Mercado on TV: Major celebration of Australian TV comedy on Seven and 10

Australian TV comedy

A massive week of TV laughs with Kath & Kim, The Roast of Paul Hogan and the return of Wog Boy

Next week is turning out be a yuuuuge celebration of Australian TV comedy, with Kath & Kim: Our Effluent Life (Sunday on Seven), Kath & Kim: 20 Preposterous Years (Monday on Seven), The Roast of Paul Hogan (Tuesday on Seven) and Wog Boys Forever (Wednesday on Paramount+).

Kath & Kim, which has become a perennial primetime favourite, having gone from ABC to Seven to Nine and back to Seven again, has also found a whole new generation of fans on Netflix. This time though, it’s the end, with both Gina Riley and Jane Turner insisting “it’s O-V-A-H – ovah!”. Sob.

Kath& Kim: Our-Effluent-Life with Brett Craig, Kim-Craig-nee-Day, Sharon Strzelecki, Kel Knight and Kath Day Knight

Kath & Kim is the most successful Australian TV comedy ever, and it proudly sits alongside other classics like Mother and Son and Frontline. Hey Dad might have been the longest-running, and Chris Lilley’s mockumentaries were great in the beginning, but given both their legacies are trashed these days, it’s the timeless Kath & Kim who endure.

Aussie TV comedy first exploded in the 1970s with The Aunty Jack Show (ABC), The Norman Gunston Show (ABC) and The Paul Hogan Show (Seven then Nine). The Roast of Paul Hogan (Tuesday on Seven) cleverly acknowledges that some of Hoges’ material was of its time, before then delivering savage one-liners about it.

Kath & Kim: Is this really the end?

This production is at pains to point out that Hoges is being paid homage “in a way that only Aussies know how – firing good-natured insults and jokes at each other”. To be fair, America invented the comedy roast, as popularised by the Friar’s Club, before Dean Martin turned it into a star-studded staple.

Today, TV Roasts are the perfect way to prove that political correctness has NOT killed comedy! There are some extraordinarily tasteless gags from Shaun Micallef, Shane Jacobsen, Steve Vizard, Ernie Dingo, Alex Lee, Troy Kinne, Shane Jacobsen, Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Christie Whelan-Browne and Tom Gleeson, and nothing is off limits, including Hoges’ marriages and supposed facelift. I roared with laughter from beginning to end – more please.

Wog Boys Forever is moving from a successful cinema run to now being seen exclusively on Paramount+. It streams alongside The Wog Boy (2000) and Wog Boy 2: Kings of Mykonos (but no Acropolis, Now? Come on).

Nick Giannopoulos, who copped a lot of racism when he was a kid, has done a great thing with his stage work and movie trilogy. He has re-claimed a slur once used against him and in turning it into comedy gold, he has also opened up the ‘wog’ world to include all new Australians. Wog Boys Forever? I bloody well hope so. An Australian TV comedy classic.

Read more Mercado on TV columns here.


Mercado & Manning weekly TV podcast

Listen now on your favourite podcast platform for 30 minutes of TV reviews and recommendations every week from Andrew Mercado and James Manning. In the new episode to be published on Friday, Andrew and James discuss The Roast of Paul Hogan, The English and Dangerous Liaisons.

There is also a special BONUS episode this week where Andrew and James talk with Heartbreak High producer Carly Heaton.

Listen online here, on the LiSTNR app or on your favourite podcast platform.

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