Continuing their fondness for squeezing in comedy shorts wherever they can, tonight on ABC2 we saw the debut of yet another… one of those things we just described, Kane & Disabled. Designed to tie-in with ABC2’s upcoming coverage of the paralympics, this “VHS Sports presentation” sees old school TV host – his first line is “women just aren’t funny” – Ernie Kane (Lawrence Mooney) hosting a talk show where he deals with paralympians. Hilarity ensues! Mother-in-law gags! Questions about what kind of disability the athlete has! Beating up on a person in a mascot costume! They’re cheap gags, but for the most part they work.
As we’ve said before about these kind of shows, being short – roughly four minutes – is a huge advantage. As an out-of-touch old fart Kane is a rock-solid comedy cliche, but that’s all you need here. Across the ten episodes the paralympians – whose acting ability varies, but are generally well up to the task – are there so Kane can make a dick of himself, and Mooney has no trouble whatsoever making his character work. Sam Pang as his hapless producer contains even less surprises but again, the more cliched the characters are the more room there is for jokes. Plus Tony Martin turns up in the final episode, returning us to the golden days of 2009 when no Australian comedy show was complete with a T. Martin cameo.
Fingers crossed that one day – maybe over summer even – ABC2 will put together a half hour show featuring this, Working dog’s Audrey’s Kitchen, Charles Firth’s The Roast, Beached Az clips, and whatever other short series they’ve commissioned over the last few years. As five minute gap-fillers these shows – all of which are at the very least watchable and in this case actually funny in parts – are all too easily missed.