Cork Lord Mayor John Buttimer hosted a reception in City Hall for Michael Twomey and Frank Duggan to mark their contribution to Irish comedy over the last four decades.
They will bring the curtain down on their famous characters next week with a farewell show, The Cha and Miah Farewell Laughter Show.
“We are Cork born and bred, Corkmen to the core,” said Michael. “To be honoured by our lord mayor in our native city, in the presence of our theatre colleagues, is the highest honour we could get. We’re blown away by it and greatly appreciate it.
“We’ve been together for 43 years and we felt that our generation, our audience, was gradually fading away.
“And the face of comedy has changed so drastically since we first arrived on the scene.
“So we thought we’d go while we are still remembered fondly... by some people at least.”
Cha, played by Frank, and Miah, played by Michael, came to national prominence through their appearances on Hall’s Pictorial Weekly from 1969 to 1981.
Dressed in building porter’s caps and jackets, their blend of political and social satire made them a hugely popular fixture.
They won a Jacob’s award in 1973 for best TV comedy act and helped popularise the unique Cork accent.
While still holding down their day jobs in the insurance industry, they appeared at concerts and shows all over the country.
They made countless appearances in the Summer Revels show in Cork and became an Irish comedy institution.
But they have now finally decided to retire the legendary characters — two years after what they thought would be their final Cha and Miah stage show.
They even had to get Cha and Miah’s costumes out of the Cork Public Museum for the show.
“There is a touch of sadness because we have done so much together all over the country but this is the final stage show for Cha and Miah,” said Michael.
“There is a certain amount of trepidation too, and we hope that there is still an audience for our kind of humour — we’re hoping for the best.”
But he stressed it’s only Cha and Miah who are retiring — Frank and Michael will pursue other theatre interests.
Their farewell show will feature special guests, as well as their other comedy creation, Cha and Miah’s country cousin, Paddy Joe Cannabháin from the townland of Toureendohenybeg.
* The Cha and Miah Farewell Laughter Show runs at the Everyman Palace Theatre from Jul 11-21. Tickets (€25) from www.everymanpalace.com