Irish comedy is a winner this Christmas, with the local DVD and video market exploding in a way that few industry insiders had predicted. And Tommy Tiernan is the king of the scene, grabbing the No.1 spot in the latest Irish charts, in the face of the most intense competition seen in this country yet.
"The volumes have gone through the roof," one industry insider told hotpress.com. "In certain instances, the top DVDs are selling four times the number than at the same time last year. It's phenomenal."
What's particularly impressive is that the boom is driven almost entirely by indigenous Irish product. A battle royal for the top spot saw RMG Chart and SonyBMG dukeing it out in a head to head between Tommy Tiernan's Loose and D'Unbelievable's D'Collection respectively. Tiernan claimed the top spot on the first week of its release, but was ousted when the animal animation movie Madagascar hit the top spot – he reclaimed the higher ground this week, on the way to becoming the biggest selling new DVD of the year.
"Tommy hasn't been touring this year to the same extent, so to have done 110,000 units is remarkable," Janine Nallen, Marketing Director of RMG Chart told hotpress.com. "It just shows how enormously popular he is. To put it in perspective, we've done 70,000 of the current David Gray album, which is also hugely successful – so comedy is outselling music at that top end of the charts."
The Tiernan video has been backed with an ambitious marketing campaign, including a significant TV spend.
"It's a great gift idea," says Nallen. "That sort of local independent product does really well at Christmas, and Tommy and Pat and Hector are all available on the ground for promotion, which makes a big difference. Some of them are out there doing fantastic sell-out shows, and they're doing them nationwide.
Six of the current Top 10 DVDs are of Irish comedy, with RMG Chart also doing exceptionally well with Pat Shortt's Kilinaskully Series 2 (No.4) and Des Bishop Live (No.9), Hector and Risteard's Chasing The Lions (No.10) and Brendan O'Carroll's Good Mourning Mrs.Brown (No.11). The same trend is reflected in the video charts with minor variations in the latter three – Brendan O'Carroll is at No.9 here.
"It has taken us by surprise just how big the surge in sales has been. But it's been brilliant." says Nallen. "Comedy is the new rock'n'roll (laughs)."
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