We don’t usually bother with The Last Leg, as despite the all-Aussie host – that’d be Adam Hills – it’s a UK show and as such outside our sphere of interest. But recently someone pointed this out to us:
Sure, Hills makes a very good point, but… is anyone else just a little creeped out by how forcefully he makes it? Some might say he’s passionate; we’re slightly more inclined to say he looks like a bit of a nutter.
Of course, this is hardly the first time Hills has made a name for himself by ranting. Typing “adam hills rant” into YouTube provides all manner of opportunities to see the one-time charming host shouting down the camera like a guy you’d hurriedly flee from in the street. Because that’s the thing about these rants: unlike most comedy sprays – and Hills is neither the first nor the best to come up with the idea of flying off the handle – Hills leaves out the part where we get the impression he’s joking.
But what are we complaining about? For years we’ve been saying that Hills is too bland for his own good, a likable host with the rough edges so forcefully sanded off he’s basically spherical. Surely the fact that he’s finally showing some bite – even if he had to go to the UK to do it – is good news both for him and for comedy in general?
Perhaps. But in our cynical, somewhat unpleasant minds another picture is forming. See, we’re starting to think the loveable Hills we were getting for all those years on Australian television was the act, and the shouty angry guy who seems just a little too scary for comfort is the real deal. Free from the confines of being the safe pair of hands on Spicks and Specks, it might just be that he’s letting the mask slip to show a guy we’re kind of glad is currently half a world away.
Remember Die on Your Feet, Greg Fleet’s sitcom about a bunch of comedians struggling with various comedian stuff? Oh right, it was buried on one of Ten’s digital channels and no-one saw it. But if you had, you would have seen Adam Hills playing someone very different from his Spicks and Specks persona: he was dark, he was mean, he acted like an arsehole most of the time and one episode ended with him seriously contemplating killing himself. At the time it was sold to viewers as a very different look at the much-loved TV host, with him playing a character 180 degrees from what audiences expected from him.
Not any more.