Shaun on this season of Mad As

With season 10 of Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell wrapping up, I spoke to Shaun a few weeks ago about how it was going and what lies ahead for the future.

Ten seasons and a 100+ episodes – are you still enjoying Mad As Hell and would you do another 10?
I always talk to Gary (McCaffrie) immediately afterwards, and now he’s in Tasmania so I just ring him; he watches a feed from the studio. He just moved there, so is writing from home. He used to work in the office next to me, but it doesn’t feel much different, we might miss the lunch. Because he’s not driving any more, he’s working – we get another three sketches out of him! As long as he wants to do (Mad As Hell), I’m pretty happy doing it. As he said to me last year, “this is the perfect show for us”, which is no surprise because it was constructed by us. It’s pretty good, and I can’t think that in my remaining life in television, we’ll find something that is better. As long as they want it, and as long as Gary wants to do it… If the cast and crew wanted to go off and do their own thing, as they do from time to time, we’re able to bring new people in, and we’ve had Christie (Wheelan-Browne) hit the ground running. And that’s good, because everyone steps up with someone new there. There will come a time when the audience say “that’s enough, let’s not hear from someone who’s 60 years old.” (“Don’t be like that!” I replied)

There have been a few cast changes this season: you mentioned Christie, plus Roz has departed and Francis has been in and out.
Francis did the first live night, and he did some later ones, but he otherwise hasn’t been available because of the play he’s been in. But he has made himself available to do some field pieces. If you didn’t look too closely, you wouldn’t be able to tell. Just as Roz being absent for the latter part of the season. Roz isn’t going to come back, she’s decided it’s time to take advantage of some new opportunities which she deserves. It’s perfectly understandable she wants to flex her dramatic muscles. I do it myself, go off and do a few things between seasons. You’ll see Laurence (Boxhall) appearing in the Curiosity Cul-de-sac sketches. He’s in the play with Francis, so when I saw the show, I caught up with Laurence and I wrote up a little piece for him.

Christie you had worked with in The Odd Couple, how did you meet Michelle (Brazier)?
I was seeing some Aunty Donna stuff, and she had featured a bit in their stuff, and I noticed how good she was. Then she happened to be doing a show at the Comedy Festival called QANDA (a send up of Q&A) with Emily, and it all seemed to work as a sort of audition. We asked if she was interested, and she was, and she also hit the ground running. She had to go away for Edinburgh fringe, but in the last 2 weeks we have everyone, so it will be an old-school full-sized cast.

Are you hopeful the show will be back next year?
Always hopeful, but we’ve had an indication – it will be back.

And will you be able to bring all the cast along?
I think everyone is up for it.

The ABC of repeating an episode

It was a very strange week last week, enough to make Shaun himself actually Mad As Hell. (Well, slightly)

If you didn’t notice, the ABC played the wrong episode of “Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell”. Instead of episode four, recorded the previous night to air Wednesday 17th at 8:32pm-ish, we got episode three, originally aired the previous Wednesday.

As the ABC (with all broadcast TV networks) have outsourced the actual playback/transmission of their feed to a company called MediaHub, there was no one at ABC Melbourne to correct the issue, and no one to rectify the mistake before it aired across timezones in SA and then WA. So the whole thing played out as if it was new, except for an apology crawler message.

The blame was placed on a tech at ABC, who, after it was supplied by Shaun’s team, mislabeled the episode in delivering it to MediaHub.

The result was Mad As Hell appeared on screens four times in a week (one additional Thursday night airing), and the Wednesday night repeat still ended up rating #1 in it’s timeslot.

At least Shaun and Leigh Sales got to have some fun with it.

Double the Shaun for one night only

Wednesday is shaping as a double Shaun night, with the finale of series 2 (or 6, depending how you count) of Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation on Channel 9 at 7:30pm, then straight over to the ABC at 8:30pm (ish) for the start of series 10 of Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell.

On TAYG, we’re getting the first fancy dress theme since the show moved to Channel 9. And Mad As Hell, expect “same government, fresh hell”… but also, two new cast members: Christie Whelan Browne and Michelle Brasier will appear at different times during the season. It’s a healthy 13 episode season too.

Finally… time to be Mad As Hell again!

“This is an illness, take some time off till you can write a headline without a pun in it.”

While we have been very much enjoying the sheer absurdity of Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation, we’re delighted that the place where Shaun really flexes his chops, Mad As Hell, is back in less than a month, Wednesday 26th June at 8:30pm on ABC.
And it’s Season 10. Freak me sideways!

Yes, the ABC missed an opportunity to let the show air during the federal election, but now that we know exactly who is running the asylum, you can expect some laser focused satire.. so that we can all yell “something, something, I’m not going to take it anymore!”

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.

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…

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

The Ex-Ex-PM and the Ex-Studios

On Thursday night, we’ll be treated to a sort-of-Micallef double-header, with the finale of Series 2 of The Ex-PM on ABC at 8:30pm, where Dugdale goes head-to-head in a debate with his political rival.

Following it will be a special on the ABC Ripponlea studios, which closed this year, after being home to many classic TV shows for 50+ years. The last show to be filmed there, which will feature throughout the special, was Mad As Hell. Expect to see some behind the scenes footage and an interview with Shaun.