From top; Construction at the National Children’s Hospital; Tom Parlon, Director General of the Construction Industry Federation [CIF]; Anthony Sheridan
Tom Parlon, former politician and Director General of the Construction Industry Federation [CIF] has come out as a comedian.
It’s not clear if Parlon intends continuing with his job at the CIF but the quality of his comedy sketch on yesterday morning’s Today with Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio One would surely indicate that he’s bound for global fame on the comedy circuit.
Basing his sketch on the Government’s open cheque book joke for contractors to build the National Children’s Hospital Parlon led with one of his oldest but most hilarious jokes.
This is the one about contractors, while struggling to make a few cents profit against all the odds, recklessly risking everything they possess in order to help out the national economy and those seeking to put a roof over their heads.
He continues with some brilliant one liners on why costs continue to rise into the stratosphere.
“It’s a busy, busy time for contractors.”
“There’s been some big accidents in China and elsewhere in the world.”
“Stuff is scarcer.”
“Contractors don’t get a penny more than they’re entitled to.”
[No, seriously, he did say ‘stuff is scarcer‘.]
And the new comic genius introduced a brand new type of joke – the one worder.
“Brexit,” snapped Tom and the audience fell about in stitches.
Before listeners could catch their breath with their laughing he followed up with some great new jokes.
The rising costs of the 2 billion hospital, said the budding comedian, can be compared to someone ordering a gear-change car and, when going to collect it, suddenly says:
‘Jesus, I want to change my mind and buy an automatic, only to discover that it will cost more.’
And, like all great comedians Parlon roped in a member of the audience to help him make his jokes even funnier.
After telling Sinn Féin health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly that a delay in the delivery of fireboards had added substantially to cost overruns she helpfully asked:
“Tom, what percentage of the 1.7 billion overrun is down to the delay in fireboards?”… the
Hilariously, Tom responded:
“Haven’t a clue.”
Poor old Sean O’Rourke finally realised he had been set up by his producers. This wasn’t a serious interview analysing the out of control billions for the National Children’s Hospital.
It was the launch pad for Tom Parlon’s new career.
Listen to the full sketch here, highly recommended.
Anthony Sheridan is freelance journalists and blogs at PublicEnquiry.