What the spill can tell us about satire

What an amazing night of politics that was! A divisive leader replaced, many too overjoyed to go to bed. But when they did they slept soundly, because they knew that everything would be fine from here on in and that this sort of thing will never, ever happen again.

[INSERT A LOUD RECORD SCRATCH HERE, AS WE REALISE WHAT UTTER NONENSE THOSE PREVIOUS TWO SENTENCES WERE]

Clearly there’s a lot of potential for robust, intelligent satire in this country. Any nation that has had five Prime Ministers in eight years is a joke, surely? But if last night’s events told us anything about comedy it’s that in the field of rapid reaction satirical memes and clickbait which “nail it”, Australia’s kicking about as many goals as, well, as any other nation. (No we don’t necessarily mean that as a compliment.)

From SBS Comedy:

Julia Gillard Rushed To Hospital After Overdosing On Schadenfreude.

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard is under observation at Royal Prince Philip hospital after overdosing on schadenfreude, the pleasure derived from witnessing someone else’s misfortune.

We can’t be bothered to quote the rest of that one. Like most articles on sites ripping off The Onion concept, this piece is only as funny as its headline. And even then, only just. Let’s see what Twitter had to say…

Twitter also gave us this:

And finally, let’s not forget those reminding us of some of their previous work via Facebook as part of a plan to relaunch themselves now they’ve been fired by Al Jazeera:

History repeats… live at Liberal Party HQ #libspill #auspol

Posted by A Rational Fear on Monday, 14 September 2015

Did any of the above “nail it” for you? They sure got shared a lot yesterday. And unlike that other recent attempt at satire, The Weekly, they were at least very topical.

We’ve said a lot about The Weekly over the past couple of months (why not read Part 1 and Part 2 of our end of series wrap-up) but it’s worth remembering that in 2015 a weekly satirical program has no option but to be better than every single meme, tweet and old clip that’s been put out in reaction to a news story and is spot-on-the-money right at that second.

If you’re only on once a week, your sketches need to be considered, well-researched, intelligent, as topical as they can be, and very, very funny. On TV it’s not good enough to take the same approach to comedy as the internet meme or clickbait generator, and rely on one joke in your piece of comedy to carry you through. The audience expects more from people on TV. The Weekly may have “nailed it” when it was cut up in to bits for social media, but on TV it was a total and utter #fail at satire.

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3 Comments

  • Urinal Cake says:

    Steve Price on the Project (yeah I know x2) pointed out that with Turnbull there’s be very little to lampoon. Which is true for the lesser but ‘right on’ talents. But Micallef and his writers will find a way.

  • EvilCommieDictator says:

    A merchant banker living the toff life in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney with a party behind him who hate his guts cause he’s not a god-bothering shitcunt?

    Yeah, I can’t see any funny material there.

  • Urinal Cake says:

    http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2015/sep/16/shaun-micallefs-new-comedy-dilemma-how-to-make-malcolm-turnbull-funny

    There’s only a handful of his party that hates him. I gather Bishop will get most of the venom. You could never really trust Turnbull but Bishop was supposed to be different. While he is rich, he is ‘self-made’and never really part of the ‘Establishment’. The man himself’s faults are that he is verbose and possibly thinks he is smarter than he is (but not by much). Maybe events will conspire against him.