Does broadcast TV have a future beyond the things that only it can do best: news, live coverage of sport and big budget “event TV”? With Netflix, Amazon, Stan and other streaming services offering drama, documentary, and films to watch anytime you want, should broadcasters like the ABC even bother?
When it comes to comedy, particularly local comedy and topical satire, there’s still a strong case for it. It’s not like Netflix is stepping up and giving us the next The Games. We’re also really struggling to think of a successful sketch comedy or sitcom made by a streaming service. Nothing that could rival the popularity of The Crown, The Man in the High Castle or Making A Murderer, anyway.
So, the ABC’s continued commitment to making comedy about Australians for Australians is a good thing, even if some of it sounds kinda bad. That, and, the more we look into it, the more a sketch show from John Luc (i.e. Mychonny) doesn’t sound like the worst thing ever.
Luc’s Mychonny and Yourchonny channels have been going for eight years, with subscriber numbers and views in the 100’s of thousands, sometimes the millions. That’s pretty impressive for an Aussie teen making low-budget videos at his parents’ house.
The early videos are kinda what you’d expect from a teenage boy making sketches (the word gay is both a punchline and an insult, girls are either hot or ugly bitches) but more recently the comedy’s become a bit more sophisticated and socially aware. There are some spot-on parodies of various TV shows in LIFE WITHOUT INTERNET…
…and Being An Asian Australian includes a pretty good pisstake of white Aussie bogans:
With bigger production values and a bit more polish, you can imagine these sketches being on an Australian version of Saturday Night Live; Luc’s comedy’s often a lot sharper than The Weekly!
John Luc is also a good performer, who plays most of the parts in his sketches himself. Sure, he’s largely playing comic stereotypes (i.e. Asian parents, annoying sisters) whilst wearing a variety of awful wigs, but he really understands how to keep a sketch moving to avoid losing the fickle YouTube audience. And given that most sketch shows on TV in recent years have been dominated by slow-moving material with about one decent gag per minute (The Bondi Hipsters, The Elegant Gentleman’s Guide To Knife Fighting) hiring someone with a solid commitment to high gag rate material is extremely welcome.