Press release time!
KIRSTEN DRYSDALE JOINS
After years of researching, writing and reporting for acclaimed ABC programs such as The Checkout, Hungry Beast, Gruen Transfer and The Hamster Wheel, the extraordinarily talented Kirsten Drysdale joins 7.30 tonight.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be working at 7.30,” Kirsten said.
“It’s my dream job, I hope I can meet the program’s high journalistic standards and only resort to silly costumes in extreme circumstances.”
Kirsten is renowned for her quirky take on serious subjects.
And tonight she turns her unique talents to the much anticipated “shirt-fronting” prize-fight between Prime Minister, Tony Abbott and Russian President, Vladimir Putin, when the pair is expected to meet today on the sidelines at the APEC summit in Beijing.
The build up has promised so much – but will the showdown match the hype?
Find out tonight on ABC at 7.30.
And here we were concerned the ABC would run low on shitty news jokes after axing The Roast.
Obviously we disapprove, because we disapprove of pretty much everything. Well, not of Drysdale herself – she’s been good in all the shows listed in the press release (was she on-air on Gruen?), and if this was a straight news appointment we’d be fine with it. It’s this that’s set off the warning claxons in the Tumbleweeds bunker:
Kirsten is renowned for her quirky take on serious subjects
Mostly what we disapprove of here is this numbnuts idea that adding comedy to news somehow isn’t just a massive waste of everyone’s time. Does anyone seriously think the funny stuff in Mad as Hell is the news coverage? Looked at another way, has there ever been a “comedy news program” which has been halfway as informative as the actual news?
Wacky news coverage where the news comes first – where they have to try and make fun of the big stories of the day rather than having leeway to cherry-pick the stories that can be made the most fun of – almost always sucks arse because information and comedy are two completely different things. That old line “it’s funny because it’s true” is an old line because a big part of comedy is comedy of recognition – people get the joke because it’s about a situation they’re familiar with.
But to make fun of news (especially when the news is timely and being presented to an audience for the first time) you first have to inform the audience as to what’s going on. You know how jokes are shit when someone explains them to you afterwards? Imagine how shit a joke is when someone has to explain it to you before they can even tell it.
And yet this kind of thing is bound to continue in the Australian media, as the television audience dwindles and more and more shows are expected to be all things to all viewers. At least in the old days the funny stuff – John Clarke & Bryan Dawe take a bow – was the capper at the end of the week: after having watched four or five nights worth of news about the current political situation, they’d come along and put some spin on the stuff you now knew.
Yes, you needed to be informed to get the joke, but it was also a stand-alone segment (as we’ve since seen after 7.30 gave it the heave ho). If you missed it you still had a dose of perfectly good straight news from the rest of the show, and if you just tuned in to see them presumably you were already informed about the weeks goings-on from elsewhere.
But forget all that, because now news is all about a “quirky take on serious subjects”. And who knows? Maybe combining quirk with news will bring in fans of both quirk and news, rather than pissing off news fans because they take news seriously while also setting fans of quirk (in this equation that’s us) to teeth-grinding because the quirk on offer is deliberately feeble and half-hearted in an attempt to not completely piss off the news fans.
Long story short, mixing comedy with anything only gives you watered down comedy; don’t we already have enough of that on our screens?
*edit* And having now seen the segment in question… well, it’s not exactly the best environment for comedy when after your segment the host says “there is a serious side to this story though”.