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Sofa Watch: Michelle Obama reminisces about the 'wonderful town' of Moneygall

All you need to know about your Irish and international chat show options.

AS ANOTHER FRIDAY night rolls around, a bit of socially distant light banter might help to break up the monotony.

As we all stay in (again), there’s no better night to sit on the couch and watch some quality chat shows.

If you’re looking for the lineup for tonight’s Late Late, Tubridy and co are taking this evening off after Wednesday’s St Patrick’s Day special.

Here’s our latest round-up of talk show content, there should be plenty here to keep anyone occupied, even the Late Late fans. 

  •  The Graham Norton Show, BBC One, 11.15pm

Liam Neeson and his son Micheál Richardson will both join Graham tonight to talk about playing on-screen father and son in their new movie Made in Italy. 

Micheál changed his last name to honour his late mother Natasha Richardson who died following a skiing accident in 2009. Made in Italy parallels the family’s own loss, with the movie centring around a father and son who are struggling to deal with the grief after the sudden death of the family matriarch. 

Also joining Graham tonight: the star of BBC crime drama The Serpent, Tahar Rahim, chatting about his new legal drama The Mauritanian; Cush Jumbo, promoting British thriller The Beast Must Die; comedian and actor Rob Brydon; and Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden.

With music from singer-songwriter Laura Mvula.

Source: Movie Coverage/YouTube

Across the pond

Dublin band Inhaler fittingly made their US TV debut on The Late Late Show with James Corden on St Patrick’s Day.

Introducing them as his favourite new band, Corden asks them how they came together and their upcoming debut album before the band, fronted by Elijah Hewson (Bono’s son), performed their latest single Cheer Up Baby.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Kimmel gave his audience a St Patrick’s Day history lesson (kind of) during his monologue on Wednesday.  He only found out this year that Saint Patrick wasn’t Irish. 

Surprisingly, he hadn’t heard about Barack Obama Plaza in Co Offaly either. 

While chatting with former first lady Michelle Obama, he asked her about being honoured with a statue in Moneygall near Barack’s ancestral home. She spoke fondly of the service station along the M7, as she should.

“That is real people. That is not photoshopped. That’s in Moneygall,” she said. 

Remembering their state visit back in 2011, Michelle said: “We went to Ireland and visited Moneygall, which is a wonderful town. 

“He [Barack] has many many cousins there, and we had a night at the pub where we drank some Guinness and laughed and joked.”  

president-obama-visit-to-ireland-day-one Former First Lady Michelle Obama greets well wishers in Moneygall, County Offaly, May 2011. Source: PA

During the interview, Kimmel repeated a question he had asked Michelle previously: whether she made love with her husband the night that US forces killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Kimmel asked former President Obama the same question back in November when he was promoting his memoir.

Michelle wasn’t having any of it: “You know, I have to tell your audience that, for some very sick reason, you are very obsessed with this portion of that major historical event.”

Turning it back on Kimmel she said: “You’re still that little boy in your bedroom, under the cover with the flashlight, going, ’I hope nobody sees me.”

Source: Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube

Michelle also popped up on the other Jimmy’s (Fallon) show as part of her press tour promoting her new children’s show Waffles + Mochi on Netflix.

Michelle joined Fallon in crashing random Zoom calls and pretending they’d been invited into the wrong chat, sending the unassuming participants into a meltdown. 

And speaking of freakouts, if you’ve been looking for a way to stay positive these days (mentally that is), then you might want to take a leaf out of Ringo Starr’s book.

The former Beatle told Stephen Colbert the reason he has kept the concepts of peace and love alive since the 1960s and why he still says the greeting/mantra every day.

Ringo also gave a hint of what fans can expect to see in the new documentary about The Beatles directed by Peter Jackson due out later this year.  

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Source: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/YouTube

The killing of eight people in the US city of Atlanta, including six Asian women this week was a story none of the late-night hosts could ignore.

Authorities have stressed they are still investigating the motive behind Tuesday’s brutal shootings that stoked fears in Asian American communities already alarmed by a surge in hate crimes during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, during his show last night, Colbert said former President Trump bears a “particular responsibility” for inflaming and amplifying the hatred that led to the deadly shootings.

“He’s clearly just using hate as a tool to blame his own failings on a foreign country,” Colbert said following a clip of Trump using anti-Asian slurs.

“This will always be part of his legacy. He will always be remembered as a hateful man who left a stain not just on the White House pillows, but on our whole society by inviting his MAGA minions to an all-you-can-hate racist buffet.”

Meanwhile, The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah went after the suspect, his reported claim that it was a sexually motivated attack, and unpacked the racist motivations behind the shootings. 

“You killed six Asian people, specifically, you went there. If there’s anyone who’s racist, it’s a motherf**ker who killed six Asian women. Your murders speak louder than your words.”

Source: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah/YouTube

And lastly, John Oliver focused on Fox News host Tucker Carlson during the latest episode of Last Week Tonight.

Oliver outlines where Tucker, who is admired by white nationalists, came from, what his rhetorical tactics are, and what he represents.

Source: LastWeekTonight/YouTube

From the archives 

Speaking of Obama’s visit to Ireland ten years ago, here’s an enjoyable report on the “rock concert adulation” he received in Dublin, and the “Obama fever” that swept over the rest of the country amid the recession. 

Source: Channel 4 News/YouTube

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Adam Daly

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