The all-new generic Aussie comedy thread

Started by Famous Mortimer, November 04, 2021, 12:57:08 AM

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Famous Mortimer

Because I never know how many people will be interested in these things.

Two excellent comedy shows from the Working Dog stable are going strong - Have You Been Paying Attention? and The Cheap Seats.

HYBPA is a quiz show and occasionally on Youtube if you're interested in giving it a go. Tom Gleisner (who co-wrote "The Castle", and was one of the Late Show team, among many other things) is the host, and Ed Kavalee and Sam Pang are the two regulars. I like how there's sort of a gentle roast running alongside the normal jokes (Ed is desperate to book ads, Sam is contemptuous of the host and the format, Tom is mocked for being old despite being obviously the funniest person on the set) and how they only ever have comedians on it. No moderately entertaining people from other walks of life, thankfully.

Tom is also the producer of "The Cheap Seats", which is kind of like a cross between the Daily Show, The Soup and the Weekend Update segment of SNL. The two hosts, Tim McDonald and Melanie Bracewell, riff off each other really well, but it feels live, like they'll leave in the bits where one of them looks stupid or tells a joke that falls flat. I like how they've developed a weird obsession with the long-form commercials for a place called Chemists Warehouse, to the point where those commercials are now mentioning the ribbing they're getting on The Cheap Seats (and they took the piss out of Janet Street-Porter the other week, which made it to whatever show she's on, where they played it to an unimpressed-looking JS-P).

So, both brilliant, check them out if you're into it (some of the references might be a little odd if you don't know a ton about Australia, but you'll catch up soon). Are you watching anything worth recommending? Favourite Australian comedians?

Sonny_Jim

Kath & Kim, obvs.  Bit old now tho but I think it translates to a UK audience well enough.  BBC 2 used to show it donkeys yeays ago.

On the more sitcommy end of the spectrum you've got 'Upper Middle Bogan', which is alright.

That one with the guy in a dog costume is great and all, just avoid the shitey US remake.

Avoid anything by Chris Lilly, just ain't worth it.  Very similar to Little Britain in that when it came out it was 'shockingly funny' but is rightly seen now as 'lazy punching down'

The Gruen report is a show about Australian advertising and sounds horrendous, but is actually quite funny and interesting.

Mobius

I've lived in Australia for 15 years now, and the only comedies I've really enjoyed were Review w/ Myles Barlow, and Frontline.

I should probably check out more stuff as my Australian partner has had to put up with my english shows for years.

Sonny_Jim

Oddly enough my Aussie missus fucking loves Still Game, although she watches with subtitles and I have to translate the occasional word like 'breeks' or 'wally dugs'.  Our 13yr old watches with us, but he's not overly enamoured with it.  Some of the stuff is too 90's humour for him, like when they take the happy pills and end up in Black face

samadriel

Quote from: Famous Mortimer on November 04, 2021, 12:57:08 AM
Favourite Australian comedians?
I love Becky Lucas, I see her live whenever I can.
Becky on Conan: https://youtu.be/adcH3HfEBu8
Her podcast with Cameron James, the Becky & Cam Hotline, has frequently had me in fits.

zomgmouse

i think sam campbell should have his own TV show

13 schoolyards

I saw recently the Bob Franklin knock-off guy from Question Everything is appearing on something else coming up. Which wasn't really a surprise as he was one of the few even slightly funny things about that show, but that show was so bad nobody should be getting any opportunities off the back of it.

Oh wait, you said favourite Australian comedians.

Season two of Frayed was ok I thought. Australia's Sexiest Tradie was a weird throwback to Gervais-era The Office awkwardness, which was funny in the sense that somebody thought that was the way to go for a sitcom in 2021.

They keep making Fat Pizza and Housos, just in case Scott Morrison hasn't trashed our global reputation enough.

Quote from: Sonny_Jim on November 04, 2021, 01:56:03 AM
Avoid anything by Chris Lilly, just ain't worth it.  Very similar to Little Britain in that when it came out it was 'shockingly funny' but is rightly seen now as 'lazy punching down'

I still think WCBH and SHH are funny, but universally it seems to be agreed that everything else he's done is awful.
I think maybe if you watch his programs with the mindset that it's a showcase for an acting virtuoso, rather than a comedy, it's a more appropriate way to view it. I still think he's an astonishingly good actor, for me there's 0 suspension of disbelief required to see him as all the disparate people he's portraying, it's really remarkable. There's so much about what he does that's so well observed I can't help but be incredibly impressed by his ability to become these people, even if the humour isn't working.

Sonny_Jim

Yeah I kinda dropped the Chris Lilley bomb to stir up a bit of convo.  I didn't mind SHH but being a white cis male it's very easy for me to not notice how offensive his stuff can be to others.  His latest stuff is dire, totally agree on that, although the estate agent with the fat arse did make me laugh precisely once.

I agree, it is often offensive in an unfunny way, and I find the shock humour stuff he does to be not that interesting and takes away from the (to me very impressive) character stuff
its almost like watching a virtuoso on an instrument playing music I hate; I can't help being impressed by his ability even if I'm not keen on what he's doing with it



jobotic


Rich Uncle Skeleton

last time I was living in Australia I loved watching Hard Quiz. pretty simple format, 4 people with a specialist subject and able to answer each other's to nick points and Tom Gleeson being a prick to them all.


BeardFaceMan

I enjoyed the US remake of Wilfred but never got round to checking out the original Oz version, is it any good?

H-O-W-L

Summer Heights High almost works, but the fact that he's in brownface as Jonah just constantly saps it honestly. Like, there's almost genuine character and drama there, alongside the constant yelling of "ranga" and "f-g" and "p--f" and stuff, but it's just not enough. Everything after that is total shit.

evilcommiedictator

Pretty dire on TV at the moment for comedy fans, it's taken 20 years for Network TV to work out that comedy panel shows are (a) cheap and (b) funny-enough time fillers.
Not sure why every other channel hasn't got their own version going now.

Oz Tumbleweeds points out that there's an AU version of Would I Lie to You, with Frank Woodley and Chris Taylor (dark haired Chaser one) as team captains, Chrissie Swan (fat Big Brother contestant) as host, so that's 2/3rds set up to fail already.

I like how we fuck up UK shows (spicks and specks notwithstanding), with the AU Pointless version being cut in half and entirely drained of chemistry.


Oh well, at least we've got a season of Gruen back, and "Win The Week" bringing the genius of Sydney-based comedy and Andrew Denton back on our screens, and....*slumps*

Povidone

Quote from: H-O-W-L on November 04, 2021, 02:40:23 PM
Summer Heights High almost works, but the fact that he's in brownface as Jonah just constantly saps it honestly. Like, there's almost genuine character and drama there, alongside the constant yelling of "ranga" and "f-g" and "p--f" and stuff, but it's just not enough. Everything after that is total shit.

I never watched all of SHH but from what I did Jonah appeared to be the best thing in it in terms of writing and performance but well...yeah...

famethrowa

Quote from: 13 schoolyards on November 04, 2021, 06:26:27 AM
Australia's Sexiest Tradie was a weird throwback to Gervais-era The Office awkwardness, which was funny in the sense that somebody thought that was the way to go for a sitcom in 2021.


That show Poe's Law'd itself out of existence, people saw the title and thought it was a reality/competition show, not a comedy mockumentary.

H-O-W-L

Quote from: Povidone on November 04, 2021, 11:12:40 PM
I never watched all of SHH but from what I did Jonah appeared to be the best thing in it in terms of writing and performance but well...yeah...

If he was played by an actual Tongan actor he'd be pretty interesting as a character study but in the end it's an excuse for a middle aged man to wear brownface and say "puck you miss" "you f-g p--fter!"...

That's kind of the problem, the central issue, with Lilley's works; his characters half-work as characters, even stereotype studies, but his insistence on also playing them completely undermines that by living up to every offense and stereotype imaginable. It's like setting up a sculpture then sledgehammering the base.

Even the execrable S.Mouse, on paper, is not necessarily a dreadful idea -- a plastic kid-safe musician propped up by the music industry, with delusions of grandeur that tries to make it big by going blue? That's an actually interesting (and realistic) turn of events... but then it's reduced to complete shit by being a white man in black face dropping n-bombs around REAL BLACK ACTORS (!!!) because he's now been enabled to do so. If Lilley had integrity he'd cast other people of the actual ethnicities he's writing his characters as -- and buff out all the slurs while he's at it.

But in the end it's the 2014-era Gervais thing, where he writes Derek so he can have a laugh at the mentals and disableds and say "m-ng" on twitter and get away with it because Actually he showed Derick as Very Kind. Be More Like Darak.

jonbob

The Lost Tools of Henry Hoke. It's on iview for anyone in Australia, narrated by Bryan Dawe. it's a very gentle old fashioned mockumentary,but it's one of the better Australian comedies I've seen in the past few years.
Tony Martin's sizzletown and childproof podcasts are both good fun as well.

Sonny_Jim

Quote from: H-O-W-L on November 05, 2021, 12:45:52 AM
That's kind of the problem, the central issue, with Lilley's works; his characters half-work as characters, even stereotype studies, but his insistence on also playing them completely undermines that by living up to every offense and stereotype imaginable.
For me, that's why Mr G works as a character and Jonah doesn't.  But then that's the central premise to all his shows, he gets to play all the characters.  That girl who's really tall as well, fucking hell.  It really is just Little Britain all over again.

Quote from: jonbob on November 05, 2021, 05:58:37 AM
The Lost Tools of Henry Hoke. It's on iview for anyone in Australia

Not for me and I'm definitely in Australia.

13 schoolyards

The thing with almost all of Lilley's shows, especially after We Can Be Heroes, is that if he's not playing the characters then why are they comedies? There's a few drawn out jokes but a lot of his material - and more as he goes on - is just slightly dramatic character studies.

It's mildly interesting to read the insane levels of praise he was getting around the time of Summer Heights High for being a "master of disguise", when it's clear now (and was pretty clear back then) that he's just doing shitty stereotypes with a bunch of pathos thrown in at the end to show he's a real actor playing a real-life human being.

Quote from: 13 schoolyards on November 05, 2021, 06:21:55 AM
The thing with almost all of Lilley's shows, especially after We Can Be Heroes, is that if he's not playing the characters then why are they comedies? There's a few drawn out jokes but a lot of his material - and more as he goes on - is just slightly dramatic character studies.

That's kind of what I was getting at earlier. His stuff to me is really like watching a character study/acting exercise.
I think Lilley knows he's a very talented mimic, and his programs are really a vehicle for him to show that off.
But then, if it wasn't a comedy, no one would buy into the conceit of watching a TV show where guy acts as all these different characters. So he crowbars offensive stuff in every now and then to remind us its a comedy. Sometimes it works,  but often its jarring and doesn't fit the character or the tone, and just isn't funny.

I completely lost interest after SHH like the rest of the world, but I did find it fascinating seeing him so accurately portray different people I'd met before on TV. Being Australian there's probably an extra resonance there for me.
Even recently, I started working with a guy who I knew reminded me of someone -and then it clicked that he looks and acts and has a home life that's just about identical to Phil Olivetti from WCBH.

I've met people that are exactly like nearly all of his early characters, now that I come to think about it.

samadriel

Quote from: jonbob on November 05, 2021, 05:58:37 AM
Tony Martin's sizzletown and childproof podcasts are both good fun as well.

Oh man, I listened to, like, seven episodes of Sizzletown and I was massively disappointed. I just got so sick of Tony's various old men, and that straining "what's it gonna beeee" guy, and I quit after the second appearance of Pikelet Man or whatever his cat's called, but that wasn't riveting me to my MP3 player either. I think "fake call-in show" is a really dull premise for one person to pull off, even someone as good as Tony; I wish he would do an interview series with real people, because he's a fantastic interviewer and radio cohost (he's still great at TEAM Effort, unfortunately that's a very rare treat.)

icehaven

Quote from: BeardFaceMan on November 04, 2021, 11:26:57 AM
I enjoyed the US remake of Wilfred but never got round to checking out the original Oz version, is it any good?

I loved the US one when it was on BBC3 and remember trying to find the Australian original at the time but to no avail. It's even less likely to be easily available out there now I spose. I've also got a vague memory of the guy (Jason Gannon?) getting metoo'd or something but that might have been wrong.

Edit: It's Jason Gann and there's no meetooing, I've misremembered or mixed him up with someone else.


Really enjoyed The Micallef Programme back when it was on the Paramount channel about 20 odd years ago. I've got a couple of Shaun Micallef's books too but haven't got round to reading them yet.

evilcommiedictator

Quote from: samadriel on November 05, 2021, 11:48:21 AM
Oh man, I listened to, like, seven episodes of Sizzletown and I was massively disappointed. I just got so sick of Tony's various old men, and that straining "what's it gonna beeee" guy

Yeah you've gotta really like Tony doing voices to get through Sizzletown, later on he does a character for the Australian version of Tucker Carlson which is quite good, but there's more cat and more bizzare dudes complaining about roundabouts and governments.
like this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXbu82vlNoM

But he did a few bits during the start of the pandemic that were OK, more of that I think would be better
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqAMoxtB5XI

BeardFaceMan

I really enjoyed Danger 5, did anyone check out those podcast things they did last year? It was a very visual show, not sure if it would work with just audio.

Sonny_Jim

Quote from: icehaven on November 05, 2021, 12:57:19 PM

He got arrested for kicking off at a bus driver in L.A if memory serves correctly

ProvanFan


aunt mildred

I really liked No Activity, I think it was on bbc2 in a graveyard slot some years ago. It then got an american remake which was a shadow of the original (like Review with). I only watched the first episode of the american version, the saddest part is the remake got twice as many episodes. Did the remake get any better? I notice it has a decent cast list but a poor score on imdb.