The funny side of the Logies

When you look at who and what won Logies this year, it says a lot about the state of TV comedy in this country. Comedy is there to sweeten the pill. The pill, in the case of the Logies, being hours and hours and hours and hours of industry backslapping, product promotion and…well, that’s all it is really. There used to be a third element – selling more copies of TV Week – but no one buys magazines anymore, so maybe it’s about selling any copies of TV Week? Frankly, it’s a bit of a surprise that TV Week is still published at all!

Logie awards 2018

But, if you were sensible enough to sit through less of this year’s Logies presentation than we did, here are some of the things you missed…

Dave Hughes opened the show with some stand-up. He gave Barnaby Joyce a bit of a spray, and later did some material about Don Burke. Then realising he was slagging off someone famous on national TV and hastily back-tracked and said how much he loved Don Burke. Then he realised that was an even worse look and retracted that. Wow, that never slagging off other people in the industry thing is really hardwired in celebrities. Even comedians, who shouldn’t really be worrying about that kind of thing at all!

There was some kind of dance routine involving Julia Morris, but we couldn’t find any footage of that online so you’ll just have to imagine it.

Also, Bert Newton turned up and did his thing…

…and Shaun Micallef gave us a song. Sort of.

And the voiceover man…was Tony Martin!

…Which was an interesting way to keep people entertained between lots and lots of boring awards, but not one that everyone seemed to understand or like, especially BuzzFeed Australia.

To be fair to BuzzFeed, we’re not entirely sure Tony Martin’s voiceover comedy worked 100% of the time; in some circumstances, getting a straight voiceover artist to do it straight might have worked better than a bunch of references to obscure pop culture. But having said that, we’re coming at this as people who’ve been listening to Tony Martin doing comedy voiceovers for more than 30 years, which meant that it all sounded like comedy to us – even the straight bits.

Still, nice to see Tony, as Richard Wilkins put it later, “join the Logies family”. (Clearly, he’s forgotten about the various times Tony Martin’s reminded the world that he used to be Richard Wilde.) And it was impossible not to enjoy Tony’s sign-off and salute to Pete Smith at the end of the show. (P.S. Nice suit, Tone.)

But back to the awards. Here are the people from comedy who won something:

Most Popular New Talent – Dilruk Jayasinha

Most Popular Comedy Program – Have You Been Paying Attention?

Most Outstanding Factual or Documentary Program – The War on Waste

Most Popular Entertainment Program – Gogglebox Australia

…all of which are fair enough wins in categories that, as we’ve argued before, aren’t great for comedy. Especially comedy programs that aren’t on a commercial channel. Which let’s face it, is most comedy programs made in this country.

Oh, and Tom Gleeson’s #Denyer4Gold campaign, which started on last week’s episode of The Weekly, seems to have worked, in that Grant Denyer (whose axed show Family Feud was up against Hard Quiz in the Most Popular Entertainment Program category) won the Gold Logie and a Logie for Most Popular Presenter.

Massive congratulations to Tom Gleeson on his big achievement. He can put that alongside the Australian Fast Bowler and being the third funniest cast member on The Weekly in his list of achievements.

As for comedy and the Logies, this was no 2001 Micallef-hosted laugh spectacular, but it was better than we’ve seen in recent years. And that’s probably the best you can expect from the Logies in 2018.

While we’re here, it always fascinates us who from the old guard of TV personalities turns up at these things and who doesn’t. Bert Newton is a given, and will presumably continue to appear at the Logies for as long as he’s able, but there’s been one notable multi-Logie-winner who’s been absent for some years and that’s Daryl Somers. Does he no longer see any reason to appear now that he doesn’t have a reason to pull a shocked face?

Or is even Daryl self-aware enough to know that in the era of #MeToo and woke people checking their privilege, no one wants to see the guy who famously kept his female co-stars down and brought back blackface?

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