The second and final episode of the second series of Stop Laughing… This Is Serious airs on Wednesday 15 February at 9.00pm on ABC and looks at the eclectic genre of variety. Performers like Graham Kennedy, Bert Newton and Norman Gunston dominated, serving up a mix of comedy, live sketches and music. The episode charts the cultural juggernaut that was Hey Hey It’s Saturday, charts its idiocentricities and reveals some of today’s stars who got their start on the uniquely Australian phenomenon that was Red Faces.
The show searches for the roots of Australian variety and finds it in the Tivoli circuit that dominated Australian entertainment for over sixty years. This episode also examines the resurgence of circus in the late 1970s and the colourful and subversive television programs like The Norman Gunston Show and The Big Gig.
There is a look at the early work of Andrew Denton in Blah, Blah, Blah and The Money or The Gun and discover Australia’s love of anti-authoritarianism. We track the evolution of the variety genre – from cultural institutions like Club Buggery, The Sideshow and Rove Live, to the late night revolution driven by sketch comedians in The Late Show and Tonight Live with Steve Vizard.
Variety has been uniquely placed as a platform to showcase stand-up comedians like Dave Hughes, Celia Pacquola and Hamish & Andy, enabling them to hone their craft and gain national attention.
A Screentime Production for ABC TV in association with Screen Australia and Screen NSW.
Series Producer Craig Anderson
Executive Producer Jennifer Collins
ABC Executive Producer Mandy Chang
Stop Laughing… This Is Serious Episode 2 (of 2) airs on Wednesday 15 February 2017 at 9.00pm on ABC