I was privileged to be at the taping of the first ever episode of Mad As Hell, and am pleased to share some details – in summary, it was very funny, clever and exceeded all expectations.
After arriving at the ABC Studios in Gordon Street (aka. ‘the dream factory’), we waited outside, before waiting in the canteen, before finally making it to the studio. We got seats in the front row!
Here’s the set:
Shaun looked great in a three-piece suit and red tie, throwing in his glasses for good measure. (Sorry I didn’t get any other photos)
The show is delivered a little bit in the style of Newstopia, throwing to pre-recorded topical news pieces which were more in the style of a skit than Newstopia. He also interviewed the cast as different characters. But Shaun seemed more personal than in his SBS show, perhaps the TAYG experience rubbing off on him.
There was the welcome return of the faked ads, including a series about Kevin Rudd in a sitcom about his backbench antics – reminded me of this fantastic sketch from The Micallef P(r)ogram(me) days.
A very different side was an almost straight interview with the author of Putin – The Man Without A Face, which I found truly engrossing. Shaun admitted to us that it was a little bit of a new direction, a bit experimental, so hopefully you get to see it.
It was all shot fairly sequentially, and took just under two hours. A few re-takes, but the crew didn’t muck around. The writing crew was confirmed as almost the same as Newstopia: Gary McCaffrie, Michael Ward, Stephen Hall and Tony Moclair.
The cast was all excellent, each getting about 3-5 minutes screen time.
Shaun was very friendly, and interacted with the audience the most I’ve ever seen. By the end he started to mock Michael Pope, who was again the warm up guy, rolling his eyes with his strange suggestions about the background fish and other things.
A great night, I’m looking forward to seeing the final product on Friday at 8pm. Anyone else who went, feel free to add your favourite moments!