A long time ago one of us read an article that revealed the secret behind stage hypnotism: it’s all fake. Basically, when a stage hypnotist brought someone up out of the audience they’d whisper to them “play along”, then do a whole bunch of hand-waving “hypnotism” that had the grand effect of bugger-all. But because they’d now been given a free pass to act like a dickhead – and didn’t want to be the chump who ruined the night – almost all the participants were happy to act out whatever silly commands they were given.
And that’s just about all the serious thought we’re willing to give the soggy shit-filled bog that was 80-odd minutes of You’re Back in the Room. Who cares if it’s real or not when the result is just a hellish death march slog towards a vision of entertainment that never actually gets any closer like some kind of mirage with the Channel Nine logo in the corner? Just segment after segment featuring the same four people lurching around on the stage pretending to be riding wild horses or staggering though a maze or shitting themselves uncontrollably… oh wait, that was just us daydreaming about a more entertaining way to spend our evening.
Has anyone ever created a game show where all the contestants were stinking drunk? If not, why not? Surely getting hammered out of your skull can’t be any more dangerous than having some sleazebag stranger use his mental powers to turn you into his unwilling zombie slave? At least then with Ahhh What Ya Fukkin’ Lookin’ At: The Great Piss-Up Challenge we’d know the on-stage idiots really were doing shit beyond their conscious command. Plus projectile vomiting, one-punch fights and loss of bladder control are all acceptable reactions to finding yourself sharing a stage with Daryl Somers.
Ah Daryl, AKA the only reason this show even counts as “comedy” because fuck knows his career for the last twenty years sure has been a Daryl “Snowtown” Barrel of laughs. Here’s a tip for next weeks episode, and don’t try to pretend you won’t be tuning in because it’s already the only hit show Nine’s had all year: get up real close and take a good look in Daryl’s eyes every time there’s a close up. See the despair? See the desperation? See the way his eyes dart around as if looking for a way to escape?
If nothing else – and it’s not like a show based entirely on “pretend your testicles are hand grenades and someone’s just pulled the pin” has anything else to offer a sentient lifeform – this has confirmed that Daryl Somers is a one trick pony. Unfortunately for him, the vet shot that pony a few years back when his Hey Hey it’s Saturday revival died in the arse. He just can’t do anything else but host that one particular show, and no-one wants to see him do that any more.
But hey, ratings win! Daryl’s back! Hey Hey is “still on the table“! God is dead! Satan is real!
HA HA I was hanging out for this review – you made me sweat for a couple of days there.
Four pissheads in sumo suits and medicos on standby – I’d tune in! Couldn’t be any more harmful than MMA.
The vibe I get is that the newer generation are weaning off ‘scripted’ comedy – Monty Python and Blackadder makes their eyes glaze over while they flick over to FailArmy to watch some guy cop a skateboard in the balls.
It could possibly explain why this heap of shit (and, to a very limited extent, TGYH) rates well.
Forced to watch. No, really. It got all Clockwork Orange up in my house.
What I found saddest of all was the desperation with which Darrel would be shoved gracelessly into events. Oh, is the camera zooming in on the guy pretending to gag? Well suddenly Daryl has inserted himself into the shot, pretending to look surprised like this was never explained to him in rehearsal. Madam, you’ve now been hypnotised to love Daryl (presumably neurologically reprogramming people is the only way to get them past their instinctual revulsion), so now Daryl is going to stand on the stage like a lump aping flattery.
Let’s face it – shoddy hypnotism shows have had a basic structure for their whole lifespan: sparkly-suited sleazebag slinks across the stage giving creepy suggestions to strangers who act like buffoons until someone grabs something inappropriate. The hypnotist tells us what’s going to happen; he chaperones it as it’s happening; it ends and everyone acts surprised as it happened. Its as rote and familiar as it gets.
If there’s one thing that a well oiled (and thoroughly mediocre) engine like that doesn’t need, it’s Daryl fucking Somers.
I mean, once you’ve got the flouncy weirdo with the eyebrows pushed aside, and the people acting ‘zany’ are being forced to bounce off a charisma vacuum like Daryl, there’s nothing left to give the thing any kind of propulsion except the ‘challenges’. And ‘paint a picture that represents a fish?’ Fuck me.
But maybe there is a more ingenious long game in this program for the Nine execs… Maybe the final episode they film will just be Daryl Somers, strapped to a chair, on the stage alone, the hypnotist giving him the full dose of mind control:
‘Look into my eyes and repeat after me, Daryl: “No one wants to watch fucking Hey Hey it’s Saturday ever, ever again…”‘