Australian Tumbleweeds

Australia's most opinionated blog about comedy.

Vote in the Australian Tumbleweed Awards 2021

Industry awards are a crock, right? Take a look at the comedy winners and nominees of the 2021 AACTAs and the 2021 AWGIE awards. Do these winners and nominees represent the best of Australian comedy in 2021?


AACTA Award for Best Narrative Comedy Series

Winner:
Fisk

Nominees:
Aftertaste
Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun
Frayed
Preppers
Rosehaven


AACTA Award for Best Comedy Entertainment Program

Winner:
Hard Quiz

Nominees:
Dom and Adrian 2020
The Moth Effect
Spicks and Specks
The Weekly


AACTA Award for Best Short Form Comedy

Winner:
All My Friends Are Racist

Nominees:
A Life in Questions: Wisdom School with Aaron Chen
Celebration Nation
Hug the Sun
Jimmy Rees
Samatha Andrew


AWGIE Award for Comedy – Situation or Narrative

Winner:
Why Are You Like This: Season 1, ‘The Pressures of Late Capitalism’ – Mark Bonanno, Naomi Higgins and Humyara Mahbub

Nominees:
Aftertaste: Season 1, ‘The Beauty and the Terroir’ – Matthew Bate
Fisk: Season 1, ‘Portrait of a Lady’ – Penny Flanagan with Kitty Flanagan
Retrograde: Season 1, Episode 3 – Declan Fay
Why Are You Like This: Season 1, ‘The Pressures of


AWGIE Award for Comedy – Sketch or Light Entertainment

Winner:
The Feed: ‘Comedy Sketches 2020’ – Ben Jenkins, Alex Lee, Jenna Owen and Victoria Zerbst

Nominees:
Gruen: Season 12, ‘Tools and Boots for Tools’ – James Colley and Sophie Braham
Reputation Rehab: Season 1, ‘Nick Kyrgios – The Bad Boy of Tennis’ – Sophie Braham with
Kirsten Drysdale, Zoe Norton Lodge and Melina Wicks


Whatever you think of these winners and nominees (and, yes, we know some of them are from 2020), we know you’ll want to give us your views on comedy in 2021. So, vote now in the Australian Tumbleweed Awards.

Voting closes on Friday 7th January at 11.30pm AEST. We’ll announce the winners on or about Australian Day.

Summer Lovin’, Happens So… well, not that fast actually

Press release time!

One holiday house. Eight love stories.
New comedy Summer Love checks in to the ABC in 2022.

ABC, Screen Australia and Film Victoria are pleased to announce the enchanting new eight-part anthology series, Summer Love will air in 2022.

Produced by Gristmill and created by award-winning duo Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope, Summer Love sees eight very different sets of people rent the same beachside holiday house, capturing the collision between the dreamy enchantment of the beach and the clumsy reality of humans on holiday. It explores the anonymity, the possibility, and the escape that we all feel on holidays, alongside the ever-present threat of sand in the sheets.

Creators/Producers Butler & Hope said, “Were thrilled to have developed our recipe for post pandemic/lockdown (also works for hangovers, lost cats, breakups): Take 1 holiday house, add 11 stupidly talented writers, line the base with an excellent love story, throw in warmth, hope, jokes, and finish with a sizzling cast. Serve with confetti rice.”

Eight diverse and exciting writing teams will bring eight different stories to life, each connected through the house and through the theme of love. They include Kodie Bedford (Mystery Road, All My Friends are Racist) & Bjorn Stewart (At Home Alone Together); Alison Bell (The Letdown); Patrick Brammall (No Activity) & Harriet Dyer (No Activity); Robyn Butler & Wayne Hope (Upper Middle Bogan, Very Small Business, The Librarians); Nazeem Hussain (Orange is the New Brown); Kate Mulvany (Upright, The Seed); Miranda Tapsell (Top End Wedding, Get Krack!n) & James Colley (Gruen, The Weekly with Charlie Pickering); Nath Valvo (Comedy Next Gen, The Shambles) & Jayden Masciulli (The InBESTigators).  

ABC Head of Comedy Todd Abbott says “When two of Australia’s most revered comedy creators bring you a series with beaches, romance, family squabbles, dirty weekends, fish and chips and a baby kangaroo, how could you say no? Robyn and Wayne have pulled together a brilliant group of writers, each at very different stages of their careers, and helped them fashion stories that are authentic, relatable, moving, insightful and – most importantly – very funny.”

Screen Australia’s Head of Content Sally Caplan said: “We’re thrilled to support the powerhouse creative team of Wayne Hope and Robyn Butler in delivering this irrepressibly Australian series. They have assembled a stellar array of emerging and established diverse writing and acting talent and we look forward to seeing this well written and inclusive drama brought to life.”

CEO of Film Victoria Caroline Pitcher said, “We are excited to support the latest work from Victoria’s own Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope to film in our state. There’s something so relatable about the contrast of our state’s stunning coastal locations mixed with family holiday antics and romantic adventures, and we know this charming anthology series will strike a chord with audiences.”

Melissa Myers, President of Kinetic Content Scripted said “As Kinetic Content launches into scripted programming, we are thrilled that our 1st show will be partnering with Gristmill in Australia as Wayne & Robyn’s track record speaks for itself, always on the forefront of creating enthralling, emotional and hilarious comedy dramas. We are thrilled to be coproducing Summer Love which is exactly the type of romantic and fun escapist series that will resonate with audiences worldwide.”

Filming will commence in Victoria early 2022 and air on ABC TV and ABC iview later in the year.

It’s always fun actually stopping to think for a second about what’s actually being said in these press releases – because, of course, as this is a show that currently doesn’t exist, there’s not a whole lot to say about it.

For one thing, what does “irrepressibly Australian” mean? Will we get loads of scenes where the French national anthem is playing and suddenly there’s a record scratch and it’s replaced by Rose Tattoo singing ‘Bad Boy for Love’?

Then there’s “Robyn and Wayne have pulled together a brilliant group of writers, each at very different stages of their careers” – fingers crossed none of those stages are “washed up” or “burnt out”. Also, the only stage we can currently see aside from Hope & Butler themselves is “up-and-coming”, unless they’ve snuck in Andrew Knight under another name.

But the highlight has to be this:

“Wayne & Robyn’s track record speaks for itself, always on the forefront of creating enthralling, emotional and hilarious comedy dramas. We are thrilled to be coproducing Summer Love which is exactly the type of romantic and fun escapist series”

So it’s enthralling, emotional, hilarious, romantic, fun, and escapist, while being both a comedy and a drama? Something for everyone!

(editors note: considering the ABC only has two new scripted comedies in 2022, and one of them is a musical, this remains our hit pick for the coming year)

Up Front and Out the Door

Yesterday saw the ABC’s upfronts for 2022, their big opportunity to wow us with all the exciting new series and much-loved old favourites we can look forward to in the coming year. There were at least five deliberate mistakes in that previous sentence – can you guess them all?

The big caveat here is that these upfronts don’t cover everything. Fingers crossed there’ll be another couple of scripted comedies turning up in the second half of next year. There better be: even for fans used to the ABC’s ever shrinking output, there was little to celebrate in what we’ve been told we can expect in 2022.

Maybe we’ve been coddled by the effect of Covid – a couple of rush job series in 2020 and the arrival of delayed shows like Aftertaste in 2021 gave the impression of a healthier comedy line-up than was probably the case – but next year looks bleak AF. Here’s what we’ve got:

Mad as Hell coming back: good.

The Weekly coming back: bad.

Charlie Pickering maybe or maybe not hosting the second season of Annabel Crabb’s Crazy Hypotheticals or whatever it’s called (oh right, Tomorrow Tonight)? That’s good – it means we don’t have to pretend to be interested in it. Likewise Julia Zmerio’s Home Delivery, which is back but is in no way comedy.

Question Everything coming back: here’s a question – why?

Fisk back: yay.

Aftertaste back: meh.

This is basically the ABC just fulfilling their contractual obligations as far as comedy goes. Fisk and Aftertaste were both in their first seasons so a second was pretty much a lock. Same goes for Question Everything, plus maybe Gruen won’t be back and Wil needs new shoes. Otherwise, Mad as Hell is good and The Weekly is cheap.

As for new series, there are two:

Stories From Oz: It’s billed as “the world’s first documentary you can dance to”. This isn’t true because this is a local version of Stories From Norway, in which topical news stories are re-told in musical form to hopefully amusing effect. Not quite a Chaser production though Chris Taylor and Andrew Hansen are involved, it feels like the kind of show where just existing is half the joke. Though the Norwegian version (as seen on SBS a couple of years ago) was pretty good so here’s hoping.

Summer Love: An eight part anthology series overseen by Wayne Hope and Robyn Butler (yay!) and written by a lot of people who don’t have a lot of amazing credits to their names (hmm), it’s set in a beach house where a different group of characters each week will pretend this isn’t just a new talent showcase based on It’s A Date. Part of the ABC’s mission is to nurture new talent, sure. Still, this kind of thing should be a bonus on top of a promising line-up, not half the new comedy content for the year.

Just to underline why we’re so glass half empty about all this, let’s examine just how half empty next year’s glass promises to be. At a guess, these are the numbers: Mad as Hell (13 episodes), The Weekly (13 episodes), and Question Everything (8 episodes). That’s 34 weeks of half hour “light entertainment”.

With Aftertaste (6 episodes), Fisk (6 episodes), Stories from Oz (6 episodes) and Summer Love (8 episodes), that’s 26 weeks of half hour scripted comedy.

For roughly half the year the ABC can put to air one hour of local comedy a week. Of the seven shows, two are new. Does that sound like an industry that anyone could conceivably describe as being in any way healthy?

Oh wait, we forgot Hard Quiz is coming back. That’ll double the ABC’s “comedy” output all on its own.

What What in the Butt (of television)

Last year’s 2020:The Last Year of Television was one of the hidden gems of 2020, a snarky Charlie Brooker-influenced takedown of Australian television – not exactly the toughest subject to kneecap, but considering the media-inspired glow that still somehow persists around an “industry” built almost entirely on selling vacuum cleaners, a necessary job none the less.

(rumour has it there’ll be another special at the end of the year; with The Yearly already lined up to remind us of Scott Morrison’s triumphant leadership in between jokes about how great it is that housing prices keep on rising, thank fuck)

Mitch McTaggart’s current series, The Back Side of Television, is a slightly different beast. It’s more in-depth regarding the faults of Australian television – what, it’s only three half hour episodes? This sucker should run for months – which makes it more informative but somewhat less funny.

The comedy here is largely confined to McTaggart’s asides, which are amusing but are also coming between a lengthy look at the many ways commercial television happily wallows in real-life murder for reasons that creepily seem to go somewhat beyond simply pandering to an audience, so yeah.

To be fair, this weeks final segment about an escaped criminal who went on to audition for Crimestoppers, possibly for the role of himself, was a very funny story, and if they can find something that good each week then we’ll take the whole “not that funny” thing back.

But the overall impression is of a show that is looking at what drives Australian television because the reoccurring themes and obsessions of our media are worth highlighting in and of themselves rather than just background for some cheap gags. As much as we love cheap gags this stuff still works as television without them.

The result is a well-made clip show with something important to say about the Australian media landscape. If you have any interest at all in the history of Australian television – and if you’re reading this blog then you do, because Australian television comedy is increasingly a matter for the history books – then The Back Side of Television is most definitely worth checking out.

It’s just not all that funny. Unlike many of the actors in the crime reenactments.

Be Prepared

Physical comedy! That’s something we haven’t seen on Australian television in a while. There’s a bunch of reasons to come away from the first episode of Preppers thinking “…ok?”, but the fact it features lead and co-creator Nakkiah Lui struggling with an obstacle course is one big tick in its favour.

Preppers is the story of Charlie (Lui), breakfast TV co-host who, after a morning where everything goes wrong (the first episode keeps the details vague), retreats to what she thinks is the family property. Twist! It’s been leased to a community of ‘preppers’ – survivalists preparing for the end of the world.

It’s not a great sign that Charlie’s backstory with her oily co-host (Brooke Stachwell) and her TV producer fiance (Grant Denyer) seems more satirically promising than the main story. But exactly how Charlie blew up her life will be played out in flashbacks across the series, making it a reason to keep tuning in.

There’s also a nice thread of pointed but low-key political comedy running throughout the episode. Lui demands her land back only to be told that’s what all Aborigines want. Survivalist leader Monty (Jack Charles, easily the breakout star here) points out that Aborigines are well positioned to survive the apocalypse, having already survived the end of (their) world.

(as for why not all the preppers are Aboriginal? Someone’s got to pay the bills)

It’s a solid set up for a sitcom. Unfortunately, the first episode only loosely sketches most of the preppers. The stand-out is gone by the end of the episode; seems it’s a one in, one out situation. The rest are going to have to lift their game to make much of an impression in coming weeks. They’re all distinct characters, and provide plenty of opportunity to get various points of view across. They’re just not all that funny in week one.

The comedy here is more about skewering attitudes than anything else. Not every one-liner works. But there’s a wide range of targets being attacked (there’s something for everyone!), and Charlie’s wealth and privilege makes her as big a target as anyone. It’s socially aware, but unlike a few recent series that have figured just gesturing towards social issues = comedy, this actually makes jokes about those issues.

Yes, they’re not always classics. But first and foremost this is a comedy, not just a drama where the cast deliver observations like they’re jokes. That’s a good basis from which to rebuild.


Vale Frayed series 2

Sarah Kendall’s dramedy Frayed finished up last week, taking a more serious turn in its final episode, as the Cooper family and their friends dealt with the fall-out from the Newcastle earthquake. The family house and much of the city has been destroyed, Lenny and Abby are threatening to run away, and the carpark under which accidentally murdered cop Terry’s body is buried is now a pile of rubble. Can Sammy (Kendall) and Dan (Matt Passmore) dig out the rotting corpse and find a way of burying Terry for good before demoted police detective Fairbank (Hamish Michael) finds them?

Despite some difficult subject matter in series two – murder, domestic violence, alcoholism, mental illness – Frayed managed to keep a good balance between sensitively portraying the issues and keeping the audience laughing. Kendall has a particularly good eye for a funny character and the second series of Frayed introduced us to several new ones, including swindling Legal Aid lawyer Hannah (Gemma Whelan) and idiot police constable Emily (Emma Harvie). We also saw the evolution of Sammy’s brother Jim (Ben Mingay) from straight-up “boofhead” to “boofhead new parent,” spouting “As a father…” platitudes at every possible opportunity.

And while on the surface, such characters are there for laughs, the reality is that they’re very carefully constructed to drive the plot forward, for potentially many series to come. Series two may have seen a lot of focus on hiding Terry’s body – and keeping it hidden – but the consequences of his accidental shooting will be long lasting, whether his body stays buried or not. The complicated web of alliances that sought to keep the family out of jail could unravel in a thousand different ways. Not to mention the question of the London house, Sammy and Jim’s missing father and Dan’s relationship with Trish (Pippa Grandison). Series three should be every bit as good as the first two. Bring it on!

Vale Bert Newton

Bert Newton’s death over the weekend has seen a flood of tributes from those who knew and worked with him. He was a popular and much-loved entertainer who made generations of Australians laugh. Whether you remember him from IMT and the early days of television, The Don Lane Show, Good Morning Australia, 20 to 1, stage musicals like Wicked, or the multiple times he hosted the Logies, he’s no doubt a man you remember with great affection. His passing also brings to an end that unique fusion of variety and comedy that dominated the first couple of decades of Australian television. And a style of television that we are unlikely to see again.

Comedy and entertainment programs these days can sometimes seem over-polished and soulless, but the early years of Australian television were very different. TV was new and irreverent, there was a lot of experimentation, shows were broadcast live and things went wrong all the time. These were the perfect conditions for both seat-of-your-pants thrills and comedy. No wonder the pubs emptied when IMT came on.

In this era, presenters had to be able to handle anything, as the infamous beer skulling clip, popularised by Tony Martin on The Mick Molloy Show, reminds us:

Newton’s ability to cope with anything made him the perfect host of the Logies too. Yes, the show was scripted and glitzy, but it also featured a room of increasingly drunk show business people plus bored (and occasionally stoned) overseas guests. There are heaps of clips going around of classic Bert Logies moments. What they show is how unflappable and quick-witted he was in the face of whatever came at him.

But Bert Newton was also more than happy to allow himself to be the butt of the joke. From the 1970s onwards, he started to lose his hair, leading to running gags on The Don Lane Show about his costly hair replacement surgery. In his later years, he took it one step further, doubling down on his baldness and appearing publicly without his toupe. In the world of show business where looking good is part of the job, this took a certain amount of guts.

Some of what Bert Newton did was of its time, such as appearances in drag or as a grotesque Demis Roussos. But Newton was also someone who moved with the times and encouraged younger generations to follow their own particular comedy star.

Mick Molloy (him again) was welcomed onto Good Morning Australia, despite disrupting it wearing only his Bart Simpson underpants.

Rove McManus described Newton as “a mentor and friend”:

And Julian Clary said appearing on Bert’s show was “always a highlight of visiting Australia”.

Good Morning Australia, the show Clary is referring to, was a show that could only really have worked for so long with Bert Newton at the helm. Australian television has had countless iterations of the early daytime TV format, where celebrity interviews and musical acts often seem to come second to advertorials about hair removal solutions, but Good Morning Australia was different. Bert was not only great with his showbiz guests – a witty, insightful, and knowledgeable interviewer – but could make the advertorials bearable, sometimes even entertaining.

Bert Newton was a great all-rounder, a man of enormous energy, class, and versatility. In many ways, he was the ultimate Australian television personality: a man who connected with multiple generations and keep them entertained right until the very end.

Don’t You Remember The Days of the Old School Yard

As we reach the tail end of the comedy year, which is a fairly inaccurate way to describe things as the tail end is where the shit comes from and that’s an all year-round situation, it’s hard not to reflect on the 2021 that was. And then hurriedly try to reflect even further back because this year’s Tumbleweed Awards is going to be a shocker.

So here’s a question: what happened to Mark Humphries’ sketches on 730? We don’t mean quality-wise because we’ve always been on the fence there – but weren’t they once a regular thing? When he first turned up on the national broadcaster as the natural replacement for Clarke & Dawe…’s replacement, who was Sammy J only Sammy J was and is still going in the high profile 6.55pm Thursday slot, we’re pretty sure the idea was that he was going to be making regular fortnightly appearances.

Mark Humphries 7.30

These days things seem to be a lot more hit and miss. Maybe he’s on once a month, maybe it’s more often than that. Looking at his iView page, it’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on. As of today (October 29) it seems like they’ve just republished an episode from two weeks ago; before that there’s two in one month, nothing the next month, and so on.

Yeah yeah yeah, coronavirus, nation in crisis, that weird period on The Weekly where Tom Gleeson couldn’t leave his house so he just wandered around his front garden – a lot of things have been disrupted lately. But on the other hand, Sammy J keeps on turning up week in week out, and he’s got a regular radio show going on as well. When Humphries was doing 730 he had a main gig hosting gameshow Pointless, and that got the chop in 2019; surely he should have more time for satirical tidbits?

Okay, maybe not. He’s a firmly established name now, and the days when his kind of comedy clips “went viral” are firmly in the rear-view mirror; he doesn’t really need this kind of job. What’s annoying is that instead of creating a slot for comedy – wait, we mean “satire” – that they could farm out to other interested parties who do need this kind of exposure, the ABC clearly just grabbed a high profile figure to take advantage of the fame he’d made elsewhere (remember when Humphries was on The Feed?) and when his interest waned / the producers needed that two minutes for updates on stories about how evil Dan Andrews is, they let the slot die.

Getting Humphries on 730 was the rare example of the ABC actually expanding opportunities for local comedy in a time slot where people might actually see it. It’s not like there aren’t other local comedians who’d jump at the chance to make broad and largely ineffectual swipes at obvious political targets for two minutes each week; what has the ABC got to lose? Who knows, they might actually show a clip that has something to say.

The bar for Australian satire is currently so low you have to call up your local power company to make sure you’re not going to damage a gas main when you try to jump over it. Treating satire as something only a handful of previously vetted specialists are allowed to do in public is a big part of the reason why.

Three spreadsheets to the wind

Paramount+’s new sitcom Spreadsheet is one of those shows which assumes that there’ll be laughs -a-plenty if the main character is a zany idiot caught up in madcap situations. Everything’s hectic! Something’s gone wrong! OMG panic! You know the kind of thing.

But what never really works in a sitcom is when a character who’s presented as an idiot would clearly have to be very smart to be in the job they have. Sure, smart people can be absolute idiots sometimes, but there’s a limit to how idiotic you can be and remain in employment. Mind you, Spreadsheet’s main character, Lauren (Katherine Parkinson), who’s a big shot lawyer of some kind, might not remain a big shot lawyer of some kind if she can’t get it together…

Lauren is a divorcee, trying to juggle her career with parenthood and a sex life. And it’s while juggling all three that she runs through a pedestrian crossing and loses her driver’s licence and car. She’s also hopeless with technology, which means that she accidentally sends explicit pictures to colleagues and at the same time posts them to social media. Not to mention that her assistant Alex (Rowan Witt) seems to be spending more time managing Lauren’s spreadsheet of casual hook-ups and dick pics than he does on her helping her win legal cases.

Why he does this is unclear. It’s not the job he’s paid to do, yet somehow, he’s suddenly driving Lauren to work, and her kids to school, and helping her get out of the explicit pictures problem. Nerdy colleague Simon (Ryan Shelton) also gets roped in, on the basis that the pictures are part of a case that’s being prepared. Meanwhile, beady-eyed colleague Ange (Karen Milosevic), fresh from delivering a sexual harassment workshop, receives Lauren’s explicit pictures and starts to get suspicious. Is Lauren about to lose her job, Alex and the spreadsheet?

What’s difficult with Spreadsheet is that it’s clearly intended to be a “you go, sister”-type comedy about a middle-aged woman without sexual hang-ups, yet the plot just reeks of #MeToo. It’s not a plot you could do with a male lead, but it doesn’t necessarily work with a female lead either. Having hook-ups and satisfying your kinks is fine, but dragging your colleagues into it feels really, really wrong, even if they do seem to be weirdly up for it.

As for laughs, there are a few to be found in Spreadsheet, but they’re absolutely nothing to do with Lauren’s oh-so-crazy life. Damian Callinan as dating app liar Felix is about as funny as it gets. And he’s in it for approximately one minute.

Upfront and Downhill

It’s that thrilling time of year when the networks start to talk up their big plans for the year to come. Well, “thrilling” if you’re a big fan of self-funded reality programming; the days when Australia’s commercial networks provided anything more than a series of shabby game shows with a news service attached are firmly in the rear view mirror. As for comedy? Don’t make us laugh.

Seven got in first a few weeks ago with a thrilling 2022 line-up that promised a whole four hours worth of non Home and Away scripted television across the entire year, so fuck those guys.

But doesn’t Seven also have a surprisingly strong line-up on their secondary channels, by which we mean they actually create local programming for them? Good point mysterious stranger. Sadly, two of the series they’ve announced are by Paul “I’m cheap and I deliver” Fenech’s house of shouting:

Housos: The Thong Warrior
From the suburbs to the outback, the cast of Housos are back in a brand-new comedy. Franky is on a mission to stalk and thong slap all forms of authority, with Shazza in hot pursuit (Antichocko Productions).

Local Council
The new comedy from Pauly Fenech of Housos, Fat Pizza and Bogan Hunters fame is set in a dodgy council, with dodgy council workers, a dodgy mayor, dodgy developers and dodgy council officials (Antichocko Productions).

So expect more of exactly the same there, up to and possibly including footage he’s already used in previous series. On the upside, there’s also this:

Watch Dogs
A new comedy about two dysfunctional security officers trying to catch a serial offender who is attacking the locals in a beachside suburb (Oldboy Productions).

Well, maybe “upside” isn’t quite the right word, but you know… it could pan out. At least it’s a “new comedy”, and that’s probably the last time we’ll get to put those two words together because it’s time to check out the 2022 upfronts from Ten / Paramount+. Remember how just a few years ago they were all in on local comedy? Now they don’t even have the decency to let us know if Kinne‘s coming back.

As far as established shows go, both Have You Been Paying Attention? and The Cheap Seats have been renewed, so good news for us and people who think like us there. Even better news: the “axe has fallen” on Hughsey We Have a Problem, possibly because Hughsey himself is currently a bit of a problem. No word yet on How to Stay Married, but having seen the fairly final final episode we’re going to guess that’s because nobody in management remembers they made it.

In new programming, we can “look forward to”:

A local version of Would I Lie to You? with team captains Chris Taylor and Frank Woodley.

That sounds like it could possibly go either way so maybe it’s not oh wait we forgot to read the start of the sentence:

Chrissie Swan will host

Yeah, that’s not going to be great.

As for their secondary channels, the streaming only Paramount+ has a reasonable range of programming in 2022 unless you’re a fan of local comedy, in which case you’re, to quote the current Pope, “shit outta luck”.

Slightly more promising news is buried deep in the press release for 10 Shake – yes, an actual network – where the mission statement is “sitcoms, romcoms, stand-up comedy and everything in between” despite the fact that there is literally nothing in between those things. Anyway, we’re told they’re going to be showing:

a heap of Aussie stand up specials [that] will have grown-ups laughing like lunatics.

No idea whether these will be new specials or just more of those Just For Laughs repeats they’re constantly putting on after HYBPA?, but the whole “laughing like lunatics” has us wondering if it’s going to involve some fiendish scheme by The Joker.

Hey, at least that guy knows how to make people laugh.