Recap: Mad As Hell, May 18th 2016

Thriller in which a man wakes to discover that his left kidney has been removed & replaced with a nuclear bomb set to go off at 1800 hours, exactly when he’s supposed to be at his son’s school concert.

Mad As Hell S6Ep2 - Door Knocking for the ABCAt the house of an average family, a doorknocker arrives collecting for the ABC – the triennial funding has fallen through, and the tin is being rattled. Why pay for something that’s free? For all the panel shows where people talk about various things? Or a bit of drama with men who have beards and maybe a lesbian? If it’s satire you want – look for Mad As Hell, it’s like a comedy version of The Weekly.

The battle lines have been drawn for the reckoning (ie. the election), and with 45 days still to go, there has been a debate at an western suburbs RSL. Everybody of course watched the debate, no more so than Larry & Evagnie Sideburns, although they couldn’t hear it over the pokies. Bill Shorten was declared the winner, and it was due to his experience with his 20 second (or 22nd) town hall meetings. He’s also a man of people, not worrying about complicated word-talkage, making him very relatable.

Spore Cut (Roz), an extraordinarily average voter, likes that Bill drinks beer, because she does, so naturally she likes him, and he’s only dull when you actually listen to the way he’s talking. He’s not over-promising either, fighting for ‘reasonable’ conditions and ultimately for the election – will he defeat it, or will he defeat the government and not the election? Send your entries to… never mind.

“Who are you?” is how people are greeting Malcolm Turnbull, while Peta Credlin prefers “Mr Harbourside-mansion”. It’s been a tough week for him, with many issues requiring his attention, including having to refute Labor’s claim that increasing education funding improves productivity, by saying the impact won’t be felt till 2095.

Mad As Hell S6Ep2: Snoring from MathiasMatias Korman got very “riled up” at Bill’s assertions, although his “animated” response was snore inducing. Darius Horsham (Stephen) helped clarify the issues, asserting that jobs and growth should be the focus of the election – although unpaid internships count as jobs, and most of the interest in growing the economy through cheap labour has come from 7 Eleven.

Davey Plumb (Tosh), disgraced financial adviser, thinks that its fine companies like Wilson Security can claim 1% tax by shifting their profits to an offshore tax haven, since they shift asylum seekers to offshore detention. He also clarified tax evasion vs avoidance: you can evade a question during an interview, but to avoid it you just don’t turn up.

Coming soon to the ABC: one woman, 16 deputy commissioners, $150 million dollars to fund a royal commission into the building industry. Enid Swink.

Offshore processing is receiving a lot of bi-partisan “meh”, and Cluck Flapwurst (Roz) from the Labor party says her party are just pretending to be in-humane to the asylum seekers to stop people from arriving, but they will be less in-humane than the government is. M3rglin (Stephen… ish), spokesperson for the Immigration Minister, is committed to pretending that asylum seekers pose a threat to national security – it’s a much stronger message to the voters. Sebastian Munge (Francis), an accountant, is suggesting we negatively gear the recently freed asylum seekers on Manus Island – it’s not refugee evasion, it is refugee avoidance.

Mad As Hell S6 Ep2 - Piano falls on CasparThis opened up the MadAsDebate topic of negative gearing of property, and Fabiona Bastion (Emily), a Liberal voter, has negatively geared a rental property so that essentially her 8 year old daughter is a landlord. If abolishing negative gearing will reduce her rent, she’s voting Labor. Caspar Jonquil has his own opinions, but a lightening strike and a few pianos put him out of his misery.

News from Countries other than Australia is brought to you by the Colour Me Canberra colouring book. The newly crowned oldest woman in the world has said the secret to her success is the previous record holder dying. The CSIRO is closing its ice lab in Antarctica, and good thing too – the crystal meth trade is more efficient when you cut out the middle penguin. The Unaoil scandal has so far not claimed any Australian scalps, as according to Commissioner Max Payne (Francis) from the Australian Federal Police, they have employed their non-pursuit policy – mainly because it’s too hard. And Japan is planning to launch an invisible train, which Shaun thinks might be a good idea for Turnbull’s smart cities plan – although he can’t see it happening.

Mad As Hell S6Ep2: Making an AnzacThe true story of cooking them just right: The Making of an Anzac (biscuit), Sunday 3:30pm

Shaun thinks the Apex gang who have terrorised the streets of Melbourne get only painted in a negative light – but what about the positive aspects of the Apex (Clubs of Australia): helping the homeless, holding community BBQ’s…

Dolly Levi (Emily), matchmaker, thinks that the Greens and Labor are destined for each other, and that they each protest too much, despite feeble attempts by the Greens to flirt with their rivals, the Liberals.

Maggie Bathysphere is waiting at the Rio stadium ahead of the Olympics, where new sports like bareback skeet shooting, involuntary diving, capsicum spray dodging, witch hat hurling, the burning of infected uniforms and the 100m dysentery are all being trialed.

Effigy quality is an important thing. Maureen Shostakovich (Roz) is an effigy maker, and believes it is very important the effigy looks like the intended target. She tries to make them as flammable as possible, using the stuffing from toys made in China. Once Maureen made an effigy of Kevin Rudd, and he was so vain he posed for it/ However it was too realistic, and the organisers got confused and set fire to the real Kevin – luckily he’s his own retardant.

Finally, there is an increase in obesity in children, but the silver lining is that it will mean more Biggest Loser contestants. Shaun doesn’t agree that The Biggest Loser is all about humiliating people for our entertainment – if you’ve ever watched it, you’ll know it isn’t entertainment.

Recap: Mad As Hell, May 11th 2016

Let’s see how we go with bringing back the recaps….

To raise money for charity the San Antonio Spurs basketball team is miniaturised, injected into Iggy Pop’s head & given just 60 minutes to find five living brain cells which it can challenge to a game of ‘hoops’.

Mad As Hell S6Ep1: The statueThe Abbott statue has been overturned, and there’s 52 sleeps (or 54 if they do a couple of debates) until the election. Shaun wasn’t sure that he was Mad As Hell, not Glad As Hell, but perhaps Sad As Hell, especially about those whinging about the election. Moof Pupper, lecturer at Box Hill Tafe, disagreed with the Stephen Conroy’s assertion that Sir John Kerr’s ghost would be turning at his grave over the double-dissolution – crawling perhaps.

Shaun is going to miss some casualties of this election, like Clive Palmer, who’s easy to call an idiot (just add the caption “Idiot” to any photo of him) and Ricky Muir, who is great at describing when a gun doesn’t go off. Sophie Mirabella is likely to lose her seat even more, with her bold strategy of encouraging people to vote for you by not telling them what you’re going to do for them until after they haven’t voted for you. Gorg Van Der McKenzie from The Institute of Whoever is Providing the Funding thinks that the strain on Wangaratta Hospital was eased when people felt less sick when Ms Mirabella didn’t win, so there was no need to fund it.

Shaun’s really going to miss the old Bill, who is doing “no more zingers” – imagine how that makes Shaun feel! As Shaun is an expert on comic timing (he was Fabio), he felt he could judge Jason Clare’s zinger attempts, but they’re shithouse compared to Bill. Bill has however been employing a vocal coach, even though it may mean he turns up sound like a Nepalese musician, or Ian Macfarlane.

Mad As Hell S6Ep1: Fingers crossedOn the topic of Malcolm Turnbull, Shaun likes him, and hopes he wins the next election, and will do everything he can to make him look good. ABC viewers are a whiney lot, complaining about the poor use of their 8c a day, and Shaun is unapologetic about his biased respect for Malcolm. (His Malcolm rant should be shared on Facebook, as the ABC loves that shit.)

On Father Brown this week, another priest is going around shooting people, and despite all the evidence, Father Brown recalls nothing of the incident and promptly moves the priest to another parish – mystery solved.

The federal budget has been digested, but Financy Boy can’t be the one to present it due to editorial policy, so Wilhemena Diiferent did – looking at Febu / Fudget / Debudget, and its benefits for CEO’s and Bankers.

Mad As Hell - S6 Ep1 Financy BoyThe budget has brought Malcolm and Scott Morrison together, and they are using tax to discourage people from doing certain activities – according to Draymella Burt, this includes smoking, eating (consumption tax), earning income (income tax) and leaving (departure tax).

War is still Hell, and the government is spending a lot of budget money on submarines. Rear Admiral Bob Gargle thinks it is money well spent, and that it’s not politically motivated – “There’s no reason to stuff more pork in the barrel than you need… if you catch my drift.” Dr Eldon Tyrell thinks you can’t make the existing Collins class last longer – “it’s a little out of my jurisdiction”. Bobo says the Collins class has a good range – 3 octaves to be precise. You can hear them from quite a distance – and they go all the way to high C (high sea – geddit?) And despite Bobo wanting a limited release of the Kraken, the ABC had left the poor Kraken in his cupboard for a year, and he’d wasted away to his skeleton (impossible for a cephalopod).

Next on ABC: Farmer wants a Chinese Investor, Bob’s Deeply Personal Journey, and Over-Correcting the Perception of Bias – a full night’s viewing!

There’s plans for a nuclear waste dump on the property of an ex-Liberal MP, which is one hell of a parting gift. But speaking of sport, its sport, and the sport of banking is one Australia would win. Zenzy (Hawke Screech) reported on how stupidly bankers allowed people like the Macallisters to over extend themselves to audacious levels, and how unscrupulous brokers like Davey Plumb rorted them all, easily and proudly. And the Australian government is only repeating them same mistakes.

To wrap up, Shaun feels that Lee Lin Chin was robbed of the Gold Logie – she’s the only gutsy enough to say penises on TV.

Mad As Hell won a Logie! And is Back!

The cast with their 2016 Logie for Mad As HellAfter what seems like an eternity (actually one whole year), Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell is back for season 6, each Wednesday for the next 12 weeks.

And it’s back after winning the 2016 Most Outstanding Comedy Logie award!

All the cast from last season is back, although Stephen may disappear towards the end due to his Fawlty Towers stage show commitments.

It’s going to be an interesting season, as this is the first to run during an election campaign. Feel pity for the writers and cast, who will have to be changing and re-learning lines as the election cycle ramps up.

For us, it’s going to be exactly what we need on TV.

Catching up on the news

It has been fairly quiet on Shaun news in the past few months, but with Mad As Hell back on our screens in less than 2 weeks (May 11th), it’s time to catch up on a few tidbits. So here’s the run down:

AACTA award for Mad As Hell

Late last year, Mad As Hell won an AACTA award for “Best Television Comedy Series” (which is slightly ironic, considering the ABC fund it via Light Entertainment department, which is why it only got one season last year!) Previously, Shaun won an AACTA for his performance, but this is the first for the show itself.

Logie Nomination

Mad As Hell has also been nominated for the Most Outstanding Comedy award at the Australian TV awards, the Logies. This is an industry voted award, but it’s still tough competition, with Utopia also nominated.

The awards ceremony is on May 8th.

Sucker It And See

Comedian Lawrence Leung took his successful stage show about a young Asian-Australian turning against all of his parents expectations to become a travelling conman, and made it into a movie.

In Sucker, Shaun plays Harry, a small cameo role of a bug-eyed second-hand record store proprietor.

The movie had a small release, and got mixed reviews, but if it has your interest (even to see Shaun), it is now available on DVD, iTunes, and Netflix (if you’re in the US).

Mad As Hell back in May

Mad as Hell S5E9 Grun on the TellyIn case you’ve been panicked recently over the lack of Shaun on TV, we’re definitely sure Mad As Hell will return this year, and we’re almost reasonably, maybe, likely, probably positive that it will be the 11th May, after the conclusion of The Weekly’s run.

It’s also looking more and more likely it will be election season, so Shaun should have plenty of material to play with!

The Ex Ex-PM

The Ex-PM DVD

Like a high speed train passing a transport enthusiast who wasn’t ready, The Ex-PM has gone by too quickly – and all 6 episodes are done! Sadly, Dugdale didn’t even get his book written.

All the episodes are on iView until December 2nd, and you can now get the DVD at all the usual places (like the ABC Shop). There’s a few extras and bloopers from the series.

If you’re hoping for a second series, never say never, but you will at least need to wait till 2017, as Shaun has his dance card full for the next 12 months.

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.