A Long Time Coming

Not a press release because we didn’t get one but close enough!

It takes a lot for a talking dishwashing machine to exist as the least absurd element of a sketch comedy series. But if any comedy group can manage that feat, it’s Australian trio Mark Samual Bonanno, Broden Kelly, and Zachary Ruane, better known within the comedy circuit as Aunty Donna. Since forming in 2011, the group has built a following that began in the comedy festival circuit and parlayed their popularity into an album, a podcast, and multiple web series. Now, they’re packing everything they own and moving into a Big Ol’ House Of Fun. Fortunately for them, Netflix is footing the bill.

Aunty Donna will star in a new sketch comedy show for the streaming giant. In the six-part series Mark, Broden, and Zachary are roommates who are perfectly willing to share their living space with the viewing audience, for better or worse. According to Netflix’s official synopsis, Aunty Donna will “take viewers along for an absurdist adventure through their everyday lives. Come on inside if you’re prepared to handle satire, parody, clever wordplay, breakout musical numbers, and much more.” In this case, “much more” can include just about anything from a hunt for buried treasure to “Weird Al” Yankovic.

On the one hand, hurrah! We’ve been fans of Aunty Donna for years, and the trio getting their own series is long overdue. This’ll be one of the Australian comedy highlights of the year, sign up to Netflix if you haven’t already, finally a reason to go on with our lives, and so on.

On the other hand, Netflix? What exactly does it say about the state of Australian comedy that Aunty Donna – easily the most consistently impressive Australian comedy team of the last few years and probably even before that – has to go overseas to get a show? Not that they shouldn’t strut the world stage, or that they’re not clearly world-class, but Australian networks should have been queuing up to throw cash / timeslots at them long before it ever came to this.

Faux shock aside, we know exactly – well, we can at least make a good guess – why and how it’s come to this. For one thing, Aunty Donna are funny, which rules out a surprisingly large amount of Australian comedy options. For another, they’re not ABC funny, which is to say they’re kind of weird but the ABC hasn’t been in that market since Sam Simmons. Throw in the fact that nobody has any money for local comedy and the funniest people currently working on TV all have careers that date back to the previous century and…

Hey, let’s focus on the upside here: a new Aunty Donna TV series! It’s about damn time.

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