There’s an old saying that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, and there could be some truth to that. There’s also something else that’s true: Kansas City has a long and rich Irish tradition that doesn’t hide the other 364 days of the year. And that love of things Irish had a chance to come out and play this weekend, when the Kings of Irish Comedy tour made its stop here.
The fundraising event for the Kansas City Irish Center was sponsored by Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey. Housed on the lower level of Union Station, the Center may be one of Kansas City’s better kept secrets. It’s about to celebrate its sixth year, and it is a treasure trove of Irish culture, including thousands of books on Irish music, religion, and philosophy.
This past weekend, though, less weighty subjects were on display in the form of stand-up comedy and Irish whiskey. Tullamore D.E.W.'s Brand Ambassador Tim Herlihy explored the subject of whiskey, a topic near and dear to any Irish heart, while comedians Brad Meehan and Ardal O'Hanlon took care of keeping everyone laughing.
Tullamore D.E.W. Brand Ambassador Tim Herlihy
Dozens of guests took advantage of a VIP ticket to attend a pre-show reception in the Irish Center – a reception that included a chat about all things whiskey with Tim Herlihy, Tullamore D.E.W.’s Brand Ambassador. Herlihy launched the evening in style, combining laughs with a brief education on Tullamore D.E.W. The Irish take their whiskey seriously, and guests explored the relative merits of several offerings, including original, single malt, and 12 year blended whiskeys.
Hometown favorite Brad Meehan kicked off the show on the City Stage. Recognized by All Comedy Radio as the “Funniest Person in Kansas City,” Meehan is a familiar face at a many local fundraisers, and his energetic set didn’t disappoint.
The main attraction (aside from the Tullamore D.E.W.) was comic Ardal O’Hanlon. He’s appeared at Kansas City’s Irish Fest, but O’Hanlon may be best known to American audiences for his roles in the BBC comedies as Father Ted and My Hero. City Stage proved to be an excellent venue. Thanks to its size, the evening felt more like a visit from an old friend than watching a show – a feeling that was reinforced by the post-show meet-and-greet enjoyed by VIP ticket holders.