These were the words uttered by one Santo Cilauro during the end credits of the first ep of series 2 of the D-generation in 1986. Finally after three decades, his story can finally be told!
It’s a story of the constant struggles to meet impossible deadlines with miniscule budgets. Yet against all odds this person would tirelessly and consistently serve up to us the humble viewer, such delights as G-spot the dog, mouldy milk cartons and of course Fartwhistles.
Through his own words (and some pictures) he takes us into his own murky working past with stories revealing such truths behind the series such as the real angle of the wall our Caped Crusaders climbed, the day Santo got glassed, and the true story behind Marg Downey and a jar of Vaseline.
Finally we lift the lid and solve the mystery as to who Jeff Smart really was….. (not that anyone’s really that interested of course).
Read on dear reader and all will be revealed…
In 1986 I got a job as a special effects prop-maker with ABC TV in Melbourne, and the very first thing I got to work on was a new pilot comedy sketch show, creating all manner of special effects props including a very tacky Thunderbirds model!
It was called The D-Generation!
Luckily I continued working on the show when it went to series, and even had some small involvement when they jumped ship later on to Channel 7. The shows afforded me many opportunities to do some fun, creative and interesting work for some really nice people.
As I was based at the ABC production facility workshops in Highett, I wasn’t on set all that often at the main studios in Ripponlea. But occasionally I would be unshackled and allowed to venture down to operate one of special props I had made, taking my camera along to take pics of my work. To help fill up the 36 exposure film roll (remember those!!), I’d often click off pics of whatever other things were going on or around the studio at the time. As a result this is probably the largest collection of behind the scenes photos from the The D-Generation shows in existence.
So sit back and enjoy the goings on behind the scenes of those early halcyon and formative days, back to a time when a Logie award was a distant (and very bad) dream, and The Late Show usually referred to an old movie that you stayed up to watch after midnight in your jim jams!
Truly Vintage Champagne Comedy .. (well maybe Sparkling Wine, after all these were early days!!).
Jeff Smart ( ex special props-maker ABC D-Generation series).
This sequence of pics features the steps involved in making a life cast of Santo’s head for the sketch where after verbally abusing his wife she blows his head up.
And the rest of the cast didn’t get off lightly, as soon we had to do face casts of Rob, Magda and Marg. These were a bit simpler as we only had to do faces not the whole head.
As the 1st series progressed, and the second was in the offing, the D-Gen wanted to do all new titles for the second series, and up the ante a bit with some sketches.
As a result the second series had greater scope and required more special props. Luckily we had a bit more lead time to get things ready (they had obviously been writing a lot of stuff during the hiatus prior to the 2nd series), meaning we had a lot less last minute things to do, and could indulge ourselves a bit more. This led to sequences that were far more ambitious than before, an good example of this was first ep of series 2 with the trip down the supermarket (and the rabbit hole) to the land of Narnia/wonderland which is peppered across the episode.
In closing I will say that these people were simply the most humble, nicest, friendliest, easiest, funniest and cleverest people you could ever hope to work with on TV ( and I had previously worked on Young Talent Time!). ….That’s actually true .
I have many happy memories working on the Dgen shows, and have quite a few amusing anecdotes to share, but that will have to wait for another time!
Meantime I’ll leave it to Santo Cilauro who summed it up best during the credit roll at the end of Series 2 Ep 1,”…the credits are just an ego trip for a load of hangers on, ..I mean who the hell is Jeff Smart huh!”
I am very proud to be and to have been, that ‘hanger on’!
Jeff Smart Aug 2019
( pic 200 )
Jeff Smart nowadays with some degenerate items at his home in the UK ( he nicked the mountain climbing poster out of the studio, don’t tell anyone …they’re still after Marg for the apple she nicked off set!).
You can see his work in action on The Best & Second Best Of The D-Generation – available on iTunes.
This is a fan site only, written by and for the fans who actively support The Late Show and the original cast's current activities, and this site has been online in some form since 1996. We have nothing to do with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation who originally aired the series - all comments, citations and fan-produced analyses on the site are our own. Got an issue with anything on the main site or in the discussion forum? Let me know at kimgilmour (at) gmail (dot) com.