When I was back home for the weekend I spotted something that caught my eye. Lying, gathering dust on my bookshelf at home was Father Ted: The Complete Scripts. As I was leafing through it I started seeing some of the gags that failed to make the show and subsequently began the wholly altruistic task of transcribing the best 19 jokes that didn’t make the cut of Ireland’s greatest sitcom, Father Ted. This was a real slog, so I hope you enjoy.
1. Ted lying to Father Stone
Dougal: You could have lied to him!
Ted: I told him all sorts of lies! I said there was a massive radiation leak and we were all dying of cholera and we spending all our time throwing bodies into a mass grave… But you know the way he is! He just shrugs it off.
2. Father Stone’s weird Ted souvenir
Mrs. Stone: And of course, he had this Father.
She shows him a medallion containing a lock of hair
Mrs. Stone: He said that he snipped that off when you were asleep, Father. He would have asked, but he was afraid that you’d say no to him. And that would have broken his heart. He wanted a memento of you to carry around with him wherever he was.
3. Father Jack’s exploits as told by Bishop Brennan
Ted: Your Eminence, what brings you back to the island? Thinking of letting us head back to our old parishes?
Bishop Brennan: Fat chance! You’re here until I tell you otherwise. Do you think I’d let Jack back into a normal parish after what he did in Athlone? Dressing up like a nun to get into a girls’ school! How do you think I felt when I had to explain that to Cardinal Daly?
4. Dougal wants to look like Kim Basinger
We see Ted reading ‘Bejeweled With Kisses’. He looks up over his glasses at Dougal. Dougal is reading Polly’s copy of Cosmopolitan, his eyes wide.
Dougal: (under his breath) Jaysus.
Ted: It might not be a good idea reading that Dougal. You’ll get confused.
Dougal: God Ted, Kim Basinger is forty.
He shows Ted a full-page photograph of a glamorous Miss Basinger.
Dougal: I hope I look this good when I’m forty. My God.
5. Dougal starts to wonder about his future
Dougal: It’s just that at times like this, you start thinking about things. Like maybe settling down. Finding the right girl…
6. Dougal tries to invent a new game
Dougal: They should have more ‘travel’ versions of games, shouldn’t they Ted? I mean, I’ve got this great idea for golf in a car-
Ted: I don’t want to hear the rest of this, Dougal.
Dougal: No, I know it sounds mad, but if you got very small clubs-
Ted: No, I don’t want to hear this…
Dougal: No, all you need is a fairly big ball…
Ted: No, Dougal. No. All right? No, stop. I’m going to set you on fire if you don’t stop talking about playing golf in the car.
7. Father Jacks’ profound effect on a past pupil
Bishop Facks: A friend of mine, Father Cave, was taught by him in the Saint Colm’s and still has very vivid memories of him
A priest is looking at himself in the mirror. We see there are loads of explosives tied to his chest. He closes his jacket over them, picks up a gun and walks out. We see loads of photographs of Jack all over the wall. After a moment, we hear an explosion.
8. Dougal doesn’t know what a Bishop is
Oh no, why is he always bothering us? You’d think he’d have his hands full running that betting shop.
Ted: No Dougal. Bishop Brennan is a Bishop. There’s a clue in his name – Bishop Brennan.
Later in the episode
Dougal: It must be fantastic being a Bishop. Do you have any tips?
Dougal: Y’know for the racing.
9. Ted wants to prove to controversial popstar Niamh Connolly that the Church is modern
Ted: We’ll show her we’re a more forward thinking parish than she thinks.
Dougal: What do you mean by a ‘forward-thinking parish’ exactly?
Ted: I mean one that isn’t too constrained by some of the more old-fashioned views of the Church.
Dougal: But we’d still believe in God and all that?
Ted: Oh I think so. The belief in God thing, that’s very important to the Church. That’ll be one of the last things to go.
10. Fargo and Ted talk about God
Fargo: Where is your kind, benevolent God now, Father?! Where is he? Tell me this, would a just God allow this to happen to Chris?!
Ted: Well it’s easy to blame God for everything, Fargo. Certainly he’s let me down loads of times. (Bitterly) I mean loads… but you just have to presume that he knows what he’s up to.
Fargo: I want to believe you, Father. But it’s the eternal Catholic dilemma. I think it was Saint Thomas Aquinas who was tortured by doubts…
Ted: Yeah, great. Anywyay, best not to think about any of that stuff at all, I find.
11. Dougal talking about the ‘Beast’
Dougal: You can’t leave it by itself or it goes mad, and if it goes near water it turns kind of a purple colour. It can reproduce the smell of fifteen different types of cats.
12. Ted calls a priest to help with Dougal’s milk float conundrum
Ted: I’m calling Father Darsoley. Dougal’s in trouble and he might be the only person who can help.
Mrs. Doyle: Oh yes, he helped the police with that hostage thing last year. I forgot how it ended.
Ted: He tried reverse psychology on the terrorists. He said something like, ‘Oh, go ahead, kill them all! Who cares about them?!’
Mrs Doyle: Oh dear God, did it work?
Ted pauses. He hangs up the telephone.
13. Ted is paranoid about being bugged by Dick Byrne
Ted: Dougal… how long has that video camera been there?
Dougal: What video cam-Oh.. I don’t know…
Ted: Dick Byrne! Well, Dick, see how you like this!
He smashes the camera to smithereens
Dougal: Oh, wait, Ted, now I remember. That’s actually your video camera. I thought I might do a fly-on-the-wall documentary about the match
Dick Byrne (on the phone): By the way Ted don’t worry about the video camera. You can have a lend of mine if you want.
Ted: Oh thanks very much Di- Wait a second! How did you know I smashed up my video camera?!
The line goes dead.
14. Ted clarifying that Jack is allowed to play the over 75s all priest football match in a wheelchair by consulting the over 75s rulebook
Ted: …Father Pinky Flood
There is a reverent hush.
Ted: The greatest over seventy-fives priest footballer there ever was. This was his testimonial game against Hungarian/Polish selection. He had a massive stroke during the pre-match warm up, but he was still determined to play. He was held in such esteem that the referee let him play in a wheelchair.
15. Mrs. Doyle’s Half time analysis in ‘Escape From Victory’
Mrs. Cavanagh: Mrs. Doyle, an exciting first half, any thoughts?
Mrs. Doyle: Sensini’s not getting picked up. The problem is he’s got a free role in midfield. He’s pulling the centre half all over the place.
Mrs Cavanagh: Lack of pace certainly a problem.
Mrs Norton: It’s not just a lack of pace. Some of that marking from set pieces… you wouldn’t see that in a school playground.
Mrs. Doyle: That corner they had just before half-time-
Mrs. Norton: The defending on that was a joke.
Mrs Doyle: You can’t have the full backs staying on the post like that. You’ve got to have them push out, or they’re leaving their front two onside. That’s naive defending. Do that too often and you’ll get punished.
Mrs Cavanagh: Anyway, let’s return to what should be a very exciting second half.
16. Dougal on holy people appearing in objects
Dougal: Maybe they just get fed up there in heaven. They decide to go on a little tour of household appliances and sundry items. Remember that fella in Sligo? There was an image of Padre Pio in his wig. And Saint Martin De Porres appearing in those triangular teabags in Clare.
17. Ted on how Jesus was uncool
Ted: Dougal, it’s not the priority of a priest to worry about how hip their parish is. I mean ‘The Man Himself’ was probably regarded as being a bit of a square when he was alive.
Ted: Yes, Dougal. But after he was nailed to the cross, people began to think ‘I see what he was on about’.
Dougal: God Almighty, Johnny Cash was nailed to a cross?
Ted: What? No – Jesus! ‘The Man Himself’ is Jesus.
Dougal: Oh right… I was thinking about ‘The Man In Black’
18. Eoin McLove complaining about receiving bras
Eoin McLove: Why don’t they leave me alone? Do you know what they send me as well? Big bras. Sure I’ve no need for them. I’d have to be very hard up for clothes to wear big bras. God Almighty, this came in the post this morning. Look at the size of it.
Eoin reaches into his travel bag and pulls out a bra about the size of a widescreen television
Eoin McLove: That’d fit two women!
19. The alternate ending to the final episode
We see a banner that reads ‘It’s still great being a priest!’ Below it, a group of priests are standing, facing a window. There is much worry and concern on their faces. Cut to outside, where we see Kevin standing on a ledge, occasionally glancing down. From his point of view, we see cars far down below. The group of priests part and Ted comes through them. He goes to the window and climbs out. He ushers Kevin along the ledge.
Ted: Move up a bit.