We’ve been sent another press release!
ABC2 and The Comedy Channel on Foxtel have taken a bold step towards massively increasing the level of local content on Australian TV by screening The Roast News Update for two minutes each night, Monday to Friday, at 8:28pm on ABC2 and 6:28pm on The Comedy Channel.
Each episode of The Roast offers a highly condensed, satirical take on the day’s headlines, as interpreted by a young team of non-journalists. Director Nich Richardson calls the program “a less-farcical version of the regular nightly news, and one of Australian television’s few scripted comedies – other than Parliament Question Time”.
The press release goes on in this vein, adding the detail that the 50th episode of The Roast will air tomorrow night, so congratulations to them.
We’ve seen the odd episode of The Roast over the past few months and haven’t been that impressed. Imagine Good News World meets mainstream satirical stand-up meets an over-ambitious student revue and you’re kinda there. You may also remember Nich Richardson as the host of WTF! a daily two minute comedy show created by Chaser alumni Charles Firth which aired on GO! in 2010. Anyone who remembers WTF! will spot the similarities between the two shows.
Broadly speaking, we’re in favour of newcomers getting a chance to try out ideas and gain experience in a low key timeslot, on a low key channel – 8:28pm on ABC2 and 6:28pm on The Comedy Channel is certainly that. What’s disappointing is that The Roast seems to be a re-make of a not terribly good show. Yes, The Roast has more of a news and current affairs bent than WTF!, which focused more on celebrity, but the concept and execution are basically the same. Not that the concept for either show couldn’t work – the bigger problem here is the execution, i.e. the material, which needs to improve before this goes from being “that thing after Doctor Who” to “must watch”.