The Late Late show is a friday evening chat show shown on RTE (our national channel) every week. It's a formula you should be familiar with wherby a number of guests come on the show, the host asks some questions, people clap and everyone is happy. It has a slight twist that most of our other chat shows doesn't have in that there are frequently free gifts (teddy bears, hampers of food) for all audience members. For a very very long time it was hosted by a man called "Gay Byrne" (stop sniggering at the back you) who was in a way, the nation's favourite old uncle. In recent years though the show is being hosted by the Anti-Christ, a man called Pat Kenny, who for a long time had his own show but it was shit.
Since Pat took over we have, as a nation, come to realise that chat shows are more about the host being "da man" and being an ignorant fucker who interrupts the guests and spends more time speaking than they do.
Once a year, usually the last friday of november or first friday of december there is a special show, a showcase of toys, talented kids and general mirth. As you can imagine, while Gay was hosting it was a bit of a joy to watch as the kids talked about how cool the toys were, sang songs, did irish dancing and everyone had a laugh. The adults in the audience are not left out because the Toy Show is a veritable shopping trip - except everything is free and largely random.
So myself and metalrabbit were watching it this year and things were not as they should be. Firstly, it's one thing when a host interrupts a celebrity but there's a certain lack of taste when he talks over small children, cuts them off and ignores them.
Things started out pretty nice, there were some incredibly cute acts done and everyone was having a good time but there were some accidents. The one that made me laugh for quite some time was when a five year old boy was singing along to a karoke machine - he was singing a song by a newish girl band called "Girls Aloud", their cover of some song or other about jumping. Lo and behold, as he sang, the band creeped in behind him to give the kid a surprise.
And what a surprise it was, the kid was this close to having a major emotional breakdown on stage when he saw them. He did not want to sing along with them and a potential moment of extreme coolness and cuteness went down the plughole in a spiral of terror, upset and possible wet underpants.
A few dolls and craft sets later it was time for the bikes and trikes where there was some unpleasantness. One or two of the kids caused a traffic jam on stage and before long there was road rage with at least one little girl yelling and gesturing at all the others. A few near misses later (Pat nearly took a fast moving bike on the shins) the whole thing was cleared up. Then it was time for the remote controlled cars which were being demonstrated by two kids, one of whom had suffered a stroke at age seven - resulting in his left arm being paralysed. The first car they demonstrated didn't work because Pat had been playing with it earlier and run down the batteries. The second one was nothing special, the third (demonstrated by the kid with the paralysed arm) was a toy truck operated by a watch and the fourth was a rather large car with a big clunky control which the kid had problems with, what with him being small and effectively trying to use it one armed - I know I felt bad for the poor kid struggling with it.
Then Pat starts showing off a remote controlled helicopter, it was a nice safe one with PVC rotors but nonetheless he managed to pilot the thing back at the kid with the bad arm and his own face.
To cap it all off, he then passed a big chunky pen thing to the kid with the bad arm, seemingly playing some sort of twisted game of "load down the gimp".
I think at this stage Pat had had enough and was getting nasty. He got narky with one girl who tried to tell him he needed to cut the spare thread off of a bracelet she had just made with some machine or other, he shooed another one around the place later on and then for his grand finale he went outside, climbed into a dune buggy thing, crankily refused a helmet and drove off across the lawn, tearing up the sod with a few 360 degree spins before coming back into the studio to finish the show.
Now that I think about it, nearer the start he tricked four audience members into eating chocolate covered worms.....
So, while in earlier years it was "Uncle Gaybo (the nation's pet name for Gay Byrne) and the wonderful toyshow spectacular". This year it was more like... "Your mother's angry new boyfriend's endurance test of HATE".