Last year, the ABC launched “Fresh Blood” – a call out for new comedy talent to submit their videos and proposals for a chance to receive funding for their video sketch or comedic performance project, so it can be screened on ABC iView and other online channels.
The winners were announced recently, but when the competition was first announced, the ABC used a ‘Game of Thrones’ parody to promote it – starring the Chaser team and Shaun. If you missed it, here it is:
There may have been two shows on our TVs last year with Shaun in them, but neither Channel Ten or the ABC remembered to nominate Shaun for either Most Popular Presenter or Most Popular Male Actor, despite nearly every other personality being on the list. Furthermore, Mr & Mrs Murder was left off the list for Most Popular Drama!
So only Mad As Hell has a chance at a popular award, and only if you vote. Voting closes tomorrow (Sunday).
There’s still a chance either Mr & Mrs Murder or Mad As Hell could win a “most outstanding” award, which is industry voted. Last year, Mad As Hell was nominated but lost to… The X Factor?!
Back in 2011, Shaun wrote a piece for Tony Martin’s website “The Scriveners’ Fancy” (no longer online) called The Resolute President. Move forward to recent times, and Shaun has hinted his next book is about the President’s Desk – one of which is called… The Resolute Desk.
Could this except from his original post on Tony’s website give us a hint of what’s to come….?
The President sat at his desk and ran his hands over the brilliantly polished timber. It had been only a month since he took office – and, in the rare moments he was alone, he still liked to revel in the newness of it all. He had managed to duck his security detail a couple of times to go off exploring, but as he was always on CCTV, they invariably found him after a few minutes. Even when he’d discovered that tunnel that Kennedy had used to smuggle in Marilyn Monroe, the Secret Servicemen had turned up in about forty seconds. The Oval Office was his favourite room, though, because LBJ had ordered all the wiring ripped out after Nixon. There were no cameras, no hidden microphones and, this morning at least, no people. He swivelled around on his chair to face the window and watch the peacocks in the Rose Garden. A gentle dawn filtered through the trees and chased away the last shadow of night, the distant drum of Washington’s waking traffic beating through the triple-glazing. A knock at the door broke his reverie and in walked Fellowes with a brisk ‘Good morning, Mr President.’…
Coming soon on ABC1: The Beatles, 50 Years Down Under
Shaun was resetting his election doomsday clock (for just 5 months time), before he began updating us on the happenings since last season – mainly a new government. Rest assured the statue of Abbott was already on order from season 1. And to help with the government efficiency drive, the cast will assist Australia Post to sort the mail, the audience will complete Medicare forms and the left-over NBN asbestos will be stored in the studio – making us, the ABC viewer, feel better about how our taxpayer dollars are being wasted.
This week: No Flourish. No Embelishment.
It’s a catch up episode, with Shaun having ignored the news for twelve months – but that takes time and preparation. Justin Bieber invading the moon with China, Shaun winning an AACTA, and Schapelle resuming her holiday will have to wait – the big story is Asylum Seekers.
Scott Morrison won’t answer questions on the navy turning back the boats for “operational reasons”, so Shaun asked Vice Rear-Admiral Bobo Gargle (Francis) who couldn’t answer Shaun’s question on whether Shaun was actually speaking to him. Sarah Hansen Young says Scott Morrison is hiding behind the word “operation”, but Shaun showed footage of Scott standing in front of it, on a board at a press conference.
Spokeperson for immigration Rosemary Kipflers (Emily), won’t divulge what Operation Sovereign Borders is for ”operational reasons”, and Lieutenant General Angus Campbell won’t comment on anything related to “on water matters”.
To comment on what other people are commenting on what’s not being commented on, specifically the straying of navy ships into Indonesian waters, Bobo Gargle joined Shaun from the Brisbane studio instead of the Mad As Hell one due to positional error. His explanation: “Water is what we in the navy refer to as wobbly”. He also claimed that if there was a “secrecy sandwich” as Bill Shorten claims, how would Bill know the ingredients?
Bobo was still hoping for an apology by the ABC over the navy cruelty scandal, and since Shaun failed to give one, he released The Kraken! But as Spicks and Specks wasn’t on yet, the Kraken went back into the cupboard.
We’ve apologized for our navy breaching Indonesian waters , which could happen to anyone, but they still drew a line in the sand over it. If Indonesia tows our boats back, then we tow theirs, eventually we’ll have a pontoon of boats for asylum seekers to walk to Australia.
The Government takes the breach seriously – the Navy “breached government policy”, a policy apparently against breaking international law. So when it comes to the accusation over the Navy personnel injuring asylum seekers, Tony Abbott asks: “who do you believe” – those who are attempting break Australian law, or those that have broken international law.
When asked if Indonesia was on a war footing with Australia, the Foreign Minister said “No, not really”. And on rival news parody Wake Up, our PM defended their secrecy “if we were at war, we wouldn’t be giving out information that is of use to the enemy.” But the customs department is also declaring it is at war over illegal drugs. Shaun asked Retired Field Marshal Wesley Pock, President of the Predictable Responses League (Stephen) if war rhetoric should be used for civilian matters like the postal service, but cut him off when he rambled on about water boarding postal employees.
Coming up: The $25m Royal Commission into the Homeowner Insulation Program, starring Kevin Rudd and Peter Garrett on APAC and a brand new series of Paper Giants: Trading Post, with Vince Colosimo as Kerry Packer on ABC2.
With an efficiency review in progress, Shaun thinks it is SBS who are really under the microscope. Malcolm Turnbull describes them as “lean and hungry”, but as Julius Caesar teaches us, the lean ones are the untrustworthy ones – likely to do away with Caesar/Abbott. Recently SBS even discovered “Reporters without Boarders”, such is their efficiency.
The ABC is also efficient, with Bill Shorten asking and answering his own questions in a recent interview, but the interview still has plenty of the usual ABC bias.
It’s clear Bill Shorten and Tony Abbott aren’t getting along, with Bill declaring Tony is too ideological to save SPC, whereas they could be like Labor and have no ideology. With all his Oxford education, Tony labelled Bill as “cocky” for saying Abbott would be a one term prime minister, holding back on saying: “better than Labor’s habit of a two prime minister term.”
In sport, Russia’s new gay-dar is watching over the Olympics, and Maggie Bathysphere (Emily) is still in the stadium at Sochi, but they can’t say much due to the secret police. Maggie had her eye on the story of a refugee who had been given a Visa simply because he was good at cricket, and thinks we should be checking all incoming boats for anyone who exhibits the same skills.
Putin has been trying to play down the anti-gay propaganda laws, saying that millions of Russian’s love Elton John, despite his orientation. Nikolai Orkic, president of the Australia Russian Alliance, agrees, saying that he doesn’t think any less (or more) about Elton due to his sexual preference – about 1 or 2 twice a week. Shaun offered Nikolai a DVD copy of Millionaire Hot Seat, the Interviews: “Nearly four hours of Eddie McGuire’s conversations with the contestants”, but Nikolai had disappeared.
Eric Abetz had been trying to help the workers of Toyota before the decision to end manufacturing, even selflessly wanting to set aside their enterprise bargaining agreement so the workers could directly vote on a management proposal. Draymella Burt (Emily) from Mr Abetz’s office sympathised on the situation, but said business had to run without interference from big government: “we can lead the horse to water, but it’s up to them if they sink or swim.” Tantamount Scrillo (Stephen), quisling and chef in the Toyota executive boardroom “guesses” they care about the workers. Draymella continued: “workers need to stand on their own two knees. Competition means a healthy market. Without it, we’d still be eating tariff protected bananas.”
On a final note, bias is in the eye of the beholder. So Shaun left us with a “where are they now” of ex-Labor front benchers, including former resources minister Martin Ferguson, who now manages a road house near Dapto.
In an interview with David Knox, Shaun revealed a lot about what we can expect from Mad As Hell this year, plus a few other tidbits.
Firstly, there will be two seasons this year, each of 10 episodes.
His original plan for Mad As Hell was to push to 5 nights a week, similar to shows like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (although that’s only four nights). And Shaun still wants to get there: “A proper, nightly show. And the idea is to eventually have it 2 nights a week, then 3 and then be on every night.”
This season, he’s looking forward to the new content provided by a change in government. “It’s great. If we had more of the same we’d be worried about repeating ourselves. But it’s a very different dynamic.”
Some favourite characters will return: “Roz Hammond seems to have the best hit ratio. She has lots of characters that everyone loves writing for.” But Shaun will continue to avoid any shots of the audience: “I loathe them.”
And there’s a few hidden gems in this season for fans like us: the humorous episode synopsis will continue, with inspiration from some Three Stooges episodes; plus the Micallef Tonight sign, saved from the old GTV9 building before it was demolished recently (or “burned down” as Shaun put it), will make a background appearance somewhere on the set.
Finally, he also confirmed that his decision to pursue two seasons of Mad As Hell this year has halted any chance of Mr & Mrs Murder returning, had Channel Ten been interested.
Keep an eye or ear out for Shaun over the next few days as we count down to Mad As Hell on Wednesday – he’ll be appearing on a number of radio and TV programs to spruik what Tony Martin calls “the best comedy show in the country”.
Check our Twitter feed for the latest sightings/hearings as they occur.
The cast and crew have already been back in the studio filming some sketches, which hopefully we’ll get to see throughout the season.
The ABC have also launched a new website for the show, although it seems like it’s more to suit their new style, as there’s actually less content on this one (so far).
In the meantime, strap yourself in for the Micallef train!
The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) (formerly known as the AFI), held their annual awards for 2014 on January 30th.
And the winner for Best Performance in a Television Comedy? Shaun Micallef (of course), for Mad As Hell. Apparently he gave a cheeky speech poking fun at his fellow nominees (
but I’ve haven’t seen it yet).
And Kat Stewart, his Mr & Mrs Murder co-star, won Best Guest or Supporting Actress in a Television Drama for her role in Offspring.
(You can now watch it at TenPlay; Shaun’s award is at 43:20 and he presents Best actress in a television drama at 52:00)
The word is that the third season of Mad As Hell will be hitting our screens “sometime before March”, but we’re waiting on official confirmation from the ABC on the exact date (or even day of the week: will it stay on Wednesdays?!)
With the season starting so early in the year – could we expect a double-hit this year? I don’t know, I’m asking you!