Today is Shaun’s 52nd birthday. We already made a start on the cake…
We fondly remember Welcher and Welcher, Shaun’s foray into the sitcom world, which had some brilliant moments (amongst a few awkward ones). So in very exciting news, Shaun let it slip in a recent chat that he was writing another sitcom!
This is what he told us:
“It’s about a boy who befriends a giant robot. The working title is: Amazing Flying Power Child and it stars myself and Rebecca Gibney.”
So, there it is, explained only the way Shaun could! It’s likely more (or anything) will be announced if and when Shaun gets a green light from the ABC to go to production. Something to hope for in 2015?!
Despite that fact that it won’t be available until October 6th, there’s been a bit more information recently on Shaun’s next book “The President’s Desk”. During a conversation last week, Shaun was kind enough to share some information about it with me, as well as appearing with Francis on stage at the Williamstown Literary Festival to delight the audience with a reading.
Shaun says it’s a book you can “dip-into”, with each chapter revolving around different American Presidents, with the desk being a central theme. He pointed out that just like people now days can watch a film in any order (with the power of time-shifted TV), so too can you read this book in any order. It’s a bit like a history book, with “some bits made up” to be more interesting.
A lot of the ideas in the book seem to have been hanging around for a while, with parts of the book having been “played out” with Kim Gyngell at the Festival 2 years ago, as well as some of it being published as part of Tony Martin’s former website.
Shaun prefers to only shop a book to publishers when it’s complete, for fear of promising something he later feels is a bit rubbish.
At the Willy Lit Fest, he read a part of the book pertaining to the last voyage of the HMS Resolute (which later became the Resolute Desk, used by the President in the Oval Office) and the crew’s penchant for dugongs (or is that mermaids?). Francis countered with an excerpt from the chapter on Reagan, which seemed to be Shaun’s soapbox for how he felt about actors as people (ie. selling their whoredom)!
He didn’t have a copy of the finished book to show at the Fest (it’s being printed overseas), but he did produce a mini-replica, which was presented to the Hill family, who’d travelled from Newcastle to be in Williamstown!
The book also has a glossary of pro-nouns and a biography of Shawn Micallef (ie. the Canadian one who writes about architecture and spaces).
All in all, we can’t wait for October!
Tags: The President's Desk
You know that behind every great host and every great show, there’s a great cast and crew.
For season 3, Mad As Hell squeezed every moment out of its 28 minute timeslot, which meant that we never got to see the credit list – something we completionists hate!
And since the ABC failed to add it to their new, but less informative, website, here it is for you… The Mad As Hell Season 3 Credits:
DAVID M. GREEN
For any web-related thing to last and continue to be updated for more than 8 weeks is pretty extraordinary, so thanks to your support over the past 4 years and of course thanks to Shaun, for giving us things to write about!
(Unfortunately, we never got our “Hey dickhead, you’re 3!” card last year.)
The show that really reminded the mainstream audience on how good Shaun really is might be in the rear-view mirror, but that doesn’t mean it’s forgotten. Seasons 2 to 4 of Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation are available to purchase through iTunes (albeit at a cost of AU$136 for all 54 episodes).
We published a possible excerpt in a previous post, and now Shaun, in conversation with Francis Greenslade, will be discussing it at the Williamstown Literary Festival, probably with a reading or two – can’t wait!
Tags: The President's Desk
David M Green, long-time Shaun fan and now a writer in the Mad As Hell team, got to talk to Francis Greenslade last year. You can listen to the whole thing on David’s website or iTunes, but here’s some things we learnt (in relation to Shaun):
Francis first saw Shaun on stage, doing a sketch called “The Incredible Low-Fat Ice Coffee Carton”. Both being members of the Adelaide University Footlights, they would often arrive nearly an hour and a half before rehearsal, just waiting for the doors to open.
It was Shaun and Gary who got Francis onto TV, specifically Full Frontal, and did so by getting him in as an extra for a sketch they had written.
He comments that The Micallef Program was “a joy” to work on, and says there hasn’t been a more seemless and hysterical sketch comedy show in Australia. Meat Boy is his favourite sketch. Everything was written before filming began, allowing plenty of time for the cast to prepare (especially when compared to Mad As Hell).
They also talk about one of the sketches filmed for Season 2 of Mad As Hell, which never went to our screens, called ‘Blather’. The question remains if this, and other unaired material for the show, will ever be released.
Tags: Francis Greenslade
There’s less than a week left to catch up on any (or all) of series 3 of Mad As Hell on iView – 9pm on April 30th to be exact.
Alternatively, watch back your favourite moments or play bingo using our Top 11 moments.
Alas, we’ve reached the end of another season of Mad As Hell, one which many have described as the best yet.
I had to give up the recaps after episode 1, mostly because they were taking 2+ hours per episode and it doesn’t pay the bills. So instead, here’s my list of the Top 11 Mad As Hell moments from Season 3:
11. The battle with the Graphics Department
Shaun’s ongoing “conflict” with the Graphics department continued, as they continued to use whatever Google Image looked closest to whomever Shaun was talking about. He waited patiently in Episode 7 for every image resembling Arthur Sinodinos to scroll through, and after Bronwyn Bishop was confused with Ursula from The Little Mermaid (Ep 8), he asked “Am I going to have to come up there?”.
But it was after a clip of Andrew O’Keefe talking about Qantas (Ep 4) that he remarked “Why on earth do they let some ex-Game Show host report on the news?”, only to be presented with a picture of himself promoting Talkin’ Bout Your Generation.
10. Abbott speak
It began with Shaun comparing his speed saying “We are more than happy to take the shackles off Qantas” to Tony Abbott, and became a perfect deconstruction of exactly how politicians are now speaking to the media and the people that vote for them. Video
9. Shaun punishes advertising guru Flornoy Quimbie
Flornoy (Tosh) visited Mad As Hell a few times during the season, and took immense pleasure in sharing his advertising accomplishments, including the Coles “Down-Down” ads (which got him repeatedly punched to the face), the Budget Direct ads (which got him a cricket bat to the head) and the AAMI “Rhonda and Kutut” ads (which Shaun didn’t mind). The simulated violence was a victory for everyone subjected to these inane ads.
8. Bobo Gargle explains Operation Sovereign Borders
The biggest news story at the beginning of the series was Operation Sovereign Borders, and only Bobo Gargle could “explain” the navy’s position on it. It was beautifully intertwined throughout the first episode, with additional appearances throughout the series, plus a visit or two from… The Kraken!
7. Recreating The Monuments Men
The cold opening for the sixth episode took the whole cast and combined the recent Biennale of Sydney controversies with the most recent George Clooney movie and a classic pythonesque tone: “There is no fucking punch line”.
6. William Wonka visits
The Fiona Nash food rating website conflict of interest scandal prompted “Department of Health Adviser” William Wonka to appear as a guest, “explaining” there was no conflict of interest with a helpful video, followed by a homage to the 1971 movie. Video
5. Guest Stars
The promotions for the fictitious series “Paper Giants: The Trading Post” got a number of runs through the series, and like the real dramatisations of Kerry Packer, featured a different actor portraying the man each time: Stephen Curry, Vince Colosimo and Claudia Karvan.
In the final episode, Maggie Bathysphere’s sports team featured an all star cameo crew: Tony Martin, Glenn Robbins and Alex Dyson.
4. The Musical Finale
Shaun’s musical performances are always a joy, and singing Devo’s “Beautiful World” was a perfect end to the series. Video
3. Shaun gets called a “Jon Stewart wannabe”
Union official Steve McCloud visited Shaun again to talk about union corruption, and used the opportunity to step up the veiled threats again “Shane”: “If I was some perfumed, pedantic, Logie rattling, smug-arse Jon Stewart wannabe, I’d think very carefully about who I called intimidating.” Of course, Shaun’s long term ambition for Mad As Hell was for it to resemble Jon’s successful The Daily Show. Video
2. The Beatles 50 Years Down Under
While they’re unable to use real products or companies as on Newstopia, the fake promotions on Mad As Hell still do a brilliant job of lampooning the ABC’s own programming. So the one in Episode 3 based on the repeated formula of playing black and white footage intercut with interview footage of the subjects talking about the experience, namely The Beatles, would have been funny enough. Throw twelve seconds of Shaun dressed as each of the Fab Four, and you’ve made one of the highlights of the series.
1. Swimming pools become a unit of measurement
It was in Episode 3 that Shaun noticed the media’s love for comparing the amount of one thing with the amount of another random thing, usually swimming pools, but also MCGs and Eureka Towers. From the volume of tweets and emails, this captured everyone’s imagination, and the use of swimming pools as a unit of measurement was then referred to frequently throughout the series.