The Ex-PM airs this Wednesday

The Ex-PM logoAfter over a year of anticipation, finally Shaun’s first sitcom in 12 years is here – The Ex-PM! And at the special time of 9:05pm too. This Wednesday, ABC. (Or on iView afterwards)

Each of the six episodes will be a different aspect/chapter to Dugdale’s life as a former Prime Minister, all wrapped around the need for him to finish his autobiography, or at least have it written for him.

Expect a lot of quick-paced-wit and an great supporting cast.

Shaun’s 2016 dance card

David McGahan dancingThanks to a number of announcements over the last few months, we now have a fairly good idea of where/what/how you can see Shaun right through until the end of 2016:

The Ex-PM
No doubt you’re already aware, but Shaun’s new sitcom is all wrapped up and ready to air on Wednesday October 14th on ABC. Expect to see (or more accurately, hear) Shaun on radio over the preceding week promoting it. The show will air over 6 weeks.

Shooting of the “Stairway to Heaven” specials
There will be three new Stairway to Heaven specials to air on SBS in 2016, so Shaun will spend time filming these over the following few months. He has already been spotted in Salt Lake City, so there’s a fair bet Mormonism will be one of the faith’s explored. [Update: he revealed to The Advertiser that the other two would be about Catholicism in Brazil and another about apocalyptic churches preaching The Rapture in the US.]

Mad As Hell – May 2016
The ABC have given the first part of next year to Charlie Pickering’s show, so Mad As Hell is likely to slot in after it (the reverse of what happened this year). Shaun has pretty much confirmed its return, so hopefully the sixth season will line up with an election announcement to add some additional gold…

MTC Production: The Odd Couple – November 2016
For the latter half of the year, Shaun will join Francis Greenslade on the Melbourne Theatre Company stage for “The Odd Couple”. Neil Simon’s classic comedy about divorced men living together has been adapted and performed in many guises, and might be, perversely, the world’s funniest play about marriage. Watch the video to see Shaun and Francis discuss working together:

Winning at Game Shows

Previously we spoke to Stephen Hall, one of the cast members of Mad As Hell, about many things, including the fact he was a quiz show champion!

He has taken all of the skills he learnt, plus hours of interviews with former game show champions, hosts, question writers and producers, and put it all into one eBook: “How To Win Game Shows“. It also includes behind-the-scenes’ tips from ‘Family Feud’, ‘The Price Is Right’ and ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’. Even if you don’t fancy yourself as a contestant, the inner workings of some of the most successful quiz shows makes for great reading. You can find out more at Stephen’s website.

Micallef Tonight… a guide

Micallef with axe on Micallef Tonight DVD coverIt’s never too late for an episode guide… said no one ever. But 12 years (to the day!) since Micallef Tonight was axed seems like a good time to finish the segment guide to both the originally aired TV episodes and the expurgated DVD episodes: for the DVD, Shaun cut the 13 episodes down to eight, leaving out the musical performances and generally re-cutting the order. (not sure why…)

You can read the original review of the DVD, or still buy it (I think?), or use our sortable segment guide (or the original episode guide). See, your night’s entertainment is sorted!

Watching the Moment

A few years ago, Shaun contributed a story called “The Moment” to a collection called “Humanity: A Short Story Collection” (and it’s still available on Amazon). It is the story is of an old man who night after night is torn from his slumber by a horrible and unshakable vision, all while watching the days of the week disappear – a departure from the style of Shaun’s well-known work, but not outside his wheelhouse.

It was made into a short film around about the same time by Triptych Pictures (who also made The 13th House), and was featured at a number of short film festivals. It sort of slid under the radar after that, but the kind people at Triptych have made it available online to watch for free! The website has more information on the making of the film.

A Kraken’ Book

While Mad As Hell is on hiatus, the team behind the show are busy working on other projects. You may have seen Emily Tahini on Open Slather on Foxtel (with writer Tony Moclair involved in a few episodes), and Francis is of course filming The Ex-PM with Shaun.

Zombie McCrombie book

Michael Ward, writer on the show and resident Kraken, has written a book: “Zombie McCrombie from an overturned Kombi”. It’s an illustrated story of Zombie and his zombie dog pals, who roam the empty streets, sniffing the wind for bones they might gnaw on. Firmly tongue in cheek, it’s sure to suit fans of Shaun’s style of humour. Read all about it and get a copy through the website.

Shaun in The 13th House

Shaun in The 13th HouseShaun’s been involved in a number of side projects through the years, some of which have had limited releases, making it difficult for fans to catch them.

One such project is The 13th House, a 2003 60 minute film which formed part of the official selection in the Adelaide Film Festival 2003, Sitges International Festival of Catalonia 2003, Brussels International Film Festival 2004 and the Sydney Film Festival 2003.

Mark Waterman (Damon Gameau) works a menial job writing travel brochures for a large, faceless corporation. He is just another cog in an impossibly large machine; dreaming of holidays he can never afford and women he can never have.

When an opportunity for promotion to the 13th Floor is presented to him by the enigmatic Chairman of the Board, played by Shaun, Mark quickly jumps at it. The lure of the most expensive cars, tailored suits and other perks of the ‘better life’ await those that attain membership to the Board.

However, Mark soon finds himself caught in the middle of a sinister game with rules so contradictory, so senseless, that he is forced to sacrifice everything he once held dear in order to win the ultimate prize…

Finally, the the film is finally available on DVD, and includes special features such as deleted scenes and outtakes with Shaun. Purchase it at the Triptych Pictures website.