Wacky foodstuffs? “Sports” that involve sneaking up behind people as they walk down the street? It must be the latest Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year! Or any of the previous ones, it’s not like anyone can tell the difference any more.
“C’mon grumbleweeds,” says a totally fictitious person gleefully resurrecting a pun we first heard in 2008, “the loveable comedy duo are totally up to something different this time around! For starters, it’s called Hamish & Andy’s South American Gap Year! Because they’re in South America! And they’re wearing tuxedo tracksuits. Oh wait, they always do that. Yeah, I got nothing.”
We’ve said it before because there’s really nothing else to say about Australia’s top comedy duo: they’re repeating themselves in an amazingly sustained way. You’d think they were grizzled old vets the way they refuse to take even the tiniest step outside of their pre-defined limitations with each and every Gap Year… and considering they’ve been doing extremely well for themselves for the best part of a decade, maybe we really should be looking at them as grizzled vets entitled to rest on their laurels. They’ve lasted this long; if it ain’t broke, they sure ain’t broke either.
And it’s not like they haven’t tried to do things differently on occasion. The very first Gap Year, let’s not forget, was basically a tonight show complete with desk and guests; it wasn’t until that tanked that Hamish and Andy returned to the formula of wandering around some strange place making dicks of themselves that had served them so well back on Channel Ten.
Plus Gap Year is only six weeks out of the year in 2014. That leaves forty-eight weeks for them to experiment with pushing the boundaries of comedy, taking advantage of their massive fan base to try new things and… oh right, they just do radio one day a week and it’s basically exactly the same as everything else they’ve been doing since 2009. Great.
This is the point where usually we’d say something like “there’s no doubt that this formula works”, but does it? Even if this series of Gap Year rates as well as all the rest, eventually there has to come a point where doing the exact same shit in a different location fizzles out. If nothing else, they’re running out of continents to piss-fart about on. If another nothing else, they aren’t getting younger: their current act only works if they’re two young guys playing pranks on each other, and the “young guys” part of the deal isn’t something they can hang on to forever.
Their career seems to have taken them from fresh-faced up-and-comers to tired old professionals without ever getting to the part where they do any classic, memorable work. Gap Year increasingly feels like a retirement lap for Hamish and Andy, the thing they do before they stop doing what it is they do. They’ve been doing it for so long that it just doesn’t seem all that likely Australia will be interested in them doing anything outside of it*.
Maybe they’ll just keep on finding different parts of the globe where they can cook lasagne inside a volcano, and eat worms, and strap fireworks to their heads, and play fake sports that involve them creeping up behind people walking down the street. Maybe they’ll never settle down, or grow old, or die. Maybe they’ll do something really funny.
We’re not holding our breath.
*Not that they even seem to do anything outside of Gap Year these days. Remember when Hamish used to turn up on panel shows and the occasional movie? Remember when Andy had that famous girlfriend? Remember when Ryan Shelton had a solo career?