Puppetry of the Meanest

Press release time!

Comedy Duo Sammy J and Randy

Run Rampant in Ricketts Lane!


ABC TV is pleased to announce that filming is underway in Melbourne on the six-part narrative comedy series Sammy J and Randy in Ricketts Lane, written by and starring the Barry award-winning musical comedy duo Sammy J and Randy.  With their unique brand of comedy, music and puppetry Sammy J and Randy have played to sellout audiences across Australia and overseas.

Sammy J (Wednesday Night Fever) is an obsessive, socially inept and altogether hopeless junior lawyer scrambling to hold onto his last ounce of dignity while clinging to the bottom rung of the corporate ladder.  Meanwhile his slovenly housemate Randy has seen the world from all angles.  He’s an opinionated, unemployed opportunist, desperately trying to win back the affections of his glamorous ex-wife.

Oh, and Randy is also a purple puppet.

While they’re loyal, eccentric and prone to burst into hilarious song at any given moment, tensions between the man and puppet will soon rise.

Supporting Sammy J and Randy in their first television series is a terrific cast of established and up-and- coming acting and comedic talent including; Nathan Lovejoy (This is Littleton, At Home with Julia), Georgia Chara (Wentworth, Home and Away) and Samantha Healy (Mrs Biggs, McLeod’s Daughters).  Some familiar faces will also be tripping through Ricketts Lane including Genevieve Morris, Wilbur Wilde and Anne Phelan, while top comedy director Jonathan Brough (It’s a Date series 1 & 2) is helming the series.

Sticky Pictures Producer Donna Andrews says “I’m thrilled to be kicking off production on Sammy J and Randy in Ricketts Lane.  The series is a brilliant comedy, a daring musical, a groundbreaking concept and it has a puppet in it.  Honestly, there is nothing like it!”

ABC TV Head of Comedy Rick Kalowski says “I have no idea how this got commissioned, but rest assured we’re looking into it.”

Sammy J and Randy in Ricketts Lane will be filmed on location over the next five weeks and will air on ABC in 2015.

Usually at this point we’d point out that Rick Kalowski was head writer and producer on Wednesday Night Fever, the recent and ill-fated sack of crap that Sammy J hosted. Which makes that joke of his about not knowing how it got commissioned somewhat ironic.

But for once we’re going to lay off the snark. Sammy J and Randy have been the best thing in bad shows for a long time now (what with Wednesday Night Fever and GNW, they deserve some kind of medal), and it’s good to see them finally getting a solo project. We’re going to officially file this one under “highly anticipated”.

… though when your sitcom sounds a lot like a lot of other recent sitcoms – swap out “musical numbers” for “silent comedy” and the quirky suburban setting does sound a touch like Woodley (whatever happened to sitcoms having actual situations?) – then “groundbreaking concept” is a phrase best left on the shelf. Dammit, that snark just keeps creeping back in…

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  • EvilCommieDictator says:

    Sammy J (Wednesday Night Fever) is an obsessive, socially inept and altogether hopeless junior lawyer scrambling to hold onto his last ounce of dignity while clinging to the bottom rung of the corporate ladder.

    Yeah, good work ABC, I’m sure the common man can relate to the inner-city subsidising white upper-middle class upbringing! Bring on Please Like me 6: Miami Beach and Laid 7: Mission to Moscow

  • 13 schoolyards says:

    Good point, though presumably all that is code for “generic office job where he gets treated like shit”.

  • Urinal Cake says:

    Sounds a bit like FoC, sounds a bit like Wilfred, sounds a bit like ‘Peep Show’. It might be okay.

    Looking at Sammy J’s bio apart from Humphries and Micallef maybe the problem with Australian comedy seems to be hotbed of failed/disgruntled lawyers.

  • 13 schoolyards says:

    The thing with disgruntled lawyers is, they usually come from backgrounds where they have the resources to take a couple years off to try something stupid – well-off parents pushing their kids to have a “fallback” career in law in case the comedy thing doesn’t work out. There’s a lot of disgruntled retail staff out there, but they can’t afford to risk a few years of no money trying to get laughs.

    Which also explains why so much of the TV comedy we do get is aimed at a fairly narrow middle-class demographic.

  • Urinal Cake says:

    That’s true but it seems more of a phenomenon here than in other, similar countries. The ex-lawyers do tv (mainly ABC), while the rest do radio and/or stand up.

  • BIlly C says:

    I’ve never seen a Sammy J and Randy show before but I did see The Forest of Dreams and it was brilliant. I’d seen Sammy J a few times doing spots and thought he was okay but not really my sort of thing but that show was really magnificent. He deserves a shot and it’s a narrative show adapted from live work so it’s had a lot of it’s development worked out on stage. Will it work? Who knows but at least it’s a comic doing their own work, not forced into a panel format.