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Bad joke gets good singer dropped from ALCS opener

Oct 16, 2009, 12:32 PM EDT

Irish tenor Ronan Tynan has become a Yankee Stadium staple during the playoffs, singing “God Bless America” during the seventh inning, but the New York Daily News has details on why he won’t be at the ALCS opener tonight:

His attempt at telling a joke offended a Jewish doctor who found it to be anti-Semitic. Tynan apologized, telling WNBC, “I would never want to hurt anybody’s feelings. It was stupid of me to be so callous.” But the Yankees still canceled his appearance at the stadium Friday night.

The trouble started when Tynan, 49, bumped into a real estate agent showing an apartment in his East Side apartment building to a doctor from NYU Medical Center. The agent told Tynan, “Don’t worry, they are not Red Sox fans,” according to apartment-hunter Gabrielle Gold-von Simson. “I don’t care about that, as long as they are not Jewish,” was Tynan’s reply. has a few more details, including Tynan replying that Jewish women who’d previously looked at the apartment were “scary” when asked to explain what he’d just said. Tynan has since issued several apologies, including the always amusing “a lot of my friends are Jewish” with the added twist of “there are three members of my band that are Jewish … I call them my brothers from another mother.”
What lessons can we learn from the situation? Well, for starters there’s a reason why Irish tenors aren’t known for their comedy chops. Beyond that, I’ve generally found that trying to make an off-color joke in front of someone with a hyphen in their last name is a mistake. And lastly, trotting out the old “but some of my best friends are [fill in the blank]!” quasi-apology has never, in the history of mankind, come off as sincere.

  1. Grant - Oct 16, 2009 at 12:58 PM

    Tynan may be a “good singer,” but his rendition of God Bless America, an already tiresome song, was insufferable. Drawn out and irritating, and of course the Yankees won’t let you move during it.
    And during the playoffs the patriotism-mongers at FOX usually subject us to it, forcing me to change the channel or mute the TV, which I often don’t even do for commercials during the playoffs.
    Good riddance.

  2. Ken - Oct 16, 2009 at 1:42 PM

    I wondered what was the name of that big buffon who can the God awful rendention if “God Bless America”! Now I know! His name is as goofy as he is. Go back to Ireland and stuff yourself with some Irish stew!!!

  3. Al - Oct 16, 2009 at 1:50 PM

    Great comment loser

  4. carol portugal - Oct 16, 2009 at 2:44 PM

    i don’t know how to do this….but i would greatly appreciate your thanking the yankees for me for taking this stand….they are truly my heroes forever!

  5. Alan - Oct 16, 2009 at 2:57 PM

    I agree, the Yankees are my heroes forever.

  6. Paul - Oct 16, 2009 at 9:38 PM

    Another reason to disregard what singers say in public. Just sing…

  7. David L - Oct 17, 2009 at 8:16 PM

    Ronan is likely a nice guy who foolishly believes Jewish people are an ethnic group that look a certain way and talk with a loud “New York” accent. The “scary” Jewish ladies he saw were probably Catholic, Lutheran or whatever.

  8. gophils - Oct 17, 2009 at 11:10 PM

    good for the yankees.i am a lifelong phils fan and yankees admirer.

  9. char in miami - Oct 18, 2009 at 2:12 AM

    i think it’s unfortunate that ronan tynan would make such a hurtful, stupid mistake like this. i have followed his career since he and anthony kearns and john mcdermott, two other orish tenors, had a special on pbs back in 1999.
    it’s more than just open mouth insert foot – and it is truly sad. i enjoy his singing god bless america – the different lyrics make a nice change from listening to the kate smith version. but the yankees were right to end his appearances.

  10. kirkedd - Oct 18, 2009 at 8:04 AM

    I think what he said was terrible. That said, I am glad that he is not singing. I always felt he butchered God Bless America or anything else he sang at the Stadium, so this is great!

  11. getoffmedz - Oct 18, 2009 at 8:12 AM

    Nothing to see here, folks just MSM keeping American racism ripe for the pickin’

  12. c.w. white - Oct 18, 2009 at 8:19 AM

    Much to do about nothing; lighten up everyone !!!

  13. shelbydawkins - Oct 18, 2009 at 1:59 PM

    That song classifies as a “hoary old chestnut”

  14. gvc - Oct 18, 2009 at 5:25 PM

    jeez louise. you can’t make a joke about anything these days. Political correctness is a bore…

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