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!


  1. Thanks for sharing. After all these years, archival material I have not seen before has been unearthed.

    So, Frank Ward must have been the producer referred to in a blurb on the back of one of The D-Generation’s videos.

    “I think we all know the story. ABC producer visits comedy venue, gets a bit p****d, decides to give a group of Melbourne University students their own series.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.