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Last Late Show: 8 of the most memorable Irish moments on Letterman

Peter O’Toole on a camel, anyone?

AFTER 22 YEARS, David Letterman hosted his very last episode of the Late Show last night.

He’s had almost 20,000 guests over the course of 6,000 shows, according to Time magazine.

Although his show wasn’t broadcast in Ireland, over the last two decades Letterman has exposed Irish stars to countless millions on the other side of the Atlantic.

Here are a few of the highlights:

Gabriel Byrne, 25 November 1993

Letterman must have Gabriel Byrne on speed-dial, because the Dubliner has been on the Late Show repeatedly over the last 22 years.

Here he is, back in November 1993, without the slightest hint of a mid-Atlantic accent, explaining the Irish way of speaking.


The Cranberries, 11 November 1994

It’s easy to forget now, but for a time during the 1990s, the Cranberries were simply one of the biggest rock bands in the world.

When they appeared on Letterman in November ’94, “No Need to Argue” had just been released a few weeks previously.

They took the country by storm, and the album went seven-times platinum, selling an estimated 17 million copies worldwide.

Luxien S / YouTube

Peter O’Toole, 1995

Letterman, being a talk-show host, has always enjoyed guests who can, well, talk. So it’s not surprising that two of his most frequent invitees were the Irish actors and raconteurs Peter O’Toole and Richard Harris.

Here’s his two-part interview with O’Toole, in glorious form, entering the studio on a camel.

JohnCartney / YouTube

Damien Rice & Lisa Hannigan, 13 June 2003

The Celbridge man already had a huge following in Ireland and the UK after the release of the Blower’s Daughter, but he exploded into American living rooms in 2003, performing Volcano with Lisa Hannigan on the Late Show.

Khanh Nhi / YouTube

Tommy Tiernan, 16 June 2006

The Irish comedian famously spent the bulk of two years in the US during the 2000s, trying to break the American scene.

He later turned his experience into the RTÉ series “Jokerman.

But it was Letterman who gave Tommy his first ever appearance on American TV, when he took the coveted stand-up slot for an episode in June 2006.

walkabout1985 / YouTube

Paddy Casey, 3 April 2008

The frequent Irish names on US late night TV tend to be megastars: Pierce Brosnan, Gabriel Byrne, Bono, and so on.

But you may not remember that songwriter Paddy Casey – unknown in the States, despite his success here – had his moment in the sun as well.

elvis6049 / YouTube

Chris O’Dowd, 30 April 2013

The big Boyle man went from a little-known but much loved star of cult comedy the IT Crowd, to unlikely overnight sex symbol after his cameo in Bridesmaids in 2011.

Here he is chatting to Letterman about the GAA and generally charming the pants off the American public.

familo tomi / YouTube

Hozier, 13 May 2014

It’s hard to remember a time when Hozier wasn’t ruthlessly conquering the world, but his appearance on the Late Show this time last year played a big part in that, and exposed him to a massive American audience for the first time.

Shanne Litle / YouTube

Read: How a Galway accordion player ended up on Letterman with Tom Waits>

Read: Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman as host of The Late Show>

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