Category Archives: Comedy
Australian Top Gear fans can rest easy- the show’s seventeenth season, which began just over two weeks ago in the UK, will finally have an airdate in Australia.
Today Nine have begun airing their “The best is still to come” promos, which feature a montage of the second half of the year’s shows, including Underbelly: Razor, Hamish and Andy’s Gap Year, Top Design and Bear Gryll’s Worst Case Scenario.
There is also a mention of new Top Gear, though, which tells us it isn’t far away.
It won’t be seen for the next two weeks but my tip is TUESDAY JULY 19 at 8:30, given Sea Patrol has its final ever episode airing the week before at July 12, it will leave a hole in the schedule.
The other possibility is Thursday July 21, given its human body series has its finale the previous week, however Nine seems set on airing docos in that slot.
Season Seventeen episode one features a tribute to the E-type Jag, among other things. It is one of six episodes for the season.
The long and arduous process of deciding who should replace Steve Carell in the hit NBC comedy The Office, and it’s firming as James Spader, who appeared as Robert California in the season finale.
However, it seems that he won’t be in the chair for long, as it is believed that he will talk his way to the top and become CEO of Dunder Mifflin-Sabre. This means the actor himself will likely not become a permanent addition to the cast.
So, what to make of this?
Well, many people will at first be disappointed that Catherine Tate will not become the new boss. Unknown to most US viewers, she is a proven comedic performer who became popular in both the UK and Australia for her Little Britain-esque show The Catherine Tate Show.
To many, she was the best- meaning funniest- part of a very dull finale, and many though she would add a different flavour to the show which would give the show- which is slowing in its old age- a new lease on life.
The addition of James Spader was one obviously made because of the fact he is a big name in the TV world thanks to his role in Boston Legal, hence he is also a recognisable face for new viewers to latch on to.
But the decision to only keep him on for a short time is an interesting one.
It has obviously been made due to a combination of factors; Spader may not want to commit to the show long-term. It is also a win-win for the show; as mentioned before, the familiar face, along with Spader’s good track-record will make it more difficult for the nay-sayers to criticize the addition of a new cast member. On the other hand, the flagged early exit will alleviate any of the doubts that Spader may bring. And if he does prove to be a phenomenal success, I’m sure NBC would have a clause in his contract allowing him to be kept on with a pay rise.
And the other reason for the rumoured short term? Possibly because the whole new boss experiment was largely a failure. The finale- despite its big names- was a fizzer. Even the David Brent/Ricky Gervais cameo failed to match the surprisingly brilliant Carell-Brent chance meeting earlier in the season.
Most of the guest stars supposedly in contention for the role were really never “in contention”; Jim Carrey? Ricky Gervais? Ray Romano? Puh-lease…
And now that Catherine Tate seems to have been ruled out – presumably the writers/producers couldn’t get her over the line with the network powers that be.
At least this way, Spader will be able to exit and wrap up that particular story arc without it looking like a cop-out. It will also leave a spot open for one of the established cast to move into.
For what it’s worth, it’s got to be between Ed Helms (Andy) and Craig Robinson (Darryl). Both have enjoyed considerable increases in fame since becoming major characters in the cast (Daryl has moved up from the warehouse while Ed Helms is now included in the main credit sequence).
They will both be looking for pay-rises for this reason, and making one of them the main man would allow for this.
I know it’s crazy, and I doubt they would go down the co-managers route again, but would the show even go with the both of them as bosses? It would certainly test their growing friendship (or “bromance”, if you prefer), and compare their contrasting characteristics well.
But again, they’ve already been down this path in the very mediocre season 6.
Which ever way it goes, it will certainly make for an intriguing season 8. And it will be interesting to see whether the show will benefit greatly from this shake-up or alienate its loyal fans.
Futurama has been renewed for a SEVENTH SEASON by Comedy Central (according to Deadline). It certainly has come a long way after being cancelled by Fox way back in 2003 after its fourth season. It’s got a long way to catch up to its over-achieving older sibling (which, in case you don’t know, it is the Simpsons, which has a twenty-third season still to come).
However, future episodes will come in a rather staggered fashion, with 13 eps of season six still to come later this year, 13 eps of season seven to come in 2012 and the second half of thirteen episodes to come in 2013.
This moderately critically acclaimed drama Lights Out struggled somewhat in the ratings, so has been axed by FX after only its FIRST SEASON. It didn’t receive the same level of fanatic adoration as FX’s last cancelled show, Terriers, and this cancellation isn’t likely to incite any riots in the streets. I guess the notion of a show centered around a boxer wasn’t exciting or different enough for most people.
I am about to undertake the massive task of compiling a list of Australian Twits.
The list is, and will probably remain, incomplete.
Mark Scott – Managing Director of ABC
Penny Wright – iView Programmer
Bruce Collier – “iView person”
Justine Langford – “Senior Producer / Project Manager, ABC TV Multiplatform”
Bruce Belsham – Editor of abc.net.au
At the Movies
Kerrin Binnie – Journalist
Alan Sunderland – “Head of Policy & Staff Development,ABC News Australia”
Antony Green – Political analyst
Kieran Ricketts – ABC News24 Producer
Zoe Daniel – South East Asia Correspondent
Matt Wordsworth – Political Reporter (NSW)
Nick Grimm – Journalist
Leigh Sales – Co-host of the newly revamped 7:30
Chris Uhlmann – Co-host of the newly revamped 7:30
Justin Stevens – Producer
Review with Myles Barlow
Fenella Kernebone – Host
Can We Help
First Tuesday Book Club
Dan Ilic – Co-host
Kirsten Drysdale – Co-host and reporter
Marc Fennell – Co-host
Elmo Keep – Writer
Chris Leben (Not a cast member for season 3)
Marieke Hardy – Writer
Karen Barlow – Producer
Steven Bajo O’Donnell – Presenter and producer
Stephanie Bendixsen – Presenter
Spicks and Specks
Myf Warhurst – Panellist
Alan Brough – No known account
Adam Hills – Host
Adam Hills in Gordon Street Tonight
Q and A
Peter McEvoy – Executive Producer
John Safran’s Race Relations
Triple J TV
Dominic Knight – Writer
Chas Licciardello – Cast member
Craig Reucassel – Cast member
Andrew Hansen – Cast member
Chris Taylor(possibly) – Cast member
Julian Morrow – Cast member and producer
Annabel Crabb – Occasional guest
Steve Cannane – Host
Annabel Crabb – Occasional guest
Jonathon Holmes – Host
The Urban Monkey with Murray Foote
Sam Simmons – Comedian
Lawrence Leung’s Choose Your Own Adventure
The Gruen Transfer
Wil Anderson – Host
The New Inventors
ABC News Breakfast
Virginia Trioli – Co-host
AFL Game Day
Australia’s Got Talent
Kyle Sandilands – No Known Account
Better Homes and Gardens
Johanna Griggs – No Known Account
Jason Hodges – No Known Account
Rob Palmer – No Known Account
Tara Dennis – No Known Account
Home and Away
Ray Meagher (Alf Stewart) – No Known Account
Georgie Parker (Roo Stewart) – No Known Account
Lyn Collingwood (Colleen Smart) – No Known Account
Emily Symons (Marilyn Chambers)- No Known Account
Lynne McGranger (Irene Roberts)
Ada Nicodemou (Leah Patterson-Baker)
Josh Quong Tart (Miles Copeland)- No Known Account
Esther Anderson (Charlie Buckton) – No Known Account
Rebecca Breeds (Ruby Buckton)- No Known Account
David Jones-Roberts (Xavier Austin)
Sonia Todd (Gina Austin)- No Known Account
Axle Whitehead (Liam Murphy)
Shane Withington (John Palmer)- No Known Account
Robert Mammone (Sid Walker)- No Known Account
Samara Weaving (Indigo Walker) – Unconfirmed Account
Charles Cottier (Dexter Walker)- No Known Account
Luke Mitchell (Romeo Smith)
Jay Laga’aia (Elijah Johnson)- No Known Account
Rhiannon Fish (April Scott)
Lisa Gormley (Bianca Scott)
Steve Peacocke (Darryl Braxton)- No Known Account
Lincoln Younes (Casey Braxton)- No Known Account
Packed to the Rafters
Hugh Sheridan (Ben Rafter)
Rebecca Gibney – No Known Account
Eric Thompson – No Known Account
Andrew O’Keefe – No Known Account
The Morning Show
The Amazing Race Australia
The X Factor Australia
Winners and Losers
Virginia Gay – No Known Account
Zoe Tuckwell-Smith – (Rebecca Gilbert)
Melissa Bergland (Jenny Gross)
Rob Mills (Sean)
Melissa Vallejo (Sophie Wong) – No Known Account
Damien Bodie (Jonathan Kurtiss) – No Known Account
Blair McDonough (Matt O’Connor)
Tom Wren (Dr. Doug Graham) – No Known Account
Denise Scott (Trish Gross) – No Known Account
Stephen Phillips (Zach Armstrong) – No Known Account
Jack Pearson (Patrick Gross) – No Known Account
Francis Greenslade (Brian Gross) – No Known Account
Sarah Grace (Bridget Gross) – No Known Account
Mike Smith (Callum Gilbert) – No Known Account
Nick Simpson-Deeks (Rhys Mitchell)
6:30 with George Negus
Ross Scheepers – Producer
Before The Game
Mick Molloy – No Known Account
Andrew Maher – No Known Account
Can of Worms
Ian “Dicko” Dickson – No Known Account
Meet The Press
Ready Steady Cook
Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation
Shaun Micallef – No Known Account
The Biggest Loser
Dave Hughes – Co-host
Emily Rusciano – Occasional reporter
Sandra Sully – Ten Evening News host (Sydney)
David Speers – Political Editor
It was fun while it lasted.
Well, no it wasn’t.
And Australia has spoken; Live From Planet Earth was crap. TV Tonight has reported this afternoon that LFPE has been axed after 3 episodes.
It lasted longer that Let Loose Live, at least.
Channel Nine really had no choice, too. It had become a laughing stock, with it garnering almost universally negative comments on Twitter: hardly a good look for the new “Home of Comedy”. Also, its latest rating of 189,000 didn’t help all that much either.
Unfortunately for Elton, it pretty much shuts the door on any future opportunities with the Nine network.
With the ratings slump for Hey Hey it’s Saturday in 2010, and now the terrible reviews for LFPE, one would almost say these types of comedy variety shows with dated humour will not be attempted readily.
It just keeps getting better and better doesn’t it?
Tonight we saw Tim Minchin with his “Jesus clock”. Possibly the highlight of his interview was when he grabbed a kid’s phone and feigned reading a text message “”.
He also performed a cover of Crowded House’s “Better Be Home Soon”.
Gaddsbyism of the night: In response to Megan Gale’s Chakra rocks: “That’s really lovely Adam, you can throw them into the garden with the rest of ’em” (Gestures towards garden filled with garden-variety rocks).
Megan “Don’t mention Andy” Gale also made an appearance. She is always quite good talk-show guest material… however, she believes in rocks having powers and that. Judgement free zone here, though.
There were also some nice little pieces involving Dave O’Neill and taxidermists. Over at Channel Nine, an actress saying she is Beyonce is singing about her “Bootylicious booty”.
If I had one criticism of the show, it was that the boyzillian was a bit too breakfast radio for Hills’ standard. Not that it was low brow, it’s just been done before, and before that- think 40 Year Old Virgin.
Rake was also entertaining. Yes I know that’s not his name.
Best moment: Adam’s stapler story. Simply brilliant. Just ‘Tube it.
Well, it’s time to break out the scores. If last week was an 8/10, this week was a firm 8.5/10.
UPDATED: Well, here we are. Are we witnessing television history in the form of Ben Elton’s last show? Or, are we witnessing yet another great Australian come-from-behind win, a Stephen Bradbury, even? Yes, that’s the type of humour that is still hanging around the show.
Anyway, the big question was, will Elton actually change his style of humour dramatically in response to his critics (read: everyone on Planet Earth)?
And the answer is: well, not really.
He opened with some “satire”- which he pointed out to us, just after the sketch finished- of Julia Gillard. Yes, the impression was good. But then came the references to “moving forward”, etc. It would’ve been funny if it came maybe, say, around November last year. But what do I know?
Hey, at least it was something we hadn’t seen last week. Right?
But what ruined the show for mine, came only in the first segment.
It was Ben Elton responding to critics.
Not by stating he would be changing his act, but by attacking the people who criticised him.
He called tweeters “twats”, because apparently, the opinion of plebs doesn’t really matter, and if it does, we don’t know anything. We also don’t know what’s funny. And Elton does. So just sit back and LAUGH, DAMMIT!
It became clear that he wasn’t going to change his style of humour, but defend it to the very end. I was ready to give him another go, but it was obvious that he didn’t want to take any criticism on board. So don’t expect any goodwill from anyone. But I will still comment objectively… well, you be the judge.
He also went on another rant against the people who criticised his naughty language, or rather the idea of naughty language. He just came off like an indignant little kid, not wanting to go to the naughty corner.
Oh, and just in case you thought that things had changed from last week, they haven’t. The schoolgirls are still there. So are the chardonnay-sippers. And this time, the didn’t make the audience laugh once. Once.
OK, so to be fair, there were a few things that were different. Elaine Front was brought to the front of the show. And it was still pretty good- yep, so not much had changed. Even the joke about her name being pronounced EEE-laine Front.
Some things also got the chop from Week 1, like the female… Male bodybuilder and the offensive public school teacher. Remember them? Me neither… (Well I do, it’s kind of hard to forget, but you know).
They were seemingly shafted to make way for the new Julia Gillard and big miner tax; while they were a step up from some of last week’s stuff, they still don’t quite cut it.
But, they were slightly better nevertheless. So it makes you wonder why they didn’t just go all out and press refresh on the entire show- try all new characters (save for maybe, Elaine Front).
There was also a female singer who spewed words like “FUCKING” and a male rapper (who was played by a woman) who spewed words like “pussy”. Yep, Elton was persisting with smut, that was for sure. I didn’t find it funny, but what do I know- I’m just a tweeter.
OK, then there’s Girl Flat. There was yet another parody of Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab”. Yep, even the song was the same.
Hey, but this time she said “JIHAD”. The characters are still one-dimensional. Like a proper journalist, here’s a proper quote and that to prove it. “Beyonce” sings “My bootylicious booty” and my “booty is so bootylicious” to her song “Single Ladies”.
There was also Fiona O’Loughlin who was quite good. And the inimitable Tim Minchin. However, and here’s some real criticism. They actually bring the show down. Because they are so good that they make the rest of the show seem crap… or crapper.
(I have been informed by commenter “Sophie” that Tim Minchin’s song he performed was called “Lullaby”.)
But once again, I have to compliment the performers, who, I still believe rise above the dated material. And Ben Elton is still good as a host. If only he didn’t keep saying “Live comedy”… if you still need the novelty of it being “Live” to prop up your show, then you may be in a touch of trouble. Yes, the live factor is great, but at the end of the day, it isn’t going to save it from being trite.
Then, there was some more “gentle satire”, labelled for us, once again. It was a “big miner”. It seemed more like a serious pundit on A Current Affair- especially since he used words like “UnAustralian” and “Fair go”, without any laughs in the background to prove it was actually meant to be funny. The “joke” came in the form of a play on “Fair go”; apparently “big miners” want to “Fair bugger up the country, then go”. Don’t expect any more laughs if there’s only one joke in a sketch.
But Elton might say, look at Minchin, his song isn’t peppered with gags. Yes, true. But his song was utterly entrancing, actually controversial, and actually funny.
So, after all that talk of altering the show, it didn’t seem all that different at all. Myself and many more people were generous enough to give it another shot, only to be insulted by more of the same stuff that had people turning off in droves last week.
And then his attacking of Twitter came across as merely a bitter man unwilling to face up to his mistakes. The idea of him taking on criticism was at odds with him criticising his critics. And then, what really took the cake at the end of the show, was seemingly a complete backflip, and he began to beg for approval: “Why not give us a friendly tweet?”
Um, no thanks Ben.
So, what did you think? Any better?
(minor season 6,7 spoilers)
Ricky Gervais has recently set tongues wagging with an off the cuff remark in one of his blogs. Well, at least it seems to be off the cuff;
“Had a little meeting with NBC about various things and recommended Will Arnett for a regular in The Office. Thoughts? I think he’s amazing.”
As we all know the search is apparently on for the new host of the Office. But, do producers really expect us to believe that a new (or existing) character isn’t being primed to take over as we speak?
But this is precisely what makes Gervais’ remarks all the more interesting, as surely he isn’t bringing a new name into the ring at the eleventh hour. But if he is, could he influence such a huge decision? Well, he and Stephen Merchant did conceive the show, so I’d say yes, unless of course the writers could strongly convince him otherwise. It was them after all who made it the success it is today. So who really knows who carries more clout these days? (My money would be on the writers.)
But surely NBC has had talks with Arnett already.
So is Gervais hinting that the new boss has already been chosen?
Or is Gervais putting his powerful weight behind one of the final few contenders?
Well, either way, many news sources are running with various stories including;
Zap2it: “‘The Office’: Could Will Arnett be the new Steve Carell?”
There’s no question that Arnett would be a decent fit for the Office, as he’s no stranger to big network comedies, with Arrested Development his first main starring role. He has since starred in the scene-stealing Devon Banks role in 30 Rock, also on NBC.
And of course, more recently, Running Wilde, which although cancelled, proved he can headline a show adequately.
Oh, and he’s also the husband of NBC’s Parks and Recreation’s Amy Poehler who plays Leslie Knope; surely a exquisite synergy which wouldn’t be lost on NBC bigwigs.
So, it certainly is possible that Will Arnett is the new boss; or at least will join the cast in some shape or form, as the Office are casting another male and female.
EW reported that producers are looking for a “good-looking, but not WB looking” to join Kevin, Oscar and Angela in the accounting department. He “used to work at a golf course, probably went a community college and is just happy to have a real job in this tough market.”
Sounds like a great fit for Arnett, possibly even moreso than the top job, as arguably
Arnett is better in smaller doses.
However, credit has to be given to producers for keeping it all under wraps. However, we can almost certainly rule out who will replace Carrell.
Mindy Kaling (Kelly Kapoor): She of course is leaving the show along with Carrell, though understandably isn’t receiving as much publicity.
Will Ferrell: He is of course joining the cast for a 4 episode arc, which also got people whipped up into a lather. But any suggestion that he will join for another 22-26 episode season is surely ludicrous, what with his thriving movie career.
Ricky Gervais: It may seem obvious to bring his name up, as he has denied it many a time, yet many still bring it up. There’s not only the fact that he has another TV show yet to be filmed (yet alone written), another Idiot Abroad on the way, a Flanimals movie, the Ricky Gervais show, he will be the voice of Mole in the Wind and the Willows, as well as voicing characters in the Simpsons and Family Guy. Also the fact that he has made a great guest appearance as David Brent. In short, he has been-there, done-that.
Rainn Wilson: Dwight has already been the boss for an episode, in which he inflicted a typically tyrannical rule over the Office; hard to imagine they would go there again.
John Krasinski: Been there done that again… The sixth season was all about shaking up the Office and installing Jim as co-manager. It didn’t work. Everyone grew to dislike a frazzled Jim- something people didn’t like, and weren’t used to doing. A couple more big movie roles and he’s as good as gone too.
B.J. Novak: Already been in a position of authority.
Jenna Fischer: The new female cast member is said to be an assistant to Pam as office administrator, indicating that she will remain in this role.
And then there’s the rest of the cast, of course, and it’s anyone’s guess as to if they go down that road.
And then there’s the wild card, Todd Packer, who has an upcoming episode named after him. He is also over-the-top enough to follow in Carrell’s footsteps. But whether he would be too abrasive week-in week-out would be the question producers will be asking.
UPDATE: Today, Joel Keller from TV Squad seems absolutely convinced the next boss will be Gabe. His reasoning makes perfect sense.
Have a read (spoilers of course)
In a rarely seen occurence in modern day Australian TV, a non-Underbelly, non-Rafters program has returned for another season.
Yes, Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation has returned for 2011.
Tuesday night’s episode returned with Leisel Jones, Julia Zemiro and Kevin Harrington in their respective generational teams.
Now in its 3rd season, it remains quirky quiz show which is, essentially, a vehicle for Shaun Micallef. And let’s face it- and it’s been said before- Josh is annoying in his ignorance and constant squirming, Charlie is annoying in his smugness and his eyeball-vessel bursting laughing at Shaun and Amanda, well, never comes across as side-splittingly funny.
But it’s Australian after all, and still not a bad way to pass the time. However, as we all know, no Shaun = no show. Well, at least not a good show.
Well, after 44 episodes and a celebrity list boasting nearly every network personality (well, almost) and most B-grade Australian celebrities, what’s changed?
Well, there’s a new chair.
Yup, on with 2011.