The Future Of Australian Comedy Is Here At Last

We may have been a bit hard on the ABC of late, what with all that pointing out that their current Wednesday night “comedy” line-up is not only a bit shit but currently rating like people have realised it’s actually a bit shit. Don’t worry though, we’ve just been forwarded a press release letting us know that when the current drek winds up it’s all clear sailing ahead:




Myf Warhurst (Spicks and Specks) returns to ABC1 on Wednesday June 13 at 8pm, with her own six-part series Myf Warhurst’s Nice. The series will take viewers on a cultural crusade to explore some of Myf’s favourite things from her youth in music, food, fashion, photography, art and design.

The series embraces cultural icons of the past and takes a closer look at what surrounds us – the stuff you’d find in your own living room rather than in a gallery or museum.  It’s a celebration of all the things that are just, well… ‘nice’.

Like all of us, the fabric of Myf’s youth has gone on to shape her tastes today.  Over six themed episodes, Myf will explore everything from the awkward family portrait to the humble dim sim, to questionable fashion choices and an unhealthy obsession with cheesy love duets.

Along the way, Myf meets some familiar faces including; one of her personal heroes Kenny Rogers; TV Chef Peter Russel-Clarke; food journalist Matt Preston; Chicko Roll poster girl Danielle Scandrett; portrait photographer Douglas Kirkland; iconic artist Ken Done; art aficionado Steve Vizard; Myf’s perm idol Craig McLachlan; artist and designer Jenny Kee; celebrity hairdresser Edward Beale; the face (and voice) of Copperart Pete Smith and host of the UK TV series ‘Bargain Hunt’ Tim Wonnacott, plus many more.

Here’s a sneak peek at what happens when Myf gets to live out a dream 25 years in the making – to sing a love duet with Wa Wa Nee’s Paul Gray

Myf Warhurst’s Nice is a That’s Nice Productions/ABCTV co-production. ABC TV Executive Producer: Kath Earle; Director: Aaron Smith; Series Producer: Susie Jones.

6 x 30min.

Just when you thought dragging out bland relationship chit-chat over twelve half hour episodes was taking the piss, we’re now being promised an entire half hour on dim sims. Oh and Steve Vizard talking about art. What, Richard Fidler wasn’t available to talk about sand castles? Austen Tayshus didn’t feel like discussing cowboy boots?

While you’re here, click on that link in the press release. Don’t worry, we’ll wait for you to get back… okay, while it’s fresh in your memory – what exactly was the point of all that? It’s basically a straight, not-all-that-good duet between Myf and some guy almost no-one remembers. Presumably the idea is that we’ll be super happy and excited for Myf as she gets to sing with one of her heroes, but for that to work we have to be so amazingly focused on how awesomely great Myf is that we simply don’t give a shit that what we’re actually seeing contains no real entertainment value whatsoever.

It’s more than a little unfair to be discussing a show we haven’t even seen yet, but bugger it: whatever Myf’s charms this simply doesn’t look like prime time material. We know this because NOTHING the ABC has screened on Wednesday nights this year – with the possible exceptions of half of In Gordon Street Tonight and Woodley and maybe a third of Outland – has been prime-time material. Their 2012 comedy output to date has consisted entirely of crap that should have either been put on Sunday afternoons or shunted over to ABC2. Or better yet, not given the green light in the first place: who the holy heck thought another series of Laid was a good idea?


We interrupt this rant for a quick look at last night’s ratings:

It wasn’t a good night for ABC1 despite starting out well with ABC News (951,000), then 7:30 (687,000), Wild Life at the Zoo (538,000), Randling (491,000), Agony Aunts (332,000) and Laid letting down the team on just 262,000.

That sound you hear is the world’s biggest toilet flushing just for the ABC. Randling has lost almost half its’ audience in three weeks; Laid has performed about as poorly. Even Agony Aunts has shed a hundred thousand viewers in a week. If this was happening on any other network, we’d be seeing a very rapid return indeed to the Wednesday Night Movie. Or just a whole lot of static.

The fact that the next big line-up change to the current crop of ripe turds is a show seemingly built around the concept of a likable television personality wandering around an op shop for six weeks shows just how adrift from the concept of actual “comedy” the ABC currently is. Not only are these shows deliberately aimed at no-one who actually watches television, it was obvious from the outset that the only way this story could end was in headlines like DENTON SPELLS RATINGS DISASTER; ONCE POPULAR HOST DEAD IN DITCH. Randling, let us remind you, was promoted as a “word-based gameshow”. A phrase that conspicuously fails to contain a single synonym for “entertaining”.

There’s meant to be better stuff in the pipe – well, The Chaser are coming back – and maybe Offspring on Ten is luring away some traditional ABC comedy viewers. Big hairy deal: through sheer incompetence the ABC has pissed away whatever value their Wednesday night line-up may have had in terms of audience loyalty. At this stage you’d expect someone to get the sack for such a consistent string of foul-ups and blunders; give it another week and we’ll start demanding it.

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  • EvilCommieDictator says:

    /oh you
    ” art aficionado Steve Vizard ”
    Why is Pete doing anything? I’ve acutally (accidentally) heard Myf on JJJ, back in the day, and it’s a wonder that she’s got anywhere at all. Although, talking to Mr. Vizard about art, well, why not talk to Agro about the works of impressionist paintings? And to Humphrey B Bear about great speeches of the 21st century?

  • EvilCommieDictator says:

    And if you forgot Vizard’s contribution to Art:

  • Billy C says:

    I think this will probably be one of the most pointless series every made but Vizard was the President of the Council of Trustees of the National Gallery of Victoria. The Vizard Collection is also at the potter museum at Melbourne Uni. So he was involved in the art world for a long time. The fact that they chose him rather than an art expert speaks volumes of the frivolous nature of the show. I don’t imagine it’s supposed to a comedy but I don’t know what it’s supposed to be. The self indulgent film clip is not much of a teaser.
    I don’t know what Richard Fidlers contribution to the world of sand sculpting is so I can’t comment on that.

  • Daniel G says:

    After his guest spot on The Joy of Sets, Pete Smith is the only person I’m looking forward to seeing here… unless he’s talking ONLY about Copperart.