falling out of the front window.
Various guest stars included Tommy Tiernan, Graham Norton and Brendan Grace. The most classic episode was probably "The Plague" (of rabbits), ending in that kind of comic epiphany that a comedian, with boundless talent and more than a sprinkling of luck, might just about manage once in a lifetime.
Ran to three seasons, cut short by the tragic loss of Morgan from a heart attack. He left us too early. We shall not see his like again.
Lines from Father Ted:
"Go back to sleep, Your Grace. It's just a bad dream you're having." (From "The Plague"; I'll say no more.)
(After they have picked up the wrong very very very hairy priest from the old priest's home, commenting on the hair). Ted: "I never thought I'd see a Stage 12 before."
Ted: "You see, Tom, I think you were mistaken. When I said "take care of" the rabbits, I was thinking in a Julie Andrews kind of way. I now realise you thought I meant it in sort of an Al Pacino way. I think we'll just ... RUN, DOUGAL, RUN!!!"
Mrs. Doyle (looking beady-eyed at a shopping centre staff member over the top of a state-of-the-art gizmo that he has just told her can "take all the misery out of making tea"): "Maybe I LIKE the misery!"
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