We’ll Sell You the Whole Seat But You’ll Only Use the Funny Bit

The Cheap Seats is back for 2024, and if you were ever looking for a textbook example of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, it’s your lucky day. And has been since 2021, if we’re being honest.

As this is currently one of our favourite Australian comedy shows, we’d love to have a lot to say about it. But as it’s also a well-oiled comedy machine where those involved know exactly what they’re doing, we’re coming up short.

One thing that did stick out about the first episode back? Just how much time and effort goes into a show that looks so, uh, cheap. Not only were there a huge amount of news clips being churned through at a rapid rate, a hefty slice of them were from overseas outlets. Sure, after four years they know where to look. But even so, once you start looking globally for clips of newsreaders impersonating seagulls, your job gets a whole lot bigger.

Hosts Tim McDonald and Melanie Bracewell remain great: no notes. The duo continue to be slightly dorky while also being extremely quick when it comes to cheap gags. If the clips are 60% of the show’s success, they’re another 60% on top of that.

The days Bracewell has a firmly developed comedy persona that extends into the real world (ever noticed how often there’s a clip or news story involving her doing something outside the show?). She’s a successful stand up, she likes and plays netball, there’s that whole New Zealand thing. McDonald is more of a man of mystery, in that he probably isn’t a dateless loser with a drunk mum.

Obviously with an entire new season ahead, the first episode is probably only a rough guide to what’s to come in 2024. No sponsors yet! Zero sketches in the first week! No time for What’s On What’s On in the Warehouse! Will What’s Flappening be back and will they ever do an story on an actual bird?

Not that there aren’t one or two real questions to be asked. Having Adam Rozenbachs hosting the sport segment might mean he’s the new regular sports hosting person. Or it might just be that he was handy this week.

Would it be be good if they could find a regular sports host? Yeah, probably. But as none of the Titus O’Reily replacements have been as good as Titus O’Reily (let alone up there with breakout star Mel Tracina covering “the arts”)… maybe the door remains open* for a dark horse candidate?

Eh, whatever. The clips are funny, the hosts are funny, the jokes are funny: Cheap Seats, as always it’s good to have you back.


*Unfortunately The Front Bar seems to have hoovered up all the top-tier sports comedy talent

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1 Comment

  • Andrew says:

    One of the best shows on TV. Pleased to have it back! But, minor correction, sorry, guys, there was a sponsor making their debut this week. Subway has ditched them but Bupa has taken its place.

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