After this morning’s “Aussie Gold Rush” at London 2012 it’s easy to forget the pain of last week, when sports fan hoping for Aussie Gold after Aussie Gold really needed a laugh. Hopefully they managed to tune in to Triple M Melbourne, where Santo Cilauro and Sam Pang were filling-in for James Brayshaw and Billy Brownless on the Rush Hour.
Rush Hour Going For Gold, Cilauro and Pang’s special Olympics-themed show, is now well in to its second and final week but it’s already proved to be comedic the highlight of the London 2012 Olympics. What makes it a good listen isn’t that it takes the Gruen Sweat approach of trying to highlight all the dodgy behind-the-scenes goings on, or that it offers much in the way of analysis of Australia’s (lack of) sporting success – it doesn’t even do anything particularly original in terms of comedy, well, not if you’re familiar with anything the Working Dog team have done for the past couple of decades – it’s more that it simply takes a major event, and wrings as many laughs and as much fun from it as it possible.
Unlike so many other radio programmes which include comedians in their team this is actually a comedy. There are some straight-ish interviews with sportsmen and women, and the odd visiting celebrity, but it’s mainly just a couple of experienced piss-takers raking through the news of the day, just as they did on Sports Fever!, and managing to make it something that even non-sport fans can enjoy.
If nothing else it’s worth listening to the quiz segment hosted by regular guest Tom Gleisner. From the dodgy buzzers to the hilariously incorrect answers, it’s a skillful and deceptively simple piece of radio. And we say “skillful and deceptively simple” because it’s one of those segments that, if asked, the team would probably claim was something they hastily cobbled together to fill in air time. They said this about most of the segues in The Late Show, though, and some of them were pretty funny, so it’s probably best not to get sucked into the modesty. And let’s face it, they probably do cobble it together to fill in air time, but it takes a lot of skill to cobble something together that’s that entertaining.
Apart from the quiz, there’s also the awarding of the Bronze Medals for the worst jokes in that day’s show, and the occasional cameo from Rob Sitch, so if you haven’t been listening why not download the shows from the Triple M Melbourne website right now.
The show is also, perhaps, testament to Working Dog’s drive to get their shows up anywhere they can. What was originally a World Cup soccer show on SBS (Cup Fever!) has gone on to be a weekly sports show on Seven (Sports Fever!) and is now this Olympics special series on Triple M. Where will this loose team/concept turn up next, we wonder? And why no Ed Kavalee this time ‘round?