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.

The Uncollected Plays of Shaun Micallef

At least they were uncollected…

Shaun has written a whole bunch of random plays into a new book! As he told News Breakfast, when he was first was approached by a publisher, he thought he’d go to his drawer of actual uncollected plays – but found they “were a bit rubbish”. So he penned some new ones, and here they are, on paper and bound in a hardback cover.

He talked to The Project about it recently.

Here you can see Shaun channel his inner playwright (specifically Samuel Beckett?) in this promo video:

Plus here’s a celebrity endorsement from one T Martin:

Cast changes for “Mad as” Season 9

Cast of Season 5/6 of Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell

The cast of Mad as Hell has been pretty consistent since the show began, with only Stephen Hall’s addition in Season 3, Veronica Milsom’s departure in Season 5, and Nicholas Bell appearing for just Season 6.

In Season 9, two new cast members join Shaun, Francis, Roz, Emily, Tosh and Stephen: Ming-Zhu Hii and Molly Daniels. Ming-Zhu played Dugdale’s cook, later Office Manager, in The Ex-PM and Molly has appeared in Ronny Chieng: International Student and is the daughter of Shaun’s former colleagues Wayne Hope and Robyn Butler! We’d scream nepotism, but her acting is proves otherwise. We’re looking forward to see the exciting new characters.

Mad as Hell is back in September!

Well it almost is!
And not a moment too soon, with all of the political goings on of late.

It’s back Wednesday 19th September at 8:30(ish)pm.

Only one problem…

Your Generation is back!

It’s been six years, but next Monday, Shaun returns as host to one of the most popular TV shows he’s ever been a part of: Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation. But this time, it’s on a new television station with three new team captains. Watch the promo.

Shaun spoke to us about the return (Monday 21st 7:30pm, Channel Nine)

TAYG coming back is a bit of a surprise. Were you surprised that you got back involved?

It’s always been asked after, for us to come back. But as the years passed, we thought “oh, it’s gone now.”

The original idea was to just to do a reunion show. But for some reason, there was no opportunity to do that. Nine asked “would you be interested in doing [a new version] over here.”

I wasn’t really interested in doing it without the original cast; that was the point, that the reunion would be fun. Then I helped out with the casting, because they were going to do it anyway, and they did the captains and were looking for a host, so I said I’d come in, and it was quite fun, in a different way.

It’s quite different, as you’d expect. When it was Amanda, Charlie and Josh, they were new, and I was new, and we were getting to know each other, and getting used to it, and that created a really interesting dynamic. This new incarnation, I know the people a bit more, and in a different way. It’s kind of the same ingredients, but it’s being used to make a pudding instead of a risotto – it’s quite strange.

Do you think it’s something you might continue to revisit?

We’ll see how it goes, it’s not really my decision – it was fun to do though, it was great.

But if it works out well, and is continued in some form, would you be interested?

I wouldn’t say no, I don’t say no to anything.

So much to be mad about…

We’re drawing towards the final 1/4 of Season 8 of Mad As Hell, with the tenth episode airing tonight, and thirteen episodes all up.
But – not to despair! Shaun has confirmed that there will be another block of thirteen starting in September.
(Plus there’s eight episodes of TAYG coming mid-year, but more about that later…)
So there will be Shaun on Australian TV for 65% of the year! (as a minimum requirement it should be).

All those numbers got you confused?
Basically, there’s lots of good television to enjoy this year.

Mad As Hell returns January 31st

For the first time since 2015, Mad As Hell is returning at the start of the ratings year – January 31st – for its EIGHTH season! This will be the first at the new studios in Southbank, Melbourne, where the ABC has consolidated all its television and radio production in Victoria. But the whole team has moved across, so expect arguably the best satirical show on Australian TV to continue where it left off.

ABC, Wednesdays at 8:30pm from January 31st

Sucker it and See

In 2015, 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 turned it into a movie: Sucker!

The main cast includes Timothy Spall, John Luc, Lily Sullivan, Kat Stewart, Lawrence Leung and Jacek Korman. Shaun plays the small role of Harry, a bug-eyed second-hand record store proprietor.

If you missed it when it was released, Sucker is airing on Channel 11, Tuesday 9th January at 8:30pm.

Tales from a Tall Forest

In the midst of writing, editing and starring in two TV shows, Shaun has whipped up a new book for our grubby little hands.

Tales From A Tall ForestOnce upon a time being, forever and ever ago, there lived a forest tall of tales … ? When an innocent princess wanders into the forest, she finds herself trapped between a wolf with a ravenous appetite and a sweet little house with a secret. Meanwhile, a desperate fisherman enters into a very bad bargain with a power-hungry monkey. And meanerwhile still, a tiny tricksy tailor promises a promise that not even the most magic of beanstalks can help him escape.

In the same style as those he used to invent for his kids, Shaun has written woven traditional fairy stories into new and surprising adventures. It’s aimed at “tweens”, but there’s something to enjoy for any fan of Shaun’s style or work. I’m a good part through it, and it’s fun and meandering; and not as much of a mind-bend as his previous novels.

The stunning illustrations are throughout by award-winning artist Jonathan Bentley.

More grim than Grimms’, less soppy than Aesop.

Shaun will be doing a reading at The Sun Theatre in Yarraville, Melbourne in October.

It’s a wrap for Season 7 of Mad As Hell.. but it will return!

The bookshelf from the Mad As Hell setIt seems like twelve weeks have flown past, but as we watch the last episode of Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell tonight, the cast and crew will be holding their wrap party for what has been a fantastic season, and proof that it’s needed in Australia’s TV landscape.

But don’t despair… it will be back in 2018 for Season 8! Everyone I’ve spoken to the ABC can’t be more thrilled to have it back, and are excited to see it in ABC’s new Southbank studios next year. There’s a real sense of family and team about the show – the cast and crew really love working on it together, and Shaun admitted he still gets a lot of enjoyment from making it. So with a bit of luck we’ll see it in the early part of 2018.