The morning DJs are funny and entertaining, day after day — without ever seeming like they’re trying too hard
About the only thing I don’t like about Dermot & Dave (Today FM, Mon-Fri 9am) is that their voices sound quite similar sometimes, so you’re not always sure which is speaking at any moment. Apart from that, though, it’s all good.
In fact, even with that, it’s fine — because Dermot Whelan and Dave Moore are funny, good-natured, smart-but-dumb-but-smart, and most importantly, unpretentious. (You’d have to love anyone who named their live show The Ah Sure Look It tour.) The programme is great fun, a much-needed blast of irreverence, cheek and high spirits in mid-morning schedules.
Don’t take my word for it: Dermot & Dave is hugely popular with the public. Their most recent JNLR figures were very impressive — 207,000 listeners — making it the station’s highest-rated show and well ahead of 2FM and Newstalk in the same slot.
Perhaps most impressively, the two boyos manage to constantly have the craic without giving off that vibe of trying too hard, the sense of forced “hilarity” which is always more exhausting than hilarious — familiar from a certain class of “Wa-hey, the gang’s all here, we’re just sooo wacky!” breakfast show for more years than I want to think about.
They’re not wacky so much as daft (in a good way), not so much “yo, yo, it’s your morning crew!” as two lads just talking shite and enjoying themselves. And doing it for the audience, not themselves; I suppose at this point Dermot & Dave don’t feel they’ve anything to prove, so the jokes serve the show and not their egos.
Those jokes are often terrible, it must be added — particularly in the regular Dave’s Bad Jokes, the most accurately titled segment on Irish radio — which of course makes the whole thing funnier. And they’re not always terrible; indeed they’re often rather good, such as when Dave (I know it was him, Dermot was off that day) interviewed John Bishop about his upcoming Dublin performance in the Mother Goose panto.
“I’ve just stepped into the Boots in Liverpool,” the comedian said. Dave replied, “Any good three-for-two deals there you can pick up for us?”
Also enjoyable this week was when contributor Cathal Minogue rang Mickey Joe Harte —remember him? — to ask permission to busk We’ve Got the World Tonight in Irish for Seachtain na Gaeilge. “Oh God,” Mickey said
after a theatrical groan. “This feels like a good time to hang up. If Dermot or Dave come on the line, I’m definitely hanging up.”
There are some serious bits… well, “straight” anyway, if never quite serious. So we also had an interview with playwright Niall Austin, whose PL-AI mixes live theatre and artificial intelligence. Vogue Williams spoke about her mindbogglingly popular podcast (and now 3Arena sell-out live show) My Therapist Ghosted Me. Meanwhile the piece on Scoil Eoin Baiste in Co Donegal — performing as gaeilge too, as part of Today FM’s Big Busk For Focus Ireland — was very sweet.
There’s real skill to being funny and entertaining, day after day. Dermot & Dave make it seem, if not exactly easy, at least not like hard work.