“Yes,” said one of the contestants on the final (ever?) You’re Back in the Room, “hypnosis is real”. Well that’s just awesome news, isn’t it? There are people walking around out there with the power to make anyone into their unwilling zombie slaves and there’s absolutely nothing the rest of us can do to stop them. The only thing that’s worse? They’re working with Daryl Somers.
C’mon, we all know how this is going to play out: Daryl – with the help of his hypno-buddy – is going to saunter into the Nine board room and before anyone there can say “sorry, the auditions for Human Toilet 2016 are next door” ZAP and they’re all in a trance. And with our nation’s top commercial broadcaster now in the hands of the man who laughed at Dickie Knee for over two decades, who knows what atrocities will follow?
Obviously he’s not going to try and bring back Hey Hey It’s Saturday; nobody alive is that deranged. It’s a show that was past its use-by date five years before it was axed; the rapid failure of the 2010 revival only underlined that. And yet You’re Back in the Room did manage to suggest a way forward for Daryl if only he had the strength of will and the passion to see it through.
Make no mistake here: You’re Back in the Room was total widescreen rubbish. If we wanted to watch an hour of people acting like dickheads frantically trying to complete meaningless chores, we’d watch a cooking show. But if it was a short segment on a variety show… well, it’d still be rubbish, but it’d be fast-moving, done-in-one rubbish. And who knows? Seeing Daryl doing his Igor act with clay smeared over his face might actually be funny when it’s not in the middle of a full hour of the same kind of crap.
Much as it pains us to admit it, Daryl is one of the few hosts currently working on Australian television who could front a variety show. We’d much rather see someone good in the role, but with Australian television in the state it’s in any variety show hosted by an unknown is almost certainly doomed. Daryl has a fanbase, Daryl has experience, Daryl is a promise of a certain kind of television experience that some people want to have. There just isn’t enough of them to bring Hey Hey back.
A tight one-hour variety show – it’d basically be a tonight show, only on earlier in the night – fronted by Daryl is the kind of thing that might work. Interviews, dumb stunts, maybe a live band, stand-ups telling jokes: it couldn’t do worse than anything else comedy-shaped the commercial networks have tried in the last decade. Hypnotism? Why not. Variety’s the spice of life.
But this, of course, would require Daryl to fucking give the fuck up on his fucking insane desire to reanimate the utterly fucked corpse of that fucking shit show Hey Hey Get The Fuck Off. And not even the full force of stage hypnotism – which, let us remind you, is really really real and in no way made up bullshit – could bring about that much of a shift in Daryl’s thought processes.
Hey Hey is a terrible format and why Daryl remains committed to it is a legitimate mystery of modern medical science. His devotion to it remains the single biggest obstacle to him having any kind of serious career on Australian television. It’s not coming back, and while he remains somehow convinced it will he’s unable to play any kind of serious, long-term role as a presenter or host.
Actually, we don’t have a problem with that.