Returning in 2019: HYBPA? and Utopia

A great way to wrap up the end of 2018 after a whirlwind and jam-packed year for Working Dog, the announcements over the last couple of weeks are our favourite shows are returning for 2019.

Announced shy of a month ago, after CBS (owners of Channel 10) announced that they bought the international rights to the funny quiz show Have You Been Paying Attention?,  the announcement of Tom GleisnerEd Kavalee, and Sam Pang will return for a seventh season in 2019.

Recently at ABC’s Upfronts – where a presentation on what is coming to the Broadcasting Corporation the following year, it was announced that the tongue-in-cheek and scarily realistic view of a government body Utopia starring Rob Sitch is returning for a fourth season.

Congratulations Working Dog – we’re all looking forward to many more laughs in 2019!

Street Interviews in Marrickville

Ever walked down a street or visited a location and think “this place is familiar”?

You could easily walk around Melbourne and find places that featured or referenced in The Late Show due to the fact that it was all based there (Stax of Slax, The Bolt Bloke, Melbourne Cliches, anyone?) In 1993, there was a single episode based in Sydney to celebrate the winning Olympic bid, where the team hit the heart of the city.

One of the regular segments was Mick Molloy and Tony Martin doing their ‘Street Interviews’ which they hit the footpaths of Darling Harbour and Marrickville.

Fast forward 25 years later, and a The Late Show fan Marc Bulmer decided to do some reminiscing.

I got to thinking recently how it’s 25 years since Sydney was awarded the host city rights for the 2000 Olympics. Which means it’s 25 years since Tony & Mick came to Sydney to get a feel for the place after that decision by ‘Juan and Tonio’. Who could ever forget that bloke being interviewed in Marrickville! He was laughing at everything – funny or not. Anyway, I was in Marrickville yesterday, and I’ve gotta say, every time – for the past 25 years – that I’ve gone through Marrickville, whenever I’ve seen that “Dentist” sign, I’ve thought of The Late Show. I walked that same stretch of footpath yesterday and the sign has survived! No sign of the Laughing Marrickvillian, though …


That “Dental Surgeon” sign has lasted through 8 Prime Ministerships, the Millennium bug, the Olympics and the ill-fated return of Hey Hey It’s Saturday.

What locations do you get a kick out of today that remind you of The Late Show?

Have You Been Paying Attention? goes worldwide

A big congratulations is in order for the team at Working Dog.

The hit TV quiz series Have You Been Paying Attention? (HYBPA?) has been picked up by TEN Network U.S. owners CBS for worldwide rights to the series.

Pang, Gleisner, Logie, Kavalee.

Beginning in 2013, the fast-paced quiz show hosted by Tom Gleisner, alongside regular panelists Ed Kavalee and Sam Pang, started as a 30 minute show on a Sunday night containing rotating chairs of guests answering topical questions of the week, often with humorous results. While not originally a ratings winner, the show built an audience slowly, moving time slots and eventually extending to an hour, settling on Monday nights and winning numerous Logie awards.

This is not the first venture that Working Dog has had with expanding their content to international audiences. Their previous theatre sports series Thank God You’re Here format was sold to FremantleMedia, who in turn licensed the rights to 18 countries.

Congratulations to everyone at Working Dog Productions!

Russell Coight’s All Aussie Adventures Season 3 now on DVD

After recently gracing Australia’s flat-screens over August and September 2018 after a 14 year absence, Russell Coight’s All Aussie Adventures Season 3 is now on DVD.

Everyone’s favourite accident-prone Outback Adventurer continues to deliver the laughs (and advice that should be taken with a grain of salt) after a successful return to Channel 10, under the watchful eye of Tom Gleisner and Glenn Robbins.

Russell’s ground-breaking series All Aussie Adventures originally screened on Network Ten in 2001. With his trademark khaki shorts, challenged sense of direction and apparent imperviousness to pain Russell quickly established himself as an outback icon. Over the course of two series he managed to win fans while simultaneously destroying large swathes of protected bushland. All Aussie Adventures came to an end in 2002 after a court order prohibited Russell from coming within 500 metres of any marsupial. But the ride wasn’t over. Not by a long shot. Now, almost 15 years since he last set fire to a national park, Russell Coight is back with brand-new instalments of All Aussie Adventures. In this series Russell returns to the outback to catch up with some old mates, share a few important survival tips and introduce us to some of his favourite native species. An impassioned wildlife lover, Russell considers these animal encounters as series highlights. The RSPCA calls them “evidence”. Either way, it makes for must-see TV.

Just in time for christmas, you can get Season 3 separately, or get “The Coight Collection” consisting of Season 1, 2, 3 and the Celebrity Challenge over 4 discs.

Now available at all decent DVD retailers.

Currently not available via digital, but we will keep you posted.

The Late Show obsession

Anyone who watched The Late Show in their youth — and particularly if you were aged around 14 to 17  — may remember how it was a major talking point at school on Monday mornings. Episodes were dissected, knowing looks were exchanged when you heard the year 12s singing Ouchy Wouchy Heart in the quadrangle, and you treated the year 7s quite derisively because they were too young to understand exactly what the humour actually involved (oh, and they were too young to even watch it).

The first Late Show “social media”

My friends and I used to write in little diaries, the early 90s equivalent of Facebook. The Books, as they were known, were a kind of information exchange, a meeting place for comments and analyses about TV shows, music and teachers.

Below is a comment from someone who wrote in one of The Books. “I can’t believe I missed The Late Show,” C. wrote. “I miss Mick so much. PLEASE SOMEBODY — FIND SOMEONE WHO TAPED IT. I’m so sad. I get so depressed with I think I missed it. I ❤️ MICK MOLLOY. Mick rules.”

A comment from a Mick fan

Further on I replied to C by summarising the highlights from The Late Show episode she tragically missed. Our obsession was summarised by our friend Anne who wrote:


The first Late Show website

In 1996, I decided to create a website dedicated to The Late Show. This was hosted on the now-defunct Geocities free hosting platform. Background GIF images had just become possible so I created one in Paint, but my imagination did not extend too much beyond the blue links and the black text that exemplified most homemade websites of the day.

No photographs or TV stills were included. The guest counter showed exactly how many people were coming to the site, and I received emails from so many people who were appreciative of my page!

The site included a brief history of the D-Generation, as well as key quotes from the two seasons. Season one highlight included Tony Martin’s Neil Diamond monologue, Desmond Tutu sketch, the Tony Martin as Informer send-up, and a few quotes from Graham and the Colonel. Some longer scripts such as the Dinner Party conversations, which had been originally transcribed by my equally obsessed friend Kinuyo at the time of airing, were also reproduced.

In later years, I was able to host a forum which linked off the site, and the community of fans began to grow, particularly when new projects from D-Gen alumni cropped up. Ah, the good old days!

Flashback: A bunch of D-Generates





Such harsh words to describe a late night sketch comedy TV show that has evolved from the heydays of the Triple M breakfast show. But that’s “old people” talk.

Diving into our archives here at Champagne Comedy, we have another treat for you. From the pages of the August 17, 1992 edition of the Sydney Morning Herald, Journalist Paul Pottinger chats to Rob Sitch and Tom Gleisner.

The Late Show is still finding its feet after only being on air for a couple of months, and dealing with criticism and comparisons in other Australian comedies.

1992-08-17 Sydney Morning Herald – Click to enlarge

Tony Martin sings ‘Summer Of 69’ as Blakey

Blakey from “On The Buses” and Tony Martin – just not in that order.

Alright you lot – this post was due out 10 minutes ago!

As part of 3RRR’s Radiothon fundraising drive, in which listeners contribute funds to subscribe to one of the largest community radio stations in Australia, there is not a lack of names that appear on the station.

With a deep, rich history of talent passing through the doors since 1976, the D-Generation members are regulars in the hallways – whether broadcasting their own shift, or being a guest.

On Tuesday 21st August, Tony Martin joined his good friend Dave Graney on his show Banana Lounge Broadcasting, and was enticed to help raise subscriptions by singing the Bryan Adams classic, Summer Of 69.

While the song itself is a running joke to the legions of Martin fans, the bonus was that Martin would sing the song as Blakey from the UK classic TV series On The Buses.

To listen to the entire episode, visit the 3RRR On Demand link here. While you’re there, SUBSCRIBE and keep the dream alive (and possibly more impressions).

Flashback: From Very Silly to Serious

We dig into the archives of the group that is The D-Generation to see one of many early steps of birth.

ABC TV producer Frank Ward was on the hunt for some fresh new talent to fill the time slot void that Australia: You’re Standing In It created. He knew that university revues were a magnificent source of talent.

From the humble stage of The Melbourne University Revue in 1983, Marg Downey, Santo Cilauro, John Harrison, Rob Sitch, Michael Veitch and Magda Szubanski deferred their own degrees to be part of the comedy group The D-Generation.

1986-01-20 Sydney Morning Herald

They weren’t alone though. Tom GleisnerTrevor Johnson, Brendan Luno, Nick Bufalo and John Allsop were put behind the scenes as dedicated scriveners. In 1985, a pilot was produced for the ABC, and on the 13th March 1986, the first episode of The D-Generation was broadcast.

In this article from the Sydney Morning Herald January 20 1986, Downey talks about the format of the new show and how the team gets along, while Ward describes his experience in Australian TV comedy and how optimistic he is with this new show and cast.

This is the first of many articles from the archives we have – so stay tuned for more!

Airdate: Russell Coight’s All Aussie Adventures Season 3

Australia’s favourite outback traveler Russell Coight is hitting the road, again!

After a 14 year absence since his telemovie gave his ego a bit of a boost, the threat of the Coight has been haunting us for the last couple of years. But now, the team at Working Dog and Channel 10 have given ol’ Russ a date of return:

Mark in your smartphones 7:30pm Sunday August 5 to see Coight and his best mate impersonator Glenn Robbins hit the road for thrills, spills, and good o’ fashioned tips on how to survive in the Outback, to making your campsite your home.

While you’re awaiting his return, catch up on the first two seasons, now available on iTunes (unfortunately, no longer available on Google Play)

All Aussie Adventures Series 1: iTunes
All Aussie Adventures Series 2: iTunes

‘Have You Been Paying Attention?’ wins while Tony Martin’s voiceover slays at the Logies 2018

It was Australian Television’s night of nights, and it was fantastic.

The 60th Annual TV Week Logie Awards were held for the first time on the Gold Coast (“LOOK! Warner Brothers Movie World!”), a far cry from their traditional Melbourne home, where all the glitz and glamour presented themselves at The Star Casino in Broadbeach.

On Sunday, host of Have You Been Paying Attention? Tom Gleisner was present to receive the Logie for Most Popular Comedy Program on behalf of the entire team.

Tom Gleisner accepting the 2018 Logie for Most Popular Comedy Program for HYBPA

But the highlight of the entire night was Tony Martin, who had the honour of being the main voiceover for the Logies.

Tony Martin doing the voiceover

From obscure TV references (Willing and Abel), rattling off a list of The Bachelor spin-offs (The Bachelor Goes To Monte Carlo is something we’d all love to see), using the phrase ‘Piss-farting around’, and to go and hang with Lachy Hulme and Shaun Micallef for ‘champagne and pingas’,  he was the highlight of the night. If we get time, we might put up a Tony highlights package down the track…

UPDATE 2018-07-05: A few jokes were missed in the first video, here’s the ‘cutting room floor’ extras.

While he was a hit, some people just didn’t get the humour or know who he was:

You can watch the entire presentation on 9Now until the 29th July. It’s free, but you’ll need to register.