The Weekly is a Long Time in Comedy

Watching Australian television comedy is a thankless task, or it would be if there was any fucking Australian television comedy to watch. Aside from two minutes of Clarke & Dawe actually being funny, what is there? Remember when performing stand-up was a path to getting on television? Seems it still is, only the “path” is now just “let’s just film your stand-up show”.

“But what about The Weekly,” some random idiot just shouted from a speeding car, “that’s the ABC’s comedy flagship, isn’t it?” Newsflash: if that’s the flagship, then the fleet has sunk with all hands then sharks ate the survivors, because… okay, yes, we watched it again this week and so here goes:

Briggswatch! No sign of him. He’s basically left the show. Wonder what happened there.

Tom Gleeson: still on, still not funny. Hard Chat? More like Fresh Scat. Consider that our application to The Weekly‘s writer’s room. More like bathroom!

Kitty Flanagan: she’s back! We’re not sure whether to applaud her efforts to make this show watchable or decry her as a willing member of a brutal regime.

Everything else: Jesus Christ, this is depressing. Even with a third of the show taken up with interviews and Flanagan presumably off doing her own thing, how hard is it to come up with ten minutes of news-based comedy a week? Oh wait, considering how much of this show is nothing more than showing news clips while Pickering explains the context, we’re probably looking at closer to five minutes of actual comedy required each week. So with ten or so listed writers each week, that’s thirty seconds of comedy per writer. This show is ten writers each giving us the funniest thirty seconds of comedy they can muster. Really makes you think. Mostly about Centerlink.

C’mon people, are we going to have to start covering The Feed? The Project? That one time they put on a comedy segment on 7.30? The whole idea behind news comedy is that you make comedy out of the news, not report the news in a sarcastic voice.

A recent article in the Fairfax press claimed:

all jokes aside, comedy at the moment has a very powerful role as a filter for the constant onslaught of outrage perpetrated through social and traditional media across both sides of the political spectrum. Is comedy more important than ever?

Geez, how we laughed. Seriously, just look at the amount of comedy out there on our television screens: “fuck-all” barely begins to describe it. While it might seem exciting for those working in the media to claim a new relevancy thanks to a few people overseas cracking jokes about their shithouse leaders, in Australia the only way comedy could be less important would be if they figured out a way to bring Daryl Somers back.

Week in week out The Weekly – currently, let us remind you, the national broadcaster’s ONLY locally-made stand-alone comedy program – goes out of its way to prove comedy is totally irrelevant to Australian society. Breathtakingly superficial on every level, hosted by a spiv you wouldn’t let in the door if he was carrying a giant novelty check worth $80 grand, firmly committed to stirring up zero outrage about any issue unless social media – SOCIAL MEDIA FOR FUCK’S SAKE – has pre-approved it, and most importantly of all utterly unfunny, The Weekly is a weekly rebuttal to the idea that comedy deserves any place in society whatsoever.

Good thing the only thing anyone cares about in this godforsaken country is sport, right?

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