“Hello and welcome to The Weekly – like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or correspond with us by fax, we’re not really that picky”. Has there ever been a more dispiriting introduction to an Australian comedy show? Even Please Like Me gave you the option of reading the title ironically: this is just flat-out begging for social media stats.
Anyway, the big excitement around this week’s episode of The Weekly didn’t come until the end and no, we don’t mean Charlie Pickering saying “Aw, thank you, thank you all, thank you all so much” as the crowd cheered under the end credits because really, if he hadn’t done such a top-notch job of bringing to life the character of “smug prick” in the proceeding 29 minutes and fifty seconds this really would have sealed the deal. Yeah, they’re applauding because they love you, Pickering, they really really do.
No, it came just before that with the line “We got Briggsy next week”. Briggsy? Ok yeah sure whatever: maybe supposed series regular Briggs will make his second appearance this year in episode six, which suggests that actually announcing him as a series regular and adding his face to the opening credits may have been somewhat premature. And still that’s a pretty big maybe, considering the last time his return was announced he did in fact show no signs of returning whatsoever.
But Briggsy? Does anyone who has seen the two of them working together (remember, your only chance this year was five weeks ago) really think that Charlie Pickering has ever called Briggs “Briggsy” to his face? The on-air warmth between the two could have kept cool your average refrigerated truck; pet names and diminutives seem a little way off just yet.
And yet, thinking about this further, maybe we’re being too harsh. Because the Pickering we see on television does occasionally seem like a guy who’d call a work subordinate by a vaguely condescending nickname, perhaps while wearing a “what’re you doing to do about it?” smirk. And while we know absolutely nothing as to why Briggs hasn’t been on the show for weeks, we do know that if there was a way we could avoid working for a guy like that you wouldn’t see us for dust.
Didn’t an interview with Matt Stone and Trey Parker go astray too? He promised on the wrap up that it would be on next week, then zilch?
So go with me here: maybe this is all a bit? Maybe Pickering is working the long game for some real experimental comedy…
Could we be watching a season-long Waiting for Godot riff play out? Biggsy is coming. He will come. Next week. Believe it. And we will wait, and watch, and long for death. And tomorrow, when we wake, or think we do, what shall we say of today?
That, or maybe with Stone and Parker missing, and Biggsy gone, it’s all about appreciating absence.
It’s like jazz: it’s the comedy he’s NOT producing that makes it funny.
I mean, it must be, because the rest of it is shit.