It must be the best of all possible worlds right now for Tom Gleeson. Sure, he’s won a Logie, but who gives a fuck about that? What’s really important is that he took his hilarious comedy persona to new heights with his Gold Logie campaign and now we can all reap the rewards on Hard Quiz. That was the whole point, right? To make his show funnier?
It’s kind of odd then to report that Hard Quiz post Gold Logie-gate remains basically unchanged. Gleeson doesn’t take his act to new heights; he doesn’t take his act to new anywheres. Obviously “if it ain’t broke” applies here – after multiple seasons everyone knows what to expect from this quiz show and you’re either on board or you’re not with Gleeson’s mildly snarky antics – but then what exactly was the point of trashing the Logies?
Considering Gleeson didn’t walk out on stage at the start of the show waving his Gold Logie about (not a euphemism), it seems likely the show was recorded pre-win and his “threat” to stop production on Hard Quiz if he didn’t win the Gold Logie was even more dodgy than first expected. Maybe he would have halted production – but with a bunch of episodes already in the tank, the show would go on.
Was it even good promotion for the show? A prize-free quiz show that’s basically just regular people being tested on their claims to know stuff about a particular subject doesn’t sound especially appealing to the traditional Logies fanbase, and considering Gleeson’s win was, as they say, “marred by controversy”, the Gold Logie isn’t exactly a stamp of approval here.
Also, and this doesn’t seem to get mentioned much with Gleeson, the broad appeal of a comedy dickhead is often that we get to see the comedy dickhead get his or her comeuppance. The obvious promotional angle for Gleeson’s Logie’s win is: “he trashed the awards – now see the public get their revenge on Hard Quiz!” But that’s never been how Hard Quiz works – it’s mellowed a bit since the early days, but even when the contestants get a snappy comeback or two it’s still clearly a show where Gleeson makes (mild) fun of a bunch of would-be smartarses.
It’s all set-up, no punchline with Gleeson’s act. He goes around acting like a dick, and… that’s it. You could maybe argue he was taking the piss out of people who deserve it with the Logies, but on a quiz show with regular contestants, firing off insults is an odd path to go down. Which is presumably why it’s increasingly underplayed on the show itself these days.
Gleeson can go around calling himself a Gold Logie winner, but so can Rove McManus and his career hasn’t exactly soared since Rove. Unless you’ve really done a lot of work over a long, long period of time, winning a Gold Logie is as much about the show you’re on as who you are. So the real fuck-up here is that, as far as Hard Quiz is concerned at least, Gleeson won by acting out of character; he might be a snarky bastard elsewhere but as a quiz show host, he’s basically just another quiz show host. Anyone who tunes in to see more of the “fuck the Logies” guy is going to be disappointed.
But if you want to see people answer questions about rugby players and Jewish holidays, then this is your lucky day.