NEWS — 29 May 2014

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Cheers star George Wendt is among the big names announced for this year’s Cat Laughs festival in Kilkenny. The American actor, who played Norm in the sitcom, hosted the very first Cat Laughs festival in 1995.

Chicago-born Wendt was one of the Cheers ensemble for the entirety of its 1982- 1993 run and has strong Irish roots with three-quarters of his background Irish.

Wendt will be joined on the bill by well known comedians Dara O Briain, Tommy Tiernan, Ardal O’Hanlon, Risteard Cooper, Des Bishop, Jason Byrne, Kevin Bridges and Katherine Ryan.

The Cat Laughs festival is sponsored by Sky and will exclusively showcase some upcoming programmes during the event, which runs from May 29 to June 2. Past events have seen season 2 of Moone Boy launched at the Kilkenny festival.

This year Irish television personality Baz Ashmawy’s new programme 50 Ways To Kill Your Mammy will premiere at the festival. For the programme, Ashmawy challenged his pensioner mother to join him on a thrill-seeking trip around the world.

Ashmawy, says of the show: “After nearly six months of cruelly dragging my poor 71-year-old mother around the world, doing my bucket list of things she should do in her life, I’m so delighted to be coming home and launching 50 Ways To Kill Your Mammy at the Sky Cat Laughs festival.’

Of the line-up, the festival’s artistic director Naoise Nunn said: “The festival has played an enormous role in establishing modern Irish comedy and helped launch so many now-household names in comedic talent. It’s a testament to the Cat Laughs that these huge success stories are coming back.”

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