Turns out it was all a “joke” to promote his run for a Gold Logie:
It’s difficult to know what to think about this oh wait no it’s not; there’s a reason why “game show host” is not generally considered a term of approval and Gleeson is doing his level best to make sure it stays that way.
Even we thought the way this was announced was kind of strange, and you’d think we’d be cock-a-hoop at the news that Gleeson had somehow been reduced to only having one show on the ABC each year like everyone else (on the ABC). Other media sources were even more suspicious:
The ABC however has issued a statement saying: “Tom’s statement that he has sacked himself from Hard Quiz is news to us, particularly as we have 10 new episodes airing later this year. Sounds like Tom needs to have a good old HARD chat with himself.”
And now, barely 48 hours later, whatever the fuck this was is over. We’d go on further about how this is kind of a dick move but hark – we can hear the Gleeson fanbase yelling “it’s just a joke” like that makes him some kind of promotional genius.
The thing with this kind of joke is, it’s only “funny” if it’s at someone’s expense. From a better comedian this kind of stunt would be designed to make themselves the butt of the joke, but strangely for someone whose act is based around being a prick, Gleeson’s jokes are almost never on him. He’s basically doing Red Symonds’ old act, only where Red was a prick who could back it up because he actually knew what he was talking about, Gleeson can back it up because he’s friends with Charlie Pickering.
Instead, the joke here is on anyone who took his initial announcement seriously; it’s basically a high profile version of “sucked in bad”. The people he’s making fun of are the people stupid enough to feel anything about the “news” that Hard Quiz was axed. Ha ha, you were stupid enough to believe anything Tom Gleeson said. You must feel like a complete fucking idiot.
Every now and again a fan of Hard Quiz asks us why we seem convinced that Gleeson’s “I’m a prick” persona is one that comes remarkably naturally to him. “It’s just an act to spice up the quiz show,” they say, “it’s all good television”.
Here’s why: this is a guy who decided to promote his efforts to win an award by playing a prank on the people who watch his show. This mean-spirited, “ha ha you care” joke is on anyone who cares enough about Hard Quiz to feel sad that it’s been cancelled – you know, Gleeson’s fans. He’s laughing at you. Which is pretty much the opposite of how comedy is meant to work.
And guess what? Unless you – the fans, the people he treats like shit both on the show and now in real life – give him a Gold Logie, then he’s not bringing Hard Quiz back*.
That just made filling out our Logies ballot a fuckload easier.
*of course Hard Quiz is coming back – he’s just making the same shitty joke twice.