Almost Off Topic

Turning Off the Tap

It’s been a sad weekend for fans of cartooning, as the Antipodes’ greatest exponent of the art recently passed away to a vast outpouring of grief and dismay. We speak, of course, of the death of Murray Ball, creator of Footrot Flats, one of the warmest and funniest newspaper comics of the last thirty years.... Read More »

Australian Tumbleweeds on Howard on Menzies

It’s easy to be cynical about the term “event television”, largely because the event in question is usually a rose ceremony or some sport, but it’s hard to deny that Howard on Menzies has been an event. Love them or loathe them, Robert Menzies and his gushing admirer John Howard strode large across the Australian... Read More »

Put On A Happy Face

And the press releases keep on coming: Man Up premieres Tuesday 11 October at 8:30pm (3×60’) Gus Worland is on a mission to break the silence. In Australia, men are traditionally seen as strong, stoic and tough as nails. They laugh in the face of fear. They excel at everything. And when life gets them... Read More »

Brush with Comedy

What is it with comedians getting all cathartic and emotional in their old age on shows like Anh Do’s Brush with Fame? Arguably, the rot started a decade ago with Enough Rope, where Andrew Denton asked famous people uber researched questions designed to make them cry. Most of them did (although props to Judith Lucy who famously... Read More »

Survival of the Funniest

One of the things that’s probably too obvious to be worth mentioning but it’s a pretty dry period for comedy at the moment so here goes is that the days of single-theme comedy shows are all but over. Remember that nightmarish period where it seemed everyone was trying to do “Spicks & Specks, but with... Read More »

Mind-goggling: We try to work out why Gogglebox Australia is popular

Reality TV shows are taking jobs from actors, writers, designers, etc. – it’s a view you hear expressed fairly regularly by people who work as actors, writers, designers, etc. And while it’s hard to argue against this, and we have a great deal of sympathy for those trying to get scripted shows to air in... Read More »

Wait ’till Tomorrow

There’s a lot of funny stuff on the internet. The internet is well known for its sense of humour. But the internet is also really, really good at distilling things down to their bare essentials, as will no doubt be confirmed in a few years time when the internet is nothing but a collection of... Read More »

Meeting the (Kind-Of) Mavericks

Of some interest to comedy lovers has been the ABC arts series Meet the Mavericks, five half-hour conversations between five pairs of “mavericks”. The second program saw Magda Szubanski (Fast Forward, Kath & Kim) speak with UK artist Grayson Perry, while last week it was comedy-musician Tim Minchin (Matilda) gabbing with Late Night Live’s Phillip... Read More »

Talking Pictures with Mr Rabbit and the Bearded Lady

If you’ve ever wondered what Judith Lucy gets up to when she’s not touring the country, then may we direct you to Mr Rabbit and the Bearded Lady, a podcast focusing on “movies and the fine art of conversation”. It’s an irregularly released podcast – sometimes more than a month goes by without an episode... Read More »

Vale Sunday Night Safran

There haven’t been many radio shows like Sunday Night Safran in this country, or indeed anywhere else. National broadcasters tend not to keep shows on air for a decade that sound like they should be on community radio, or a niche-interest... Read More »