This brief history of FAH is based on what is available on the internet from personal interviews, reviews of their live shows, and other miscellaneous material. Every attempt has been made to be accurate and factual. Please contact me to add information or to correct any errors.
University College Dublin, the Drama Society, & Father Ted
Seán Finegan (Foil), Conor McKenna (Arms), and Seán Flanagan (Hog) all went to University College Dublin, where they joined the Drama Society, and subsequently became friends. In a 2018 interview, FAH (Foil Arms and Hog) stated that “We met in college when we were supposed to be studying. Then we started writing sketches when we were supposed to be getting jobs” (Moody Comedy). They have said in interviews that they all gravitated towards comedy and not serious drama. In a 2019 interview with Veronica Lee, Foil explained that “it was Sean Flanagan writing a play based on Father Ted that led to us forming the group” (Chortle). In 2008 they received permission from the writers of Father Ted, Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews to “tour round Ireland . . . and when the play was finished we decided we should do a sketch show together” (Chortle). They wanted to take the Father Ted stage show to the Edinburgh Fringe, but “were prevented by copyright issues” (Galway Advertiser 2014). This was the beginning of the sketch comedy trio, Foil Arms and Hog or FAH as they are collectively known.
They all grew up in the Rathfarnam / Terenure area of Dublin, Ireland. Foil and Hog met briefly at 16 when they were both involved in the filming of a Frosties ad, but then as has been pointed out in several interviews, they forgot about one another completely until they met up again at UCD and joined forces with Arms, Conor McKenna, in the Drama society.
When asked how they really got started in comedy, after graduating from UCD, FAH stated in a 2018 interview with Becca Moody that “during the recession there were no jobs, so we kept writing. Then years passed and we had deskilled so much since our degrees that we had to stick with the comedy.” They’ve also said that there was an uptick in an interest in comedy during this time, and that helped get them started and move them along in the genre. At UCD Seán Finegan, Foil, studied architecture, Conor McKenna, Arms, studied genetics, and Seán Flanagan, Hog, studied civil engineering.
Photograph Copyrighted by Dublin photographer Luca Truffarelli (lucatruffarelli.com)