25 years in one book

Shaun’s latest book has hit the shelves: Mad As Hell And Back, an anthology of sketches from Full Frontal, The Micallef P(r)ogram(me), Newstopia and, of course, Mad As Hell.

It’s co-written with Shaun’s writing partner Gary McCaffrie, and the two introduce each section of the book (grouped by program) with a story about how they got to that point, sparing back and forth.

I was very happy to get my hands on my copy, it’s a celebration of some of Shaun and Gary’s best sketches in 370 pages. Sure it’s really for die-hard fans, but why would you want to be anything else?

The ABC of repeating an episode

It was a very strange week last week, enough to make Shaun himself actually Mad As Hell. (Well, slightly)

If you didn’t notice, the ABC played the wrong episode of “Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell”. Instead of episode four, recorded the previous night to air Wednesday 17th at 8:32pm-ish, we got episode three, originally aired the previous Wednesday.

As the ABC (with all broadcast TV networks) have outsourced the actual playback/transmission of their feed to a company called MediaHub, there was no one at ABC Melbourne to correct the issue, and no one to rectify the mistake before it aired across timezones in SA and then WA. So the whole thing played out as if it was new, except for an apology crawler message.

The blame was placed on a tech at ABC, who, after it was supplied by Shaun’s team, mislabeled the episode in delivering it to MediaHub.

The result was Mad As Hell appeared on screens four times in a week (one additional Thursday night airing), and the Wednesday night repeat still ended up rating #1 in it’s timeslot.

At least Shaun and Leigh Sales got to have some fun with it.

Double the Shaun for one night only

Wednesday is shaping as a double Shaun night, with the finale of series 2 (or 6, depending how you count) of Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation on Channel 9 at 7:30pm, then straight over to the ABC at 8:30pm (ish) for the start of series 10 of Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell.

On TAYG, we’re getting the first fancy dress theme since the show moved to Channel 9. And Mad As Hell, expect “same government, fresh hell”… but also, two new cast members: Christie Whelan Browne and Michelle Brasier will appear at different times during the season. It’s a healthy 13 episode season too.

Finally… time to be Mad As Hell again!

“This is an illness, take some time off till you can write a headline without a pun in it.”

While we have been very much enjoying the sheer absurdity of Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation, we’re delighted that the place where Shaun really flexes his chops, Mad As Hell, is back in less than a month, Wednesday 26th June at 8:30pm on ABC.
And it’s Season 10. Freak me sideways!

Yes, the ABC missed an opportunity to let the show air during the federal election, but now that we know exactly who is running the asylum, you can expect some laser focused satire.. so that we can all yell “something, something, I’m not going to take it anymore!”

Ten years since we first Your Gen-ened

On the 5th May 2009, Shaun made his biggest splash into the mainstream zeitgeist by first hosting Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation, joining the original cast of Amanda Keller, Charlie Pickering and Josh Thomas for four glorious seasons, which got zanier as it went on, eventually even spawning a book!

And, sure, there was a hiatus between the original (2009-2012) and the reboot (which returned last year, but splitting hairs aside – happy 10 years to TAYG!

Shaun and Charlie reminisced on the anniversary over Twitter (both of whom obviously have ABC news based comedy shows at various times of the year)….

TAYG is back for another round this Wednesday

You don’t need a the time machine – the second season of the rebooted Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation is on Channel 9 from 7:30pm this Wednesday.

Shaun will again be joined by Robyn Butler, Andy Lee and Laurence Boxhall as X, Y and Z team captains.

I was lucky enough to be in the audience for one of the episodes, and it certainly feels more freeform than even last season (think ‘As Quick As’ being timed against a competitive hot-dog eater). If you enjoy your Micallef humour with a spot of odd, then strap in!

Feeling bookish

Did everyone finish reading through Shaun’s uncollected plays over summer? For those die hard fans, maybe you noticed:

– “The Great War and How it Got That Way” was originally featured as a cold open sketch in Mad As Hell

– “Visiting Rites” appeared as “(A Visit)” on Shaun’s His Generation album

– While most of the introductions were tongue-in-cheek, there was a very raw quality to the introduction of “Marx Will Be Deducted” which touched on his casting in the play Boeing Boeing

In other book talk, Shaun hinted recently that he’s working on another book, roughly based around the story of the Pied Piper. Tentatively titled “Rescuing Hamlin’s Children”, it’s aimed at the same readers who enjoyed Tales from a Tall Forest.

Talkin’ ‘Bout another round

TAYG will be back for 2019! After a come back last year on a new network, with new team captains (but thankfully the same host) Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation (MK2) will return to our screens for Series 2 later in the year. Filming is happening during February and March.

The quiz show battles celebrities from different generations against each other, with questions and physical challenges, to decide who is the greatest generation (of the week).

In the meantime, you can watch Series 1 online.

Mad again in 2019

The ABC announced their “upfronts” for 2019 (basically what they will air next year), and to avoid riots in the street (as well put by Oz Tumbleweeds), Mad As Hell will be back! Here’s the press release:

Shaun Micallef celebrates his 25th year in television with his 10th season of Mad as Hell. “It’s a bit like the frog in the saucepan of water,” says the comedian of working for the ABC. “If you turn up the heat, the frog doesn’t notice because he’s cold-blooded. Eventually the water’s boiling and the frog’s like ‘Hey, WTAF?’ and he explodes… Actually, it’s not a very good analogy.” Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell, Australia’s longest-running half-hour news satire program of that name returns in 2019.

According to Shaun, it will be back in July (presumably for one season only next year), just after the next federal election (and sadly not during the campaign it seems).

The team celebrated 100 episodes recently, and with tonight’s season finale, it puts the total count to 102. Congrats to everyone who makes Mad As Hell the best satirical show on Australian TV, if we do say so ourselves.