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Season 2 Episode 5

Originally broadcast Saturday 3rd July 1993

Season 2, Episode 5 begins with some silliness. Like the tennis and cricket, The Late Show is also delayed due to rain. Actual ABC sportscaster Tim Lane declares “no joy for Late Show fans here tonight … the floor manager checked the set twenty minutes ago, and it was far too wet for comedy.” Actual ABC sports journalist Mary Gearin interviews a trying-to-look-sporty Tony Martin, who’s “playing it one intro at a time.” With “no resumption of comedy in sight,” Mary throws to a stand-by episode of Dad’s Army – but not for long, as, well, it’s Dad’s Army.

After the opening titles, it’s Tony and Judith doing the intro – but Tony thinks Judith might’ve strapped Mick to a bed and re-enacted a famous scene from Misery in order to get there… hmmmmm… hmmmmm. It’s also the week that Sylvania Waters‘ Noeline Donaher released her song No Regrets. There’s only one possible retort, and it’s from Bernard King of Pot Luck: “Talent, nil; presentation, nil; potential, totally nil; but a sum total of 10 for generosity.” You’ll get to see the actual Pot Luck contestant who received that critique later in the season.

To Tommy G at the Newsdesk, and possibly the first use of John Blackman from Telecom MobileNet, on news footage of United States President Bill Clinton on the telephone. Tom reacts to an absolute groaner of a joke involving chained pens by ripping it from the desk. Another cheap gag, comparing the English cricket team to a women’s cricket team, summons a phone call from Rob: “You know, Tommy, each week we supply a dazzling array of satirical insights. But some, as that one was there, more than others become truly Champagne Comedy.”

Tom then invites Mick to lay a serve on cricketer Martin McCague, who was selected for England despite starting his career in Australia. Mick doesn’t hold back: he calls him Judas, wants him to be stabbed with the stump containing StumpCam, and tries to put a curse on him, using a suspiciously Village Person-looking voodoo doll.

After the fire extinguishers are brought out to cool him down, Mick joins Tony to talk about last week’s bet for him to jump on the couch in his Bart Simpson underpants on Channel Nine’s morning show Ernie & Denise. This week, Tony bet Mick five dollars to do the same thing on Channel Ten’s Good Morning Australia. Saying they’re the Tony Bartuccio Dancers to get past security (and possibly with a little help from Belvedere, John Foreman and/or Moira), Mick successfully shakes his stuff next to a bemused and bewildered Bert Newton.

Up next is a sketch about the US missile strike on Iraq. Rob as Clinton has an obsession with the pronunciation of Colin Powell’s first name, Santo as Powell doesn’t even attempt an American accent, and Tom’s role as a badly-sighted missile targets expert is just slapstick. It helps that the sketch is performed live – going off-script received better laughs from the studio audience than the scripted jokes.

Then on the couch, Muckrakers Jason and Mick get to malign their “special” friend Jane for coming second on the Comedy Special of quiz show Sale of the Century, despite the boys’ attempt to cheat through use of an earpiece and former Sale host – and then-current host of the short-lived Australian version of Jeopardy! – Tony Barber. I admire how much effort has been put into this sketch to make it work, from the heavy editing to the writing method which is similar to that used on The Olden Days and Bargearse – having to work backwards from already available elements. This is also the first time we see Mick and Jase’s penchant for Sale co-host Jo Bailey.

(Bonus: watch Jane’s Sale of the Century episode in full: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.)

Then Santo gets to make some points about ethnic humour in the mockumentary Beware of Wog: The Lou Interligi Story. His issue isn’t with the humour, but rather with the unnecessarily lofty justifications for it (“I’m breaking down ethnic barriers, I’m holding up a mirror to multicultural society”). It’s also interesting to see that as Lou gets more successful, his career becomes less about good comedy and more about catch phrases, copyrighting the term “dago”, and the wog “industry”. The piece also contains many awful current affairs show cliches (“What’s a Grecian urn?”) and real footage from earlier in Santo’s life and comedy career, including his stint as ‘Gino Tagliatoni’ on The D-Generation Breakfast Show on EON-FM/Triple M in Melbourne.

It’s Late Mail time! After Tony points out how much Katharine Hepburn looks like Alexei Sayle in the latest issue of TV Week, we find out that Remi Broadway, a.k.a Piffy, the bell-ringer featured in last week’s Pot Luck Classic, is in the audience. Judith declares “I just wanna pop him on a bit of toast and eat him right up!” before finding out that he’s only 15 years old (“I’m gonna wait for you, Piffy”). Lastly, Tony answers a (fake) letter about the blues from a “John Lee Hooker” in the medium of (mimed) song. My favourite of Tony’s blues are those “in the supermarket with a magazine you can’t convince the checkout girl you bought somewhere else ’cause you threw the receipt away” blues.

A malfunctioning big screen helps to temporarily delay us from the horror of another Pot Luck Classic: the Nelligan Sisters swaying, mumbling and forgetting the lyrics to Madonna’s True Blue. The duo probably would’ve kept singing the song forever, if the band hadn’t stopped. The only remedy for this shambles? LEAVE CAMPBELLTOWN.

Graham & The Colonel asked last week, and they receive their wish: Piffy performs Graham & The Colonel’s theme tune on the bells to a standing ovation! They only have enough time (after Colonel yells at Graham to shut up) to talk about tennis, as they spend most of the segment wringing a lot of good material out of Piffy, his bell-ringing and even his outfit.

(Whatever became of Piffy? Read our interview with Remi Broadway.)

S02E05 closes with a Musical Finale whose backing track sounds exactly like last season’s “Accidentally Was Released” (really, try singing the parody lyrics – you’d have to know them by heart if you’re on this website – over the video below). It’s Frente! Gabriel Gaté with Accidently Kelly Street.

Quotes:

Rob (V/O): We regret to announce that tonight’s coverage of Wimbledon has been cancelled due to rain. We also regret to announce that rain has interrupted play in the third test from Trent Bridge. And we’ve just been informed that the start of tonight’s Late Show has been temporarily postponed because it’s absolutely pissing down in the studio.
Tim Lane: Well, no joy for Late Show fans here tonight. Rain’s still falling, and I’m told the floor manager checked the set twenty minutes ago, and it was far too wet for comedy. For an update, let’s cross down to Mary Gearin at the host set.
Mary: Thanks, Tim. I’m speaking now to a very disappointed Tony Martin. Tony, a big intro in store?
Tony: Yeah, well, it was the week of Noeline Donaher’s single, so we had a few zingers planned, but sure, you’re always disappointed when this sort of thing happens, and we’re just playing it one intro at a time, at this stage, Mary, so we’ll see what happens.
Mary: Well, with the crowd getting a little restless, and no resumption of comedy in sight, we’ll go to our stand-by programme.
Crawl: The Late Show cancelled due to rain… The Late Show cancelled due to rain… The Late Show brought back due to Pissweak Stand-by program.

Mick: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT?
Tom: Well, I think–
Mick: AH SHUT UP, WOULD YA?

Mick: I’ve made a voodoo doll! I’ve made a voodoo doll! I don’t know if it’s McCague or one of the Village People, but I’ve made a voodoo doll!

Gorilla-gram (Tony V/O):
Saddam’s an F-wit
Beggin’ to be hit
We burst his bubble, his HQ’s rubble
And his country’s in the shit.

Jason: But when I look at Janey, I think of her as our… “special” friend.
Mick: And let’s face it, it’s good to have special friends. I mean, Mike Willesee, he had a special friend…
Both: Quentin…
Mick: Jeff Fenech, he had a special friend…
Both: Con…
Mick: And we’ve got a special friend…
Both: Jane!

Tony’s Backing Tape Blues:
Well, I’m feeling down and dejected, I’m on heavy medication
I’m singin’ in this accent with no real justification
But it ain’t my baby leavin’ me that’s left me in the pits
It’s trivial insignificant things that are givin’ me the shits
I got those “stuck at the traffic lights behind a guy who’s lookin’ for a tape and doesn’t realise that the lights have gone green” blues.
I got those “in the supermarket with a magazine you can’t convince the checkout girl you bought somewhere else ’cause you threw the receipt away” blues.
I got those “suddenly remembering your video won’t tape the footy ’cause the tape you’re usin’s got that little plastic tab removed” blues.
I got those “in the shower hopin’ the hot water won’t run out before you find out if there’s somethin’ in the upside down shampoo bottle” blues.
I got those “standing at a party with an old friend whose name you cannot remember and having to introduce her to somebody else” blues. I hate that!
I got those “in the washroom at McDonald’s, turning on the tap too hard and spraying water on your pants so it looks as if you’ve pissed yourself” blues.
I got those “putting your bins out on a public holiday and noticing that you’re the only one and thinkin’ that maybe the garbos aren’t working today and taking your bins back inside so that you don’t look like a dick and then the next morning you wake up and the street is full of empty bins” blues.
And finally, I got those “trying to pretend that you are playing the guitar on national TV when it’s obvious you’re miming to a backing tape” blues.
Thanks very much, that’s the Backing Tape Blues for ya.

Mick: Piffy! Smoke on the Water!

Rundown:

The Late Show cancelled due to rain. Tony, with Tim Lane and Mary Gearin.
Opening titles.
Tony & Judith intro. Luck In A Truck on Tonight Live, Misery dream sequence, Summer Illustrated’s Bikini Model Search, Hugh Morgan at a Yothu Yindi concert, nudity in the Truth, Noeline Donaher’s song.
Newsdesk. Tom, with Rob via phone. 1st John Blackman reference, US strikes Iraq, Commonwealth Bank strike, Batavia artifacts, Sydney Swans break a 26-match losing streak, Wimbledon women’s finals tonight, English cricket, another Champagne Comedy reference.
Mick’s Serve. Martin McCague.
Mick in his undies on Good Morning Australia (and Lateline). Mick and Tony, with an unsuspecting Bert Newton.
White House live sketch. Rob, Santo, Tom and Tony.
Muckraking. Sale of the Century. Mick, Jason and Jane, with Tony Barber.
Beware of Wog: The Lou Interligi Story. Santo, Judith, Jane, Jason, Tom and Rob, with Nick Bufalo. Also a Michael Hirsh sighting.
Late Mail. Tony and Judith, with Remi Broadway (aka Piffy). Alexei Sayle mistaken for Katharine Hepburn in TV Week, Piffy is in the audience.
Backing Tape Blues. Tony.
National Bank ad parody. Mick, Santo and Tom.
Big screen on the blink. Tom.
Pot Luck Classics. Nelligan Sisters sing Madonna’s True Blue.
Graham & The Colonel. Rob and Santo, with Remi Broadway (aka Piffy). Piffy performs the theme tune on the bells, tennis tips, tennis racquets, Cyclops.
Musical Finale. Gabriel Gaté (Frente!) sings Accidently Kelly Street.
Studio audience call promo. Tom, with Remi Broadway (aka Piffy).

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