Mad as Hell returns on Wednesday June 21 at 8.30pm

Mad As Hell S6Ep5: Smooth OperatorWhat more is there to say?

Okay, maybe the press release:

Mad as Hell returns to face a world that’s madder and badder than ever before; a world poised on the brink of a nuclear winter; where Europe is falling apart; where a President and a Supreme Leader are largely interchangeable, a Liberal Treasurer can deliver a Labor budget as if its normal and our raw sewage is spied on by the government for metadata; a world where we’re all running out of power, housing, money, time, climate, journalism, non-renewables, patience – and nothing makes sense anymore. Nothing that is, except Shaun Micallef’s weekly expert analysis of the Kafka-esque nightmare that our world has become.

Fewer ads than The Project; earlier than Heads Up with Chris Kenny; and a good twenty three and half hours shorter than the former ABC News 24, Mad as Hell returns on Wednesday June 21 at 8.30pm.

Oh, and in other news…
This website is seven years old today! Woohoo!

Stairway to Heaven specials start Wednesday

After much anticipation, Shaun’s Stairway to Heaven specials continue this Wednesday on SBS at 8:30pm.

Following on from his singular special in 2014, Shaun is continuing to immerse himself in the lives of those with “unshakable faith” to discover what gives them that faith, and wondering if there is more to life than being a semi-professional writer/comedian.

First up, Shaun travels to Salt Lake City to live, eat and pray with the Mormons before heading off with young missionaries to the jungles of the South Pacific. He then ventures to the Deserts of Utah to break bread with breakaway polygamists.

In Faith Healers (January 25th), Shaun immerses himself deep in the back blocks of Brazil, in the community of world famous medium and psychic spirit healer John of God for a chance to commune with the dead. Here Catholicism is intertwined with a belief in supernatural miracles, mediums and the afterlife.

Finally, Shaun wonders if Armageddon really is nigh (February 1st) and how to physically and spiritually prepare for the Apocalypse. Heading to America he undergoes biblical combat training with Doomsday Preppers  and explores the world of TV evangelism with Born Again Christian fundamentalists. On a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, he stands where Jesus is prophesied to return, before finally retreating to the Greek Island of Patmos where the Book of Revelation was scribed.

You can watch the first episode, Gods, Gurus and Ganges, on Vimeo.

Thanks to Artemis International for the information.

Talkin’ ‘Bout Rumours

Shaun, Stuart and a BananaEven since Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation finished in 2012, there have been rumours of the return of the successful show, especially given its flexible and original format.

The Australian has re-opened the rumours, saying ITV are shopping the show around the TV networks, with Channel Nine a likely destination. Interestingly, “sources” say Shaun is a likely host, but isn’t locked in yet.

Shaun himself has said that for him and the cast, the show was done, so not sure if this will develop further than a rumour….

The Odd Couple

oddcoupleShaun and long time collaborator Francis Greenslade have long been an odd couple, but for their first time in a starring role onstage together, they will be The Odd Couple.

In Neil Simon’s famous 1960’s play, Shaun plays clean-freak Felix and Francis plays the messy Oscar, both of whom have found themselves recently single, living together and depending on each other. With their friends supporting/hindering them and a date with the sisters from next door, can they really last as roommates?

Recently Shaun and Francis posed as some other famous odd couples for the Fairfax Spectrum magazine – you can see the hilarious results on the SMH website.

The show runs until December 20th at the Melbourne Theatre Company. (I’ll give a review when I see it later this month.)

Returning in 2017 – Mad As Hell and The Ex-PM

Mad As Hell S6Ep1: Fingers crossedIn exciting news, Shaun has let it slip to us that both Mad As Hell and The Ex-PM will both return to the ABC in 2017!

Shaun will film Series 2 of The Ex-PM early next year, which will probably mean the seventh (yep, you read that correctly) series of Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell will slot in mid-year, and will make it Shaun’s longest running television show (TAYG was 72 episodes).

Francis told us recently that Curtis is a character he really enjoys playing (more of that interview soon), so I’m sure he’ll be looking forward to Dugdale’s return.

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 February 11th

It’s official – Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell is confirmed to return for its fifth season on Wednesday February 11th on ABC. This time, it’s shifted back half and hour, to 8:30pm.

The team really hit their stride last year, so expect more comedy gold, although Veronica has moved to a full time role on Triple J, so there may be a new cast member.

This will be the only season for 2015, with Shaun working on “The Ex-PM” later in the year. We’re yet to see what the future will hold after that.