Hey Hey it’s Saturday isn’t dead yet, but it’s sure coughing up blood (from The Age)
Having already come back from the dead once, Hey Hey It’s Saturday will go into suspended animation in a fortnight fervently hoping that no one accidentally flicks the switch while it’s off air.
Nine today confirmed that the July 21 episode of the variety show hosted by Daryl Somers will be the last for the first half of the year. Kylie Minogue will be the special musical guest on that episode, and is slated to perform a couple of songs with the full array of costumes and back-up dancers.
In the understatement of the year, we then get this:
The news is not unexpected.
As we’ve been banging on about for weeks, Hey Hey‘s ratings are in a death dive. And watching tonight’s episode, it’s clear that Daryl continues to refuse to make even the smallest changes to his proven dud formula. Which is pretty bizarre, because – unlike just about every other comedy show in this country, which gets chopped off at the knees the second there’s a dud week in the ratings without being given even the slightest warning or time to change course – Hey Hey could easily make quite substantial changes if it wanted to stay on air. It’s a live show done on a weekly basis after all, not a pre-recorded series with a load of episodes already in the tank: once the ratings started to slip, they could change pretty much everything if they wanted to try and lure people back.
But they haven’t changed a thing. It’s exactly the same show with exactly the same guests every single week, even as the ratings fall through the floor. Rumour has it that, inbetween last year’s specials and now, at least some of Hey Hey‘s production staff moved on and the ones there now simply aren’t able to stand up to Daryl. As as I’ve said here before, Daryl has Hey Hey just the way he likes it and he doesn’t give a shit what anyone else thinks. Remember all those promises Daryl made about “If we do come back there’ll be new people, new media, new segments but with the same Hey Hey flavour” and “It’s one of those shows that is always changing and morphing into something else.” 10 episodes in and BULLSHIT. BULL-FUCKING-FLAMING-SQUIRRELS-SHIT.
Show me the new segments – not moments, not jokes, not retreads of old ideas: NEW SEGEMENTS. Show me the new regular, high-profile, allowed to say two sentences in a row castmembers. Show me one single moment that doesn’t seem to be exhumed from the glory days of 1996. I’ll be out the back starting up the hearse.
Hey Hey‘s been frozen in ice like a Captain America made entirely out of turds since the early 90s, and defrosting it in 2009 only proved that some smells don’t fade with time. Why won’t they make changes to keep it on air if that’s what they want? Why doesn’t someone tell Daryl that his holding the hand of the Chooklotto girl is the most amazingly creepy thing shown on Australian television this year – yes, even worse than all those smug sweaty fat tools on The Gruen Transfer? Why doesn’t someone just say STOP instead of giving us vague “it’ll be back after the Commonwealth Games” lines? This is car crash television at its finest: Nine really should hire the voice-over guy from NZ TV’s classic Police Ten-Seven to voice the promos.