Looks like Mark Humphries is going to have more time to devote to his fortnightly satirical segment on 7:30…
CBS’ Network Ten has reportedly cancelled its daily gameshow Pointless…
Media commentator Peter Ford told a Hobart radio station that people involved with the show were told the program is finishing.
According to TV Black Box Ford said: “Yesterday people involved with the show were told that it’s finishing.”
Guess the sort of people who like shows like Pointless aren’t watching Ten. Or vice versa. Who knew?
[Or, in a shock twist since we published this blog, maybe Pointless isn’t being axed. Here’s Humphries’ tweet saying it’s still being made.]
Anyway, like we said, this is a great opportunity for Humphries’ 7:30 segments, co-written with Evan Williams, to get the kind of traction that their previous work on SBS’s The Feed managed to. Those Feed sketches used to be all over social media, almost difficult to avoid on social media. As did sketches from one-time 7:30 slot-holder, Clarke & Dawe. Clarke & Dawe even had their own YouTube channel, run by Clarke himself, where their weekly sketch notched up thousands of views.
Humphries and Williams’ 7:30 sketches, meanwhile, are harder to be aware of – and the fortnightly releases don’t really help. Neither does what actually gets released. Here’s their latest:
The latest independent candidate running in a blue-ribbon Liberal seat.pic.twitter.com/7SJDS4sg86
— Mark Humphries (@markhumphries) February 7, 2019
Did you spot all three ideas in that? They’re decent enough satirical points (we particularly liked the idea of a sitting Liberal MP literally being a negatively-geared lump of coal) but imagine a stand-up doing that same material. About how the Liberals might field an urn containing the ashes of Robert Menzies as their candidate, or how never having been a member of the Liberal party is a vote winner. It would take a stand-up maybe a minute or less to succinctly make those points – and pause for audience laughter. Humphries, meanwhile, spun those ideas for more than two minutes, spending a bunch of ABC time and money on Photoshopping a lump of coal into a seat in the House of Representatives in the process. Was it worth it?
Sammy J has a similar problem in his sketches, such as his latest where he does basically the same joke over and over again for more than three minutes.
Sure, Clarke & Dawe used to riff on a theme, but at least they teased it apart in ways you might not expect, and regularly landed some good satirical punches. With Humphries and Williams and Sammy J, though, it’s pretty surface level stuff. Sometimes, they barely progress beyond the level of noting that Peter Dutton looks a bit like a potato.