Given the locally-made comedy that’s served up to us – dull attention-seekers playing dull attention-seekers, B-list celebrities falling off sets, Tractor Monkeys – it would be easy to assume that large numbers of Australians wouldn’t be interested in watching two men in their 60s, sitting on stools, delivering three minutes of hardcore political satire. It’s doubtful a focus group representing the key demographics would react favourably to that concept, anyway.
We ourselves were a bit concerned that Clarke & Dawe – despite its successful 20+ year run – wouldn’t survive for too long after it was put in the “doomed to fail timeslot” of 6.55pm on a Thursday following its axing from 7.30. But guess what? We were wrong! We Australians watch them in droves.
If you head over to TV Tonight’s section on Timeshifted Ratings and trawl through the ratings for Thursdays you’ll see that Clarke & Dawe has been in the Top 20 most weeks for at least the last six months, averaging around 550,000 viewers per episode. Which is pretty good for a show that requires effort to watch – in more ways than one. Add to that the thousands of views each sketch quickly accrues on YouTube and, well, it’s probably safe to assume we’ll see them again in 2014.