Hard Cheese

Remember this?

Turns out it was all a “joke” to promote his run for a Gold Logie:

It’s difficult to know what to think about this oh wait no it’s not; there’s a reason why “game show host” is not generally considered a term of approval and Gleeson is doing his level best to make sure it stays that way.

Even we thought the way this was announced was kind of strange, and you’d think we’d be cock-a-hoop at the news that Gleeson had somehow been reduced to only having one show on the ABC each year like everyone else (on the ABC). Other media sources were even more suspicious:

The ABC however has issued a statement saying: “Tom’s statement that he has sacked himself from Hard Quiz is news to us, particularly as we have 10 new episodes airing later this year. Sounds like Tom needs to have a good old HARD chat with himself.”

And now, barely 48 hours later, whatever the fuck this was is over. We’d go on further about how this is kind of a dick move but hark – we can hear the Gleeson fanbase yelling “it’s just a joke” like that makes him some kind of promotional genius.

The thing with this kind of joke is, it’s only “funny” if it’s at someone’s expense. From a better comedian this kind of stunt would be designed to make themselves the butt of the joke, but strangely for someone whose act is based around being a prick, Gleeson’s jokes are almost never on him. He’s basically doing Red Symonds’ old act, only where Red was a prick who could back it up because he actually knew what he was talking about, Gleeson can back it up because he’s friends with Charlie Pickering.

Instead, the joke here is on anyone who took his initial announcement seriously; it’s basically a high profile version of “sucked in bad”.  The people he’s making fun of are the people stupid enough to feel anything about the “news” that Hard Quiz was axed.  Ha ha, you were stupid enough to believe anything Tom Gleeson said. You must feel like a complete fucking idiot.

Every now and again a fan of Hard Quiz asks us why we seem convinced that Gleeson’s “I’m a prick” persona is one that comes remarkably naturally to him. “It’s just an act to spice up the quiz show,” they say, “it’s all good television”.

Here’s why: this is a guy who decided to promote his efforts to win an award by playing a prank on the people who watch his show. This mean-spirited, “ha ha you care” joke is on anyone who cares enough about Hard Quiz to feel sad that it’s been cancelled – you know, Gleeson’s fans. He’s laughing at you. Which is pretty much the opposite of how comedy is meant to work.

And guess what? Unless you – the fans, the people he treats like shit both on the show and now in real life – give him a Gold Logie, then he’s not bringing Hard Quiz back*.

That just made filling out our Logies ballot a fuckload easier.

*of course Hard Quiz is coming back – he’s just making the same shitty joke twice.

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  • yep says:

    A “joke” like this can be told two ways.

    The first is to write something like: “Apparently you can only win a Gold Logie if you don’t have a show. So I’d like to announce that I am cancelling Hard Quiz. You know. Until about five minutes after the ceremony. [VOTING INFORMATION IS ATTACHED]”

    It’s a cheesy way to pose it, but the reader is in on the gag, knows that you are just playfully being a dick, and that nothing is actually ever being threatened.

    The other way to do it is to divide the “joke” into two parts. Part one involves putting out a “threat” into the atmosphere without context, actually hoping that it gets picked up by news outlets, worried over by fans, speculated about in gossip circles. Then, a few days later, part two has you give away the punchline.

    Ha, ha. Anyone who was worried about what I said is just dumb.

    In the first example, you’re just pretending to be a preening diva; but in the second you are actually being one. You’re hoping to get talked about, fussed over. You want the “laughs” to come not just from the premise, but from the relief that you weren’t serious. It’s not funny; it’s genuinely pathetic.

    And in many ways it’s a perfect encapsulation of why Gleeson is such a terrible cringe comic in general – despite his whole act being geared around the false claim that he’s some great exemplar of the form.

    He doesn’t actually know who his targets are, and he has always been too egotistical to aim for the real laugh.

  • Snrub says:

    I wonder if he let the crew – who were planning to have work later in the year – in on the “gag” before announcing the show is axed. I suspect not.