Tonightly not renewed by the gutless national broadcaster

In mildly troubling news, ABC TV has failed to renew comic current affairs program, Tonightly. In a statement prepared today by cheerful bot, the Abysmal Bootlicker Crew alleges that it is grateful for the efforts of Tom Ballard and writing team, but that it is time, these many weeks into the project, “for a fresh approach”. 

Jesus, no. I’ve seen the “fresh approach” by the broadcaster and it has led to bigoted stories on the 7.30 Report about the Chinese appetite for dog meat, seventeen weekly shows featuring Annabel Crabb smiling about her good fortune and some unbearable news promo in which some bint screams at me that “these are the MO-ments” as a raft of smiling presenters pretend to talk about news. Including Whatsit from The Chaser, who apparently now has some sort of climate council credential. The War on Waste is not, as the broadcaster claims, a “movement” but a shit show. If I feel like being personally blamed for a problem as monumental as environmental devastation, I’ll talk to my mum, thanks. 

FFS. This gutless broadcaster not only fails to meaningfully question the state, but will now rarely ask any question at all of its partner economy. Hold the profit motive responsible for climate change, or even mention the term “climate change”? Heck, no. We’d rather employ thingummy from The Chaser to tell you it’s your fault for your failure to buy a nice calico shopping bag. 

The ABC’s upbeat project is very clear. Its performers, presenters and writers are permitted to loathe China, Russia and Julian Assange. All other topicsmust be approached in a buoyant, uncritical fashion.

Now, I am a person with ears and nominally functional eyes and I know, of course, that Tonightly was not excellent at all times. Early episodes were particularly awful and if one wished to know what might occur should the empty liberal whining of Samantha Bee be mated with the I Just Nailed It debate club satisfaction of Charlie Pickering, the answer was on ABC2. But. Geez. The kids were improving. Moreover, the “balance” that ABC says that it craves was present on a program that showed middle fingers of increasing dexterity to both major political parties.  Even if you do not agree that the thing had improved substantially—and this is a case I would argue—how in the name of eff is young writing talent supposed to substantially improve in just a few months? 

I suspect that they are not. The ABC has made its upbeat project very clear. Its performers, presenters and writers are permitted to loathe China, Russia and Julian Assange. All other topics and things must be approached in a buoyant, uncritical fashion, or on some panel show so frustrated by editorial policies, even a clearly erudite and intellectually open broadcaster like Julia Baird must make way for the fiction of “balance”—which, again, if you missed it, is not actually balance but a platform for intolerant neoliberals and tolerant neoliberals to argue about how much the other one sucks, AKA major party politics.

That the very great Micallef and his team are still occasionally permitted to make a mockery of news on the ABC is a miracle made possible only by the past. An intractable talent like that will no longer be possible in a future of “MO-ments” which find Whatsit Fitzsimmons on Foreign Correspondent. And, shut up, no. This is not even an argument about “dumbing down”. It is one about the absolute refusal to do anything “fresher” than find slightly new ways to reheat old ideas. Chief among them, a Margaret Thatcher favourite: there is no such thing as society! 

There is no such thing as society, but only individuals and families. If you believe, for one minute, that this is not an “imbalanced” and explicitly political view, then you are a fundamentalist Thatcherite. And, may I interest you in the ABC’s latest Offering For von Mises Millennials, ABC Life? What a waster. Every single thing I’ve read, heard or viewed on this multi-platform Hip to The Street Beat Youth Content Vacuum is stripped of its true social context. A story on living with a disability makes no reference to prevailing social conditions that worsen disability. Multiple stories on “career success” presume that success for an immense group of people is effing possible. Just how a reporter addresses the question of work for a millennial audience without mentioning underemployment, insecure conditions and that a good portion of the poor bastards will live well into midlife with often resentful parents is beyond me. But. Hey. I guess I’m “negative” in not applauding an effing national service, for which I pay, that has largely become an escape.

Why can’t you just be nice, Helen, and why are you so bitter? Because everything is shit, you pill. If we don’t count devastating climate change, mass incarceration, extreme racism and extreme poverty, we might say that the true problem of the West is its demand that we who perceive these things shut up about them lest someone call us bitter, irrelevant or, curiously, “old” in our approach. 

Tonightly made genuine and hopeful attempts to address younger viewers, who, as we know, are not all white Wonder Bread go-getters but a very diverse group of grumps.

Have you spoken with anyone between the ages of 20 and 35 recently? If you think some old cow who writes about telly and the internet for a living is negative, have a yack with one of the new, colossal underclass. Many of them are quite justifiably enraged at this shit deal, and quite a few of them, quite ignorantly, go about hating old people as though it were perimenopausal ladies like me who took their rights, and, not in, fact the effing Thatcherite political project that says, again, that there is no such thing as society. Just individuals and other families, who may take things from you. Blah blah blah don’t forget to bring your bag to buy things from The Chaser, who must have signed some crossroads deal with the broadcaster to keep them in jobs for life. 

Just what impacts on millennial life was the frequent topic for fun on Tonightly, which, I imagine, is why the thing has been cancelled. I am certain that the Awful Blancmange Cowards didn’t mind the program’s use of the C-word half as much as they minded attempts to describe the neoliberal/Thatcher era and all its nativism, inequality etc in a fun way.

Tonightly made genuine and hopeful attempts to address younger viewers, who, as we know, are not all white Wonder Bread go-getters but a very diverse group of grumps. Grumps who deserve, surely, four half hours per week of light, comic explanation for a world that the ABC otherwise refuses to describe.

Save Our ABC and all of that. Save it from the inanity of itself. Save it from ABC Life, Sisyphean panel shows and a 7.30 Report which aspires to the standard set by Today Tonight. 

Bye, Tonightly. I will miss that lady who got her kit off, but I’ll miss the fact of a young writers’ room finding its way most of all.  

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46 responses to “Tonightly not renewed by the gutless national broadcaster

  1. Don’t Cancel Tonightly, Someone Start a Petition!, The cancellation was just a push by the government because despite what some say and think the show carried a lot of weight politically, which did and does not align with the governments self serving, selfish, and dim witted interests that would, and most likely will, spell the detrimental destruction of the world/environment we live in. This show was also as stated by HR becoming a great springboard for Aussie talent to develop which is a resource that will be missed. Fresh ideas that encourage debate and make people challenge the system due to actually looking at society and the way we live is never a bad thing and encourages healthy growth of civilization. This too is a dangerous proposition for those who would seek to force a downtrodden non-collaborative sheep like existence for all those perceived to be below or inconsequential for their own personal short term gain. Other wise they have to keep an eye out for the “Revolting Peasants”. **Don’t Cancel Tonightly, Someone Start a Petition!

  2. MSNBC is where we go for Rachael Maddow and her very incisive commentary on where the Mueller investigation is going.

    Randy Rainbow makes me happy because at least they can comment without having funds cut. 🤗

  3. See I can’t stand Tom Gleesons humour and yet I love Sean Mikkalef and am cheered that he rips into the government freely !
    I would also love to have Spitting Images return as we have extremely great candidates for Presidents brain is missing etc.
    Anyone ??

    1. well of course you wouldn’t appreciate Gleeson, that’s because an immature mind that finds Ballard funny can’t register wit and real humour.

  4. ABC must broadcast Government Propaganda else they risk their funding and Western Governments are duty bound to hate Trump, Russia and China and anyone who does not support Climate Change and Gayism – so much for free speach – it is a myth! Simply refused to watch Tonightly with it’s obviously gay bent, i.e. The ABC bent and the Governments Bent based on their support for SSM in their denial of everyone’s right to determine their way of life. I have stopped watching 95% of television, never watch Commercial TV anyway because it is designed for idiots and unfortunately Tonightly fell into the same category along with Samantha Bee the anti Trump idiot woman whose unintelligent trite diatribe is nauseating to the point of Vomit!

  5. Yep,
    There is a new form of political correctness. The ABC are PC about Climate Change. Not the C word, but the CC word.
    And “Tonightly” will be missed, not only because Tom wasn’t afraid of using the CC word.

    1. They actually rarely say climate change at all. One of the few 4 corners programs on it this year just mentioned “extreme weather” without attributing these conditions to climate change.
      Also, ffs. Climate change is not “PC”. Unless you reckon that devastation of the planet is a thing someone made up.

  6. I wholeheartedly agree.
    I do not, or rather I’m perplexed by the new (or old) obligatory must for all sentences to finish with an ‘oh well at least…’

    Truth is Dead. Or maybe it’s genuineness. Think about the staggering number of charities, foundations and groups that are appealing for some help. It’s like being in a zoo with endless chatter and noises except these ones are designed to elicit my sympathy. No money. They don’t care about whether I feel or not, as long as I give money.

    People are terrified of the truth, in my experience. Next time you’re talking to someone comment on the inevitable conditions of irreversible climate change WITHOUT ending your sentence with a false optimism. Just let it sit. A bit like Knowing you’re going to do one day, but hey! life just is great when you live it like no tomorrow, be who you want to be, don’t be defined by your past, be a winner and keep trying….and FOR WHAT?

    Just so people who you don’t care about approve? See that’s the problem. Conformity breeds approval.

    The media have dubbed this the ‘age of loneliness’, and I believe them. I blame two things. Firstly the media’s unintended portrayal of life resulting from their choice of news topics mean If you drive a car you’ll die, if you get fat, you’ll never have sex again, if you don’t ‘work on yourself’ then you’re an ignoramus, feminism takes the cake, or at least the relatively new feminism which was hijacked by a bunch of misandrist women who are mean and angry and declared war on masculinity.
    I’m not talking about those set yoo-haa’s from Dateline (you’re headed to ACA after that false dichotomy) who claimed to represent masculinity, its the most dangerous message which is now making its effects known.
    Men grow up being shamed by women (unless they’re cute) simply because they think and desire sex, companionship and respect from their friends amongst a host of other normal things.
    It’s taught mothers to teach their girls to act unapproachable, manipulate men using seduction rain-checking, whether it’s a drink or a car.
    Speak to any young man, and if he’s honest with you he’ll describe how confused, frustrated, ashamed, angry, yearning, deprived and just plain clueless about the incredible complexity of modern day ‘dating’.
    Apparently going up to a girl who sparks your interest to say hi is highly inappropriate. Thanks, Ladies. First, you put the onus on us to make the first move, then when we do, you usually (not always) savagely and cruelly humiliate some poor guy. (And yes there are some real dirtbags out there, my apologies for those.)

    And yes while a once seemingly safe country, safe that is from what we all foolishly thought were ‘uncrossable lines’ in politics, they are being crossed.
    The ABC’s gutlessness goes all the way back to the Glasshouse which was cancelled by now beloved conservative ex-PM (and war criminal) for ‘anti-Howard bias’. That’s when it started.

    What really gets my goat is the amount of representation conservative groups like the good old IPA on panel shows like the Drum. The IPA and other groups appear so often I’m surprised the ABC hasn’t given them a show of their own to share their middle Australia views for instance: plain packaging on cigarettes is an IP infringement on big Tobaccos ‘rights’.

    It’s truly astonishing how far behind we are on key social issues: Gender equality, medical marijuana, rights for refugees, allowing the selling our meta-data on the open market, the illegal interference with the investigation into our questionable negotiations with the East Timorese over oil and gas reserves that sit along out oceans borders.
    And when you think Australia had had enough of time-travel, political correctness and outdated thinking, whats-his-name comes out in support of the white Australia policy!
    Have we gone mad? or is our nation being secretly steered the course by Abbott’s neoliberal conservatives while Malcolm plays the part of a mannequin.

    Oh the heady, optimistic days of Kevin 07, when we were going to tackle climate change, roll out an NBN that would give us speeds of up to 100 MB/s ( I think now it’s 5 MB/s). The mining super profits tax, which the mining magnates asked for, which was going to fund the new, shiny, progressive, up to date Australia. Now we are the laughing stock, a mockery and a disgrace.

    It’s called f&*king realism, you plebs.

  7. You hit the nail on the head when you point out that young writers and talent need to be given the space to find their feet and develop their talent. Surely the ABC is the place for that. Yes Tonightly wasn’t always great. How would that even be possible? The fact that they had to come up with a show 4 nights a week, EVERY week, makes me exhausted even thinking about the work that that involved. I know for a fact that they had so little funding that everyone on the show had to extreme multi-task and do things that other places with money would provide dedicated staff for.
    I LOVED (still love) Tonightly. Even though I’m a middle aged white lady. I love anything that gives the finger to the establishment. I’m trying to keep this short so I’ll just say that it gave me information, perspective, a fresh viewpoint and a lot of laughs. Thanks Tom and the team for giving it the old college try and I wish nothing but the best for you. I’m going to try to get to one of your last shows.

    1. I love it too, and I’m a 71 year old white male. Perhaps I can watch another repeat of Spicks and Specks instead.

  8. “The true problem of the West is its demand that … we shut up.” Maybe, but empirical observation suggests that its most pressing problem is finding sufficient resources to deal with the large number of people in non-West areas who want to live in it. Apparently, its relative freedoms, substantial wealth, and advanced living standards are difficult to resist for many.

    But to the main point. Ballard is a great talent. I’ve seen many of his MICF shows, and the standard is always high. But Tonightly was awful. Whoever devised, scripted, and produced it seemed to have decided that contemporary political correctness is truth unvarnished, and to splutter on about it is the new comedy. The target demographic (12 – 30 year olds) largely tuned out. PC is too middle aged (it’s been around since the sixties, for godsake, almost as long as HelenR’s beloved Marxism, and is as just as old fashioned).

    The ABC should have kept the show going, if only to provide documentsry evidence of the intellectual bankruptcy of comic vision on the left. I hope Ballard gets his mojo back before next year’s MICF (and forgets all about Tonightly – I don’t want to be treated to a sob story about being robbed of his media spot, a lá Judith Lucy).

      1. Yes, thanks. Had I taken French at school, I would undoubtedly have failed the exam. I would like to take this opportunity to note for the record HelenR’s astuteness in attacking the ABC from the left. This may lead the impressionable reader to think that the ABC must be relatively middle of the road. Quite an achievement.

    1. For the sake of munch.
      Your opinion of Tom does not matter one jot. Tom’s talent does not matter one jot. Let’s suppose that Tonightly was uniformly unfunny and did not appeal at all to its target audience (few of which I would say are represented in the comments). Not the point. Particularly on a network that lends a chance to so many.
      This was on ABC 2. This was a small budget show on ABC 2. If you think for one millisecond that merit is what wins or loses a show, you are sorely mistaken. Further, if you believe that programs do not develop over time and that this is widely known by anyone who has ever spent a minute working in TV, you’re off your bonce.
      Tonightly, even if it were bad, was not cancelled because it was bad.
      How many times does this need to be explicitly said before you come across all “well I didn’t like it!” as though you were cognisant with the aims of the ABC board. JFC. Is your opinion truly and magically representative of all?
      As for daring to critique the ABC from the left. What of it? I don’t think the oz is going to find much use with my “youth satirise imperialism and this is good” vibe.
      Please try not to be a twit.

      1. Thanks for taking the time to reply to my brief comment. Just for the record, I wasn’t suggesting the show should have been cancelled because I thought it was poor. As you rightly note, my opinion is irrelevant. It matters only microscopically when I buy a ticket to see Ballard (and others like him) at the MICF and thereby make a very small contribution to their incomes. I like the idea of networks persisting with experimental shows to test the value of what its creatives are trying to achieve. The BBC apparently tolerated three low quality seasons of French&Saunders in the early 1990s before the show found its voice and became popular. I can easily understand someone having the same faith in Ballard, who, as I noted above, seems to me to be a major talent. Nevertheless, what I saw of Tonightly’s first two seasons was, for me, boring pc beyond parody. I thought it best to not tune in again until the show had matured. That said, I’m not surprised the show was cancelled. It seemed more stillborn than embryonic. Someone somewhere must have decided the money could be better spent developing something else. Sometimes you have to cut your losses. And if Tonightly’s creatives are any good, their work will emerge elsewhere, possibly improved by the chastening experience of not having achieved much with the Tonightly concept.

      2. No. It is simply not a case of “if they are good they will find work”.
        The market does not work that way. Not now. Not ever. The cream doesn’t rise to the top, son. No more than the wealth trickles down.

  9. Some seriously out of touch cunts writing rather cuntish words here. Read the article. Watch the show on iView. Read some more and then comment you fence sitting devils advocating pieces of…Fuck me dead. Yes Tom wasn’t always funny, but that’s not the fucking point of the article. So. Read the fucking article and watch the show before it’s gone forever. The ABC is dying and so am I. As a 39 year old I have no hope anymore. This show gave me some. I didn’t always like it, but I felt it was at least trying to comment on issues important to me. Issues that could mean my life or death. If U didn’t like it, then it wasn’t meant for you. Fucking drongos.

  10. The most frightening thing about this article is the number of “BUT HALUN HEZ NOT FUNY!” replies when the author repeatedly belaboured that this wasn’t the central issue and even predicted the responses she would get. God on a wheel…

    1. he isn’t funny so there’s nothing relating to humour to comment about. My issue is with his overt bigotry and self aggrandizing. If the same level of stereotyping of gays, that he aims at hetero males, was reversed and aimed at gays by a hetero performer, there’d be hell to pay. The show wouldn’t have lasted through the first episode. Don’t insult gays, oh no, totally taboo. But go ahead and rubbish hetero males all you like, just make sure you call it humour; then congratulate yourself for being gay when you’re done. The bigotry is also evident in his immature prissy upstart bitch cohorts who are nothing but apprentice femnazis. If anyone is truly honest they would admit to noticing the bigotry spouted by everyone on the show: and it is not done with a humourous bent. There is a very definite agenda behind it.

  11. You’re so right Helen. I read it had a tiny budget, and the ratings have stayed consistent from it’s beginning. Why couldn’t they have at least kept it going on iView, isn’t that where most of the youngies are watching it anyway? Lot’s of disappointed fans on the Tonightly & Tom Ballard FB pages. Maybe it’s time for a name change. ABC to AGC (Australian Geriatrics Channel)

  12. Reality check. Nothing in TV goes on forever (unless it’s Coronation Street). Tonightly’s time was up, time for something else.

    1. “Reality check”. A nightly news show permitted to broadcast for much less than a year on a secondary channel is not an inevitable withering, but a cancelling.

  13. What makes one person laugh will sometimes leave another totally unamused – everyone knows that ffs.

    The point is that while critics of TB are busy offering us a list of people they find much funnier than Tom the ABC avoids scrutiny for not allowing the show to develope it’s satirical chops.

    Like never before we need a brave ABC. We need a ABC prepared to take some programming risks and to stop going weak at the knees every time some arsehole politician has an ideological hissy fit.

    We need a watchdog, currently we have a paper tiger.

  14. Odd review .
    Are we supposed to share the rage (or maybe, mild displeasure) about the axing of moderately funny news satire show with a presenter out of his depth?
    I don’t know what the ratings have been, but suspect its failure to attract millennials was the death knell.

    1. I think you’re supposed to share the rage at the ABC becoming the home of “nice” lifestyle content, while the presenters who bring us intelligent and critical analysis of political and social issues have been asked to tone it down or piss off.

  15. I find it hard to believe this was written by someone who has ever even watched the ABC. It seems more the work of someone who wants to give her mates in the Coalition more ammunition for getting rid of the ABC. And as for Ballard: the guy is JUST NOT FUNNY!

    1. Again.
      Your opinion of Tonightly is irrelevant. Merit does not win or lose a show on the ABC. If this were the case, The Weekly would never have made it to air.
      See. I can do it, too?
      As for “ammunition to the coalition”.
      Tell me. Which part of my argument could be used by the IPA? The bit where I say that stories on wealth inequality are important or the bit where I deride the right-wing nature of the ABC?
      As for mates. LOL.

  16. We can all take turns going up to the palliative care unit to visit our old Auntie for the last time,and i remember crying and laughing along with the old girl at different times in my life,but now she has gone,never to return,or maybe reincarnation really does exist and she will come back to comfort and entertain us all once again!

  17. The ABC is the perfect mouthpiece for that House-full of politicians scrambling over each other to condemn in the strongest possible terms the use of the words “final solution” in a maiden speech. Most of them have no problem with the a “final solution” in the form of the various US driven Middle Eastern wars (slaughter of thousands of “deplorable” civilians), Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, our incarceration of boat people or Aboriginal massacres in this country. Together with our government’s treatment of Julian Assange these weighty matters are totally taboo in “our ABC”. We’d sooner hear the prattlings of Bruce Shapiro than the words of our very own John Pilger. Do you remember that name?

  18. Helen, I am a 72 y o white male of the privileged class and I agree with what you have written. I watched a few eps of Tonightly and while I think Ballard overplays the gay a bit, overall the show had some very funny moments and some of xcellent political satire. The excuse that the ABC was canning it to look at other directions is purely, simply bureaucratic bullshitese. This is yet another pre-emptive kneebend, an “oh shit we can’t offend the government” reaction, especially after all the publicity given to the show’s clearance over the very funny Batman election story’s use of that “c” word. I don’t know how far up the managerial tree the decision was made but Michelle Guthrie needs to step in and reverse the decision, if only to show she has a bit of backbone. At the rate the ABC is being gutted, dumbed down and repopulated by inexperienced youngsters, employed for their ability to use twitter and walk and text at the same time, there won’t be anything of Auntie worth saving. Around the country there are experienced people in every field of broadcasting who have been put out to pasture not because of age but because they were more expensive than the illiterates who now populate our airwaves, bringing us our daily banalities in place of real news. To those who didn’t appreciate Ballard and the Tonightly crew, I say you have the remote, choose something else ( to be honestit’s Usually that something else which prevents me watching it, and yeah yeah, I have heard of iView but with NBN download speeds of 0.97 Mbps last night… say no more. And Helen, love your writing, even the more obscure literary references that I ‘get’.

  19. helen, I recently turned 62 and have decided to become a miserable trouble maker… i thank you for “kick up the bum”

  20. Agree with you, Helen. I’m sick of China, Russia, Julian bashing! The script delivered to our toadies directly from the US ratbags.

    Bring Back Ballard, I say! Or put you on, Helen.”Razer’s Razor” – has a cutting edge!

  21. Thanks Helen, I too often feel like throwing a brick at the tele when watching The Drum, but I am always optimistic of a real conversation but alas sadly dissapointed.

  22. All. very well to sit firing bullets Helen. Auntie has lost so much funding thanks to this government, and will no doubt lose more, there have to be further cuts. Prepare yourself there will be more. This show was shit, pure and simple. Won’t be missed.

  23. Why in the world would you possibly think, Helen, that the state funded broadcaster would be independent? Any more than Pravda was? Or Xinhua is?

    I wouldn’t trust the ABC to tell me any truths, not because it’s biased, but because it has shown itself to be relentlessly beholden to the government of the day, while simultaneously employing false equivalence to keep that government’s budget cutters at bay.

    As cynical as you are, I am surprised you expect anything else.

    Then again, based on your belief that everything we read or learn about Russia and China is all propaganda anyway, perhaps Pravda and Xinhua would be an improvement in the Razer household.

    On the other hand, despite being all that is evil in your world, the United States has two excellent examples of non-beholden broadcast media – National Public Radio and the PBS Newshour, funded only in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (and therefore, the government).

    Even if you dismiss the likes of the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and every other supposedly Russiaphobic tool of the capitalist and ruling class, there’s gold old PBS – churning out fair, unbiased investigative journalism on a daily basis.

    So I won’t lament the demise of the ABC’s news division, even though I can lament what might have been. You shouldn’t either.

  24. You can’t hide a lousy singer in front of a band of song writers who are learning and improving their craft.. on the TV stage Tom revealed he had not much to give or improve ..

    1. FFS. This is hardly the point.
      There are plenty of things on the ABC which are patently shit. Whatever one’s opinion of Ballard, the show was not ended due to it being unfunny.

      1. Ok Helen, so the show was funny, its just that the anchor man was not…..OK that now makes perfect sense……sort of like the restaurant review where the food was good, but the chef served it stone cold.

      2. I still lament the Punch magazine extinction and with it went rapier humour that stabbed at the heart of pomposity and political egos- BUT everytime I hear some aspiring comedian trying to be funny merely by being obnoxious – I think their act should be euthanised immediately so they can go back to the drawing board to realise they are failures. If they have the intellect then they can refine their craft if they want to keep going – other wise go onto become a newsreader for employment where they have to keep strictly to script. The ABC cannot become the Centrelink for unemployable media personnel.

  25. Who was it said: “the park benches of the world are full of failed comedians”..

    Young Tom just wasn’t funny….the first and last quality of a comic.

    1. Your opinion of Ballard, fascinating as it isn’t, really has no bearing, here.
      Even if you found him funny and even if the ABC and all in government found him funny, this would be no guarantee of the program;s continued…oh. Why do we bother, Archie? Your sole intention here is to Play Devil’s Advocate, which is French for douche.

      1. Devil’s Advocate – for a moment I thought it was another mascara!!

        Funny thing is that even the ABC does not usually drop shows which rate their arses off. Micallef is actually funny – both the material and the delivery count.

        At the risk of being a timey old fart, you must remember the old joke about the stage acts at the comedian’s convention.

        Because all the comedians knew all the jokes, time was saved by numbering them all; and all the stage act had to do was recite the numbers. The youngest comedian followed a raucous laughfest at the previous act reciting numbers. Some helpful veterans gave him/her the numbers of the funniest jokes and he/she went on and delivered those numbers, and was mortified by the silence of the audience.

        Stumbling off stage devastated, he/she asked the veterans what he/she had possibly done wrong?

        The veterans piped up in unison….”Ahh… its just the way you tell ’em”…..

        IMHO, the best humour is not about political satire, but more about exaggeration of the inanities of everyday life…..great exponents being comedians like Bill Bailey, Jimoen, and in the distant past Pete and Dud. For the best of frenetic political satire, Jon Stewart is hard to beat.

        1. I agree Archie. Tom Ballard and Tonightly were just plain not funny. Which is not to say the ABC’s news and political commentary isn’t turning into a uber-boring one trick pony, but a painful half hour is still a painful half hour.

          Could I also add to your list our very own Tom Gleeson (still ripping the shit out of people on the ABC), Welsh comedian Rhod Gilbert and perhaps the most astute observer of the human condition of our time, Jerry Seinfeld.

          1. Bronwyn, Heartily agree with your additions to the list…Tom Gleeson does a great job spiking the smugfest of ABC luvvies like la Trioli and their supine male sidekicks.

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