Apr 24

Working Dog’s 2017 Logie Night Of Nights

Pang, Gleisner, Logie, Kavalee.

It seemed to be the night for champagne comedy.

The Working Dog team took out both Best Entertainment Award and Most Outstanding Entertainment Program for their comedy quiz show Have You Been Paying Attention? at the 59th TV Week Logie Awards on Sunday.

Quiz Master Tom Gleisner, along with regular panelists Sam Pang and Ed Kavalee took to the stage twice to obtain their silver awards, which will no doubt end up going straight to the pool room.

Gleisner was actively tweeting his point of view at the event from “Table 52”.

As well as their Logie winning performances, Tony Martin made a surprise appearance on stage, paying homage to the late great John Clarke, who recently passed away at 68.

 

On a side note, friends of the Working Dog team Wayne Hope and Robyn Butler‘s show Little Lunch took out Most Outstanding Children’s Program – which the show stars the offspring of Jane Kennedy and Rob Sitch.

and on an EXTRA side note, the Logie winning Have You Been Paying Attention? returns to our TV screens Monday May 8.

Apr 10

VALE John Clarke

We’re sad to hear a long-time team player to the D-Generation and Working Dog crew John Clarke has died, aged 68.

Born in New Zealand, the satirist who brought Fred Dagg to the Australian household, made A Current Affair more interesting alongside his comedy partner Bryan Dawe with satirical interviews as Clarke & Dawe.

While Clarke wrote and appeared in many Australian TV and films, he appeared in the The D-Generation Goes Commercial, as well as Mick Molloy‘s 2003 film Crackerjack. He was even the celebrity gardener when The D-Generation hosted Burke’s Backyard.

Clarke also popped up on radio shows, such as Molloy and Tony Martin‘s Martin/Molloy.

 

You can read more on John Clarke’s passing here.

Feb 27

DVD Review: Stop Laughing… This Is Serious

Get to the bottom of Australia’s funny-bone with this six part ABC documentary, out now.

The Comedy department of the ABC as well as Screen Australia and Screen NSW have done this wide brown land a course of justice by bringing Stop Laughing… This Is Serious to the Australian household.

For decades, Australian comedy has tantalized and tickled the funny bone of its citizens, but not much of it is documented in such detail. In this two season, six x one hour episode series, interviews with comedians, actors, writers, performers, producers and many other people from all walks of life discuss the origins and influences of Australian radio, TV, theatre and film comedy. From the early days of In Melbourne Tonight and Graham Kennedy‘s adventurous and risque wit, to bare-naked body parts blending with slapstick music, to uni revues and eventually to the halls of network television and the silver screen, Stop Laughing… This Is Serious interviews many talents who have come far with their careers to become household names.

 

Each episode has a certain genre / theme to cover. For example: the first episode of Season One (narrated by Eric Bana) highlights the humourous look at everyday suburban life. One’s everyday mannerisms is a performer’s goldmine of jokes (and royalties). While episode three of Season Two (narrated by Colin Lane) covers the topic of how the variety format covers a large age demographic, and helped get many well established comedians of today, a launching pad for their career.

Not to forget, all the controversies are covered too, such as censorship, racism and equality.

Many shows, films and people are covered over the two seasons, like:

  • The Big Gig
  • In Melbourne Tonight
  • Graham Kennedy
  • Kath & Kim
  • Paul Hogan
  • Frontline
  • Judith Lucy
  • The Late Show
  • Hey Hey It’s Saturday
  • Billy Birmingham
  • Black Comedy
  • The Castle
  • Nick Giannopoulos
  • Crocodile Dundee
  • Norman Gunston
  • Edinburgh Fringe Festival
  • The Naked Vicar Show
  • Ian McFadyen
  • Kevin Bloody Wilson
  • Fat Pizza
  • Fast Forward
  • Shaun Micallef
  • The Comedy Company
  • Full Frontal
  • The Chaser
  • Australia, You’re Standing In It
  • The Gillies Republic
  • Barry Humphries

The list is endless.

The 2 disc set contains other than the two seasons and six episodes of the series, but on Disc Two, extras contain more interviews based on jealousy, more details on comedian Gerry Connolly and censorship, a detailed look at Billy Birmingham‘s development of The 12th man, and impressions upon impressions. This DVD set is a definite must-have if you are very passionate about Australian comedy, no matter which shape or form it comes in: from black and white TV to YouTube.

Stop laughing… This Is Serious Seasons 1 and 2 are now available on

DVD  – ABC Shop

iTunes – Season 1 & 2

Google Play – Season 1 & 2

Written for ChampagneComedy.com and Oztalgia.com

Feb 08

Stop Laughing… Judith’s Serious

In a second season return to ABC TV’s 2015’s Stop Laughing… This Is Serious, the second episode covers the theme of women in Australian comedy.

From Wendy HarmerJean Kittson, and Judith LucyStop Laughing…discusses how cut-throat the comedy industry was (and in some cases, still is) to have women writing and performing comedy – whether stand-up or TV performances.

In this preview, Tony Martin gives praise to Judith, who as we all know here – came to The Late Show during the second season.

Stop Laughing… This Is Serious Season 2 – Wednesdays 9pm on ABC TV.

Miss any episodes? See Episode 1 and future episodes via ABC iView.

Season One is available on DVD and iTunes.

Jan 05

Undiscovered Masterpieces of YouTube: Jane Kennedy on Saturday Morning Live

In 1988-1989, radio personalities Ian Rogerson and Jonathan Coleman hosted Saturday Morning Live – a programme on Channel 7 with games, quizzes, news and music.

One of the segments was It’s Rockademic – a play on the quiz show It’s Academic – with questions based on popular music of the day.

In this video, the D-Generation‘s Jane Kennedy (dressed up as her D-Gen Kylie character) is teamed up with Danny Waterson, and is pitted up against carry-over champion Danielle Keogh, with teammate Kylie Minogue.

 

On a side note: two teams with a “Kylie” and a “Danni / Danny” ? Spooky…

Thanks to Daniel Hopmans for the reminder!

Dec 12

The Late Show and Frontline DVD Re-Releases review

Just in time for Christmas, the good folk at ABC Entertains Me have compiled classic favourites of The Late Show and Bargearse & The Olden Days, as well as all three seasons Frontline into neat little box sets.

Let’s take a look at box set number one – The Champagne Edition Box Set.

Arriving in a sleek cardboard sleeve – consisting of The Best Bits of The Late Show Volumes 1, 2 and 3, the original two disc DVD set was released in 2001 – over fifteen years ago! After they disappeared from shelves, they became a collectors item and rare as hens teeth to find a DVD set that wasn’t completely worn out, nor used as a coaster.

All six hours and three volumes are here, with all the sketches we know, love, and legally allowed to see. The physical DVD design itself has had a new coat of paint – stepping away from the ‘champagne’ look to the more colourful look of the stylized font and black usage. All easter eggs are still intact.

Flip over the middle disc, and the ABC have inserted the 2007 DVD release of Bargearse and The Olden Days. They even fixed the “Presents” part as the original DVD print was missing “The Late Show” title in the design. Relive the flatulence of Det Sgt Bargearse, on a mission to get his shitload of dim-sims and fighting crime, while Gov Frontbottom demands to be taken seriously while Sgt Olden keeps stealing his limelight in The Olden Days. All easter eggs still feature on the DVD.

The downside to this spiffy box set is that the original physical booklet guide is no longer included. However, there are instructions to download the PDF in high quality resolution from their site: https://www.abcentertainsme.com.au/thelateshow

Now, onto the second DVD box set, and we see Journalist and TV personality Mike Moore delivering the truth in the Working Dog production current affairs spoof Frontline.

Arriving in a cardboard sleeve, hugging a durable plastic DVD casing – in this polished box set, all three seasons (6 DVD) are together in the one casing. Not separate season casings – all in the one case.

Re-live Frontline host Mike Moore tackle the big issues of local affairs, such as being a celebrity, making a coffee, attending charity tournaments, and trying to win over the affection of fellow reporters Martin Di Stasio, Brooke Vandenberg and fellow staff members.

With a run time of 1035 minutes total, you’ll have a binge session and realise nothing has changed in the real world since Frontline was on our screens in 1994. Don’t expect any extras though with this set, as it’s a well-known style that Working Dog don’t add any behind-the-scenes as they tend to have moved on to newer projects to focus their energy on.

So the big question: Why should I buy these?

If you already own the original prints, then these new release box sets are great to get to replenish any of your old, worn and damaged DVDs. Believe me, I’ve given mine a big work out. Plus, when these DVDs were originally released, DVDs weren’t 100% the norm. Now they are. Also, it’ll be great to show a new generation what the world was like in the early 1990s. These sets are a fantastic time capsule of what was happening, the taste, tone and humour which you can get for a dime a dozen on YouTube and podcasts.

Plus, if you never originally owned these shows on DVD, now you can!

Do yourself a favour – don’t buy from these guys though…

Both boxsets are presented in glorious 4:3 – which was the style at the time – and available now from ABC Store online (Frontline | The Late Show / Olden Days / Bargearse) and any good retailers. Check pricing where applicable.

Nov 24

D-Generation and Working Dog collection on iTunes

It seems that more and more of the D-Generation / Working Dog back catalogue appears to pop up in the itunes / Google Play department.

So if you don’t already own a copy on VHS / DVD / Blu-Ray / Laser Disc / 8 Track, you might as well get a digital version to complete the collection. So get your gift and credit cards ready – just in time for christmas.

Note: some of these links may be affiliate.

The Best Bits Of The Late Show Volume 1iTunes

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The Best Bits Of The Late Show Volume 2 – iTunes

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The Best Bits Of The Late Show Volume 3iTunes

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The Best & Second Best Of The D-Generation iTunes

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Bargearse and The Olden Days iTunes | Google Play

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Funky Squad – iTunes | Google Play (There are two episodes listed, but links appeared to not work)400x400bb

A River Somewhere Season OneiTunes

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A River Somewhere Season TwoiTunes

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That should get you started!

Nov 19

Trailer: Pacific Heat

Netflix has released a full trailer of Working Dog’s animated adventure. Pacific Heat.

pacificheat

In this animated satire, a covert squad of operatives short on smarts but long on confidence tackles crime on the glitzy Gold Coast of Australia.

The show will be shown in Australia on Foxtel’s Comedy Channel from November 27, then December 2 on Netflix for the rest of the world.

 

Nov 04

Russell Coight and HYBPA return for 2017

russellcoighthead

Australia’s most lovable accident prone adventurer is returning to the picture wireless.

Announced at Channel 10’s 2017 Upfronts, Russell Coight’s All Aussie Adventures is returning to our screens after a 13 year trek away. This is a great thing as All Aussie Adventures has been floating around in the replay universe, recently re-screening on ONE.

Also announced, Have You Been Paying Attention? has been renewed for another season in 2017.

Time to hit the road… again! Until then, you can purchase Series 1 and 2 on DVD, as well as the celebrity challenge special.

iTunes

All Aussie Adventures Series 1TV
All Aussie Adventures Series 2TV

Oct 17

Johnny Swank Before Pacific Heat

On the weekend Working Dog released a video of their new animated series Pacific Heat, soon to be shown on Foxtel’s Comedy Channel on Sunday November 27.

Already, fans have responded saying that it echoes another animated US spy show Archer (with a hint of Working Dog’s previous work – 1995’s Funky Squad).


While we do agree here that it resembles the US show that was launched in 2009, we originally thought the idea of Pacific Heat sounded like it was loosely based from the 1996 radio serial Johnny Swank.

What is Johnny Swank?

The comedy serial was broadcasted on the Today Radio Network in 1996 by Working Dog, and usually played during the breakfast shows on 2DAY, FOX, B105 etc. Listeners would follow the adventures of the too-cool-for-school Johnny Swank (voiced by Rob Sitch) and his bumbling sidekick K2 (voiced by Santo Cilauro), with various characters voiced by Tom GleisnerJane Kennedy and friends.

There would be a story arc for one whole week starting on the Monday and wrapping up on the Friday, with each episode running average 2 – 3 minutes in length. Think a piss-take of Mel Brooks’ Get Smart but on radio.

Here’s a week’s worth of episodes to show you that the premise was around for a while.

Funnily enough, Funky Squad started out as a radio serial too, before hitting the TV screens.

Either way, we’re looking forward to Pacific Heat!

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