So what’s all this then?
Comedy Friends: At Tonightly, we're looking for good new comedy voices to contribute to our show. If you think you are one, or know one DM me your email address. #tonightly #contributors pic.twitter.com/IUXrZhpGqu
— Dan Ilic (@danilic) May 31, 2018
It’s safe to say it’s a little… unusual… for an Australian comedy show to put out an open call for writers and performers, especially a show that’s already been on the air for a fair while without coming apart at the seams.
The obvious answer is that they want to bring in some fresh voices, but hasn’t the ABC been running competitions year-round looking for those? Wanting to add a greater range of diverse voices would also be a good thing, but from what we’ve seen the Tonightly team was already pretty diverse (at least by Australian television standards). Always room to improve there of course, and Ilic seems to be looking around in a variety of directions:
Hello…. I'm looking for Australian podcasts made by POC that aren't published by main stream media.🎙️
— Dan Ilic (@danilic) May 29, 2018
This kind of call-out for new voices does also raise questions about the situation of the current team. You don’t usually bring on new people unless you need to replace old people. With Dan Ilic only recently stepping into the executive producer’s shoes, it’d be interesting to know if he’s actively replacing people or just looking to broaden the writing staff.
Also: in the comments Ilic says he’s looking for people to put together “packages” – that’d be sketches to us old-timers – which suggests he’s more after people doing stand alone segments than coming on board as part of the core team. But who knows? Advertising for a position on Twitter is not yet an exact science.
What is an exact science is making a comedy show work, because the way you do that with a show like Tonightly is to have a tight-knit core of writers working together developing a shared approach to what the show is. Which is what we assumed they already had. And which isn’t something you create by hiring new staff off Twitter.
Anyone out there know what’s really going on?