The ABC’s Charity Home for the Humour-Impaired

You’ve may have seen the film Crazy Rich Asians. Now get ready for a five-part ABC comedy that might accurately have been titled ‘Crazy Rich Gay Aborigines.’ ABC, Screen Australia and Screen Queensland last month announced the real title, All My Friends Are Racists as “an electric Black and queer comedy that plugs right into Zeigeist”. Production starts in Queensland in November.

The Aboriginal leading characters are gay Casey, a social influencer, and gay Belle, a budding lawyer. Says one blurb,  “They are the hottest friendship in town and the party is always at theirs. Life couldn’t get sweeter for these first-generation rich kids.” Both are obsessed with racism and make a pact to name and shame their racist friends. But it all backfires, or blackfires. Director Bjorn Stewart says we should “Look out” for the “kick-arse voice of young entitled blackfellas”. This “gloriously laugh out loud project” or maybe, bomb is costing taxpayers a bomb, not that anyone’s disclosing the figure.

The blurb refers to the Tongan/Aboriginal writer Enoch Mailangi  as “they” not “he”. A bit tongue in cheek, they says the series will show “the liberating power of young queer people of colour”. They also has some unusual turns of phrase, such as this from their blog: “Saw a guy at the Crown getting a dry wristie. Melbourne’s actually chat.” They also sums up, “Cleverman[i] is absolute proof that Blak people on these countries are way too talented. All I really need to write is: fund us, and hand over the keys. We know what we’re doing.”[ii] The conservative-labelled federal Coalition has obliged, with the 2021 budget providing another $53 million for this sort of local film production.

We don’t know how All My Friends Are Racists will turn out but we do know how a similar ABC exercise this year has turned out, namely At Home Alone Together. This was a nine-part weekly “comedy” series about lockdown lifestyle that started in mid-May. It had some creators in common with All My Friends Are Racists.[iii] The “explosively funny” series was supposed to comprise sketches about do-it-yourself projects, wellness, kid-wrangling, and personal finances but was hijacked by creators fixated on large penises (up to two metres), fellatio and coprophilia, which you might know is “abnormal interest and pleasure in faeces and defecation.”

Don’t be ridiculous, give me chapter and verse of that, you say. Well, OK.

The ABC had blurbed that At Home collected “Australia’s best comedians and revered actors to give audiences advice on how they can live their best life in the time of COVID-19.” It would be “an extraordinary project for this unprecedented time,” according to ABC’s Head of Entertainment and Factual, Josie Mason-Campbell. Online Investment Manager at Screen Australia, Lee Naimo, said the show “will entertain a nation hungry for relevant content while employing a sector of the industry hungry to flex their comedy muscles. I can’t wait to see what these teams bring together in these unique circumstances.” So, Australia, says Screen Australia, come and meet your new best friends who are here to help you through the crisis!

These “new best friends” were the ABC’s usual luvvie suspects, presented by “beloved national treasure” Ray Martin, in the ABC’s tradition of paying its superannuated once-weres like Kerry O’Brien and Barry Cassidy new bucket-loads of money to clamber back on our screens. Other lefty celebs with walk-on parts included Leigh Sales, Sydney red-bandanna-man Peter FitzSimons, Dr Norman Swan and Andrew Denton, plus elderly ex-priest and friend to the Occupy movement Father Bob Maguire. 

The ABC officially recommended the episodes to 15 year olds and upwards, except for Episode 7 which was rated MA and “not suitable for people under 15”.[iv] Each episode carries a warning about any or all of “adult themes, coarse language, drug use and sex references”.

The tone is set from three minutes into Episode 1 by a Harry Potter take-off: “Why don’t you show me that big hard wand … why don’t you spank me with that.” It degenerates to Becky Lucas in role saying, “Maybe it’s another wizard girl from another house and she wants to suck your dick or lick my … I would love to give Dobbie a little gobbie…I would love to be moaning like Myrtle.”

In Episode 2 in a woman’s erotic fiction fantasy a male character opens his pants to expose his large penis, and the female says, “All right let’s have a look. My, my we have been working out! You can’t beat the real thing, welcome to cougar town.” Then she kneels to fellate him. (11.00)

I was particularly intrigued by Episode 9, in which a couple move into a “tiny house” and the male explains, “We want a house that best suits our very busy, very heterosexual lifestyle.” 16.40. Interesting, that some ABC people need to clarify that they are heterosexual.

The tiny-house couple are soon squabbling over their cramped space, and the male says, “Maybe if we moved into your vagina we would have a bit more room.” 18.00. But not a peep about this misogyny from the ABC’s hordes of gender warriors and gender police, strangely.

Orwell said that all animals are equal but some are more unequal than others. All the episodes of Home Alone are gross but some are grosser than others, like Episode 4’s “Important Message for Footballers”.  

A woman in voice-over says Home Alone has “introduced a bonk ban to keep players safe. A cup of tea is fine, vaginal contact is out.” (A full-screen graphic shows two simplified human figures  having sex in missionary position. In all instances the figures’ intercourse is animated.) “Discussing literature is all good, vigorous rogering is bad.” (The animated man enters a woman from behind while she leans against a table.) “A sunset stroll is fine, triple penetration is bad.” (A kneeling man  from behind enters a woman on all fours while the woman fellates a second standing man.) “So does that mean I can’t behave like a footballer anymore?” No, urinating in public is still fine (man urinates against a lamp post) but sex is out (woman rides man in reverse cowgirl position). Taking a dump in a hotel is fine (man defecates in a hotel corridor).  Just don’t have sex while you take the dump. (Man defecates while entering a woman from behind). Simulating sex with a dog (A standing man holds a dog waist-high), that was never really fine. “But can I still bonk if my penis is 2 metres long and I socially distance throughout the bonk?” (Man with 2m penis enters a woman from behind while she leans against a table). While we are all extremely impressed, no, that is not allowed. Come on, be a sport. Australia needs its footie back so please don’t have a sex life, so the rest of us can have a life.”

Keep in mind that the ABC actually announces that Episode 4 is “Recommended for people 15 years and over.” The sex-with-a-dog graphic calls to mind the earlier 2013 ABC incident with  Chaser Boys  mocking The Australian’s ABC critic, journalist Chris Kenny, by pasting his facial features on a man with his pants down mounting a Labradoodle. A label said: “Chris ‘Dog Fucker’ Kenny”. Kenny sued the ABC which dug in for nearly a year but finally reversed course and gave him cash and apologies.

Episode 8 features the “glory hole” in public toilets where one man can fellate another anonymously through a hole in a wall. I didn’t know about “glory holes” until 2016 when I was checking some green-gay performance art – see Sex Pistils at the Oz Council Bathhouse. The ABC “joke” substitutes handshakes through a larger wall-hole, in lieu of fellatio. The “comedy” writers — more than 50 0f them — also do a mock Four Corners exposing “the shady corporate underbelly” about frustrated business men unable to shake hands. Instead they visit the hole at a “disgusting public toilet” or “shake spot”. The hole is also large enough for banknote payments to be first passed through. Dialogue: “It’s 50 bucks for a handshake, or 70 for a nice firm one.” “What about a wet one?” “I dunno, why would you want that?” “The guy’s a freak.”

Next scene, “depraved members of amateur sporting teams” – the ABC seems to have special animus against footballers – line up at multiple holes for “consecutive shakes”. It took me a while to get the double entendre on “shakes” and wish I hadn’t.

You’re probably wondering why Episode 7 alone got that “MA” rating. It’s actually not the worst for crassness. It has a character “Mary Seymour” bragging about her “multiple lovers”, and she thanks one elderly lover for “bringing me to arousal in the shower this morning”. She tries to get a romance going for a very old lady 19.30 by giving her conversation cards reading, “What is your favorite blow-job technique?”, “Who gave you your first orgasm?” and “Are you good in bed?”

Episode 5 is particularly gross. “Mary Seymour”, 60, says: “People think things start slowing down in the bedroom but I have never been more sexually active. I love penises of all shapes and sizes (illustrated with half a dozen eclairs, from one of which she licks cream). Why have one when you can have many, I have multiple lovers and talk about them in my cabaret show, The Sixty Year Old Slut.” It continues:

Young man to Mary: I love to curl up in your arms and read a book

Mary: Well I like to see your dick and while working towards arousal get my big breasts out.  Maybe I should get into my maid’s uniform

Older man: Fuck yeah.

Mary: I have multiple lovers and that is just the way I am.

Just to prove I’m not making this up, here is the entire segment:

It’s a rare episode of Home Alone that doesn’t have half a dozen big-dick jokes. In Episode 4, for example,  bogan Nate says, “Stealing is fine — morals are only for rich people. Well that was a success. I nearly got pinched for the salami (pulls a huge salami out of pants) but I just told them that I had a really big dong.”  He wobbles the foot-long salami like an erect penis. A placard says, “Nate says: Pretend salami is your dick.”

In Episode 5, TV gardener Costa Georgiadis is naked but with pixelated privates. He prunes his pubic hair with a brush-cutter. The sketch cuts to Ray Martin fingering Christmas decorations and saying, “Nice balls.”

In Episode 8,  Ray Martin pretends to audition as another character, Jason, saying, “Hey I’m Jason, you wanna see my (bleeping) dick?”

In Episode 7, character “Mary Seymour” says, “I think girls of all ages should have a nice big juicy bum. One (lover) had a penis of normal size and the other penis was pretty small.”

Episode 6 could be sub-titled ‘Defecation City’. At 2.50 minutes in and we get a “parenting tip” from an actor sitting on the toilet: “Doing a poo is a great way to talk shit on-line.” Six minutes later, and actress Becky Lucas in charcater discussing with her beau why a fly landed on her. “What are flies attracted to?” and they both reply, “Like shit, turd, poop, poo.” Beau says, “Maybe I have equated you with that in my head now. You are shit so I’m moving on.”

A couple of minutes later there’s a sketch of an adult sister saying to her  adult brother, “You make me feel like I want to take a shit on your head.” Their emotion chart reads “Pooping, Horny, Anger, Sadness.” Episode 8 ends with a placard, “F*ck that’s yum as sh*t.”

The ABC has signed up with Reconciliation Australia for the most stringent pro-Aboriginal pledge (called Elevate Reconciliation Action Plan) and laboriously ticks boxes and compiles statistics for each Aboriginal appearing on-air. Hence Aboriginal actors and characters swarm the nine episodes. It turns out that even Ray Martin has an Aboriginal great-great-grandmother. The most groan-worthy sketch is in Episode 7, which has Aboriginal medico “Dr Beau Thorne” discovering the long-awaited COVID vaccine. At the press conference the reporters focus instead on his Aboriginality and in frustration he too forgets his vaccine discovery and fulminates about Aboriginal poverty and Uluru Statements. The dialogue has leftists’ leadenly correct humor:

Reporter: We are currently seeing Black Lives Matter protests around the globe, as the broader community pushes back against police brutality. Do you have any advice on dealing with police harassment?

Aboriginal medico Dr Thorne: I am not expert on how to handle police brutality, let’s keep it about the vaccine not about my heritage.

Reporter: Would you say this is a great day for all indigenous Australians?

Dr Thorne: I would say a great day for everyone. As a [Tribe inaudible] man myself, it is more about the vaccine than my heritage…

Alleged comedy imitates life: if the above scene played out in the real world, the ABC itself would go nuts to push the Aboriginal angle.

It’s also noteworthy that some of the Aborigines getting opportunities from government-funded arts/media gigs are not slow to cry ‘racism’ at their own sponsors. Last June Enoch Mailangi, now creating and writing the new All My Friends Are Racist show, helped organise a petition accusing the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) of ‘systemic and institutionalised racism’. The petition said it was “deeply troubling” that NIDA had not spoken more loudly on the Black Lives Matter movement. “Your neutrality has been complicit in white supremacist and colonial violence, where you could have had a greater impact than the tokenism of the institute,” the letter said. 

Kodie Bedford, also known as Aunty Kodie, is All My Friends writer and co-producer.  She is the one-time SBS cadet circa 2008 who blew up SBS last June with claims she and other Aborigines there had been horrifically patronised and mistreated with micro-aggressions.We felt like the dopey blackfellas in the corner, ticking boxes,” she wrote. “I’ve been told nothing’s changed.” Both NIDA and SBS fell over themselves to grovel and atone. 

In Home Alone, Christianity is much mocked, as you would expect, with the cooperation of elderly real-life Father Bob Maguire (RC). Zingers he delivers include mock confessionals like

# “Hail Marys for everyone, what you saw in the confessional stays in the confessional except for the bits I use. You can shut down our life but you can’t shut down salvation.” (Episode 2)

# “Absolution for all, because they can shut down our lives but they can’t shut down our afterlife.” (Episode 3)

The ABC “comedians” don’t mock Islam. The Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris were probably a disincentive.

It hardly needs saying that the Home Alone “comedy” writers pile up the Green-Left propaganda: this is, after all, their ABC.

Episode 1 mocks Trump over his mention of bleach and Covid-19, and says, “We understand why a white supremacist president might think a whitening agent is the solution to all of life’s problems…” There is nothing funny about the  “white supremacist” jibe: it is a particularly wicked slander. Trump has denounced white supremacy countless times, his record is unequivocal. His second term pledge includes naming the KKK as a terrorist organisation. The ABC meanwhile gives Joe Biden a free pass on all his genuinely racist comments, like telling an African-American radio host last May, “Well I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

The ABC “comedians” continue to turn truth inside out. Episode 6 opens with video of Trump walking slightly unsteadily downstairs, which they mock with plink-plunk music as “a new shuffle dance craze that perfectly captures America’s decline.” Whatever Trump’s weaknesses, lack of virility is not one of them. Again, ABC viewers would never know this, but Trump’s foe Joe Biden keeps rambling incoherently in mid-sentence in what seems to be early symptoms of age-related mental decline. That’s why nearly all his public appearances are tightly scripted and he uses a teleprompter even for his supposedly spontaneous answers.

Episode 8 has a peculiar segment where Ray Martin jokingly claims he’s been personally spreading the virus to VIPs. He shows a pic of Vice-President Pence and Prince Charles and says he’s “often having a good sniff of their hair before infecting them from a vial.” As those getting their news from the ABC would not know, Trump’s Democrat foe Joe Biden is notorious for sniffing the hair of women and small girls, while doing and saying creepy things to girls around puberty. Martin’s line about “having a good sniff of their hair” must have originated from Biden’s fetishes but the “comedy” writers got cold feet and deleted any Biden reference. That leaves Martin’s “good sniff” remark hanging in mid-air.

It is standard for ABC comedy to mock conservatives like Alan Jones, but never leftist celebrities. Jones is excoriated in Episode 4: “After a 30 year long career of being a professional bully, I am retiring as Australia’s No 1 inciter of race riots.” Home Alone also slanders Andrew Bolt and Australian Spectator editor Rowan Dean as racists: “TV shows promoting contemporary racism are still fine to flourish”, says the voiceover to a picture of Bolt and Dean (Episode 6). Prime Minister Morrison is mocked for his religion by juxtaposing a painting of Jesus with arm raised against the pic of Morrison worshipping, eyes shut, with arm raised at church. (Episode 5).

This being their ABC, its “comedians” also insert whining lines about ABC, which has only a billion dollars-plus every year to bless itself with.

# “Enjoy ABC Kids before it’s defunded!”

# Martin: “That’s it for a week. Sadly due to ABC budget cuts that’s the end of the Auslan [sign language] services as well.”

# Placard: “Ray Martin, sadly surviving the ABC cuts.”

Other targets for the “comedy” writers’ leaden wit include cruise ship owners and Uber (I’m not sure why), bogans wearing “I am the greatest” caps, Southern US survivalists and an evangelical pastor who says wittily, “Jesus has been going through our Prime Minister again to provide you with $25,000 to renovate your home.” Another pathetic sketch satirises TV ads for cigarettes, which were banned in Australia 44 years ago, before most of the ABC “comedy” team were born.

These targets are not exactly dangerous, unlike, say, Premier Dan Andrews, Islam or Labor branch-stacking. The final installment, Episode 9, is the only one about lockdowns where Andrews, the architect of Victoria’s lockdown disaster and hundreds of deaths, gets a mention. But ABC comedians, parading the yellow stripe down their back, merely show Dictator Dan doing his put-down of South Australians, “Why would you want to go there?”  The ABC “comedy” writers mock conservative radio man Alan Jones (Episode 4) for saying Julia Gillard should be dropped at sea in a chaff bag, when one of the ABC’s own At Home team, the show’s actress/scriptwriter Becky Lucas, has done the equivalent with added profanity.[v] Idly googling , I found that in September 2018 she’d been banned by Twitter (unusually for a leftist) over the tweets below:

These artists will typically whine to conservative ministers for funds and then use those funds to excoriate the government in vilest terms.

Another example of the ABC’s lack of self awareness: in righteous mode the “comedy” writers say, (Episode 5): “You don’t have to wear a [inaudible] or underpay your staff to be a food expert on TV.” Good point except didn’t the ABC itself get caught underpaying 1800 casuals $12 million?

The ABC’s luvvie Ray Martin opens the Home Alone series draped in the British flag, and holding aloft a toilet plunger and toilet roll. I couldn’t work out why the taxpayer-funded show was being childishly offensive to one of our allies, but it turns out Martin a decade ago was a “passionate” republican and advocate for an Australian flag minus the Union Jack. Martin beclowned himself at the time by predicting that New Zealanders would junk their equivalent flag in an impending referendum. “No doubts about the result,” he gloated. Whoops! The 2016 NZ vote went 57-43 against changing the flag.

Maybe the point about Martin’s Union Jack is that ABC “comedy” writers are obsessed with toilet humor. Their anti-British theme pops up again in Episode 5 with this zinger:  “As the fight for black rights continues around the globe, we look at how Australians took Monday off to celebrate a powerful, rich, white Englishwoman.” Pic inserted of 94-year-old Queen Elizabeth. I don’t know what her “powerfulness” consists of. 

Meanwhile, Martin simpered his way through the show reading humble-brags on the auto-cue about his Five Gold Logies for TV popularity, his books, his arty portrait and his fame [vi]. The ABC promotes him as beloved national treasure Ray Martin”. It happened that in 2015 QandA producer Peter McEvoy smuggled ex-gaol bird  and one-time terror suspect  Zaky Mallah into the audience to ambush Tony Abbott’s minister Steve Ciobo.  This scandal was such that the ABC commissioned an audit of QandA practices and biases.[vii] And who should it select as co-auditor? Why, its own “beloved national treasure” Ray Martin. He reasoned that QandA “obviously needs more money” (and many more Green parliamentarians on the panels). Here’s what the holder of the toilet plunger put his name to:

Overall we have found QandA to be a responsible, professional production that strives to meet the standards expected of it by the ABC and by the wider community … The most commonly expressed criticism is that the program lacks impartiality and maintains a left wing anti-Coalition bias. We believe, after close analysis, this general impression is not substantiated.

Martin walked off with an auditor’s fee from the ABC of $30,000. How odd that a corporation chose as QandA inspector its beloved ex-staffer.  And now it’s thrown more money at Martin to front this lame and grubby Home Alone series. We’ll never know what Martin and the “comedy” team charged for the nine episodes, unless maybe an Estimates Committee in Canberra takes an interest.

Martin signs off the final Home Alone episode, “We’ve all had a lot of fun  bringing this show to you, I would not change any of it for the world.” He wouldn’t, but I’d definitely change the bit about footballers entering women from behind while defecating. And I’d get rid of all the big-penis jokes. And the anti-Trump lies. All of the nine parts, actually.

Sex aside, Episode 7 has the best line of the show. Garden guru Costa Georgiadis says to Ray Martin: “This celery is just like your show. It’s limp, there’s nothing new about it. It leaves a nasty stale taste in your mouth.”

Tony Thomas’s new book, Come To Think Of It – essays to tickle the brain, is available here as a book ($34.95) or an e-book ($14.95)


[i] TV six-part drama Cleverman “reimagines several stories of the Aboriginal Dreamtime in a modern, superheroic context, and reflects on racism, asylum seekers and border protection. — Wikipedia.”

[ii]  Mailangi: “It’s not validation we’re looking for, it’s unconditional control and agency over our creative projects and our narratives.”

[iii] At Home had 13 directors, 11 producers  and nearly 50 writers.

[iv] “M” is “Mature” and of moderate impact. “MA 15+” is strong impact and children under 15 require a guardian present.

[v] Eddie Maguire, Collingwood Football Club president, in June 2016 said on radio he’d pay anyone $50,000 to drown AFL writer Caroline Wilson. ABC comedians don’t hold that against him while they still excoriate Alan Jones for his 2011 Gillard comment. I don’t claim either man was being serious.

[vi] Ray Martin worked for the ABC from 1965-1978, including 10 years as a news correspondent in North America. He was a founding presenter with Channel 9’s 60 Minutes in 1978, and was later the host of The Midday Show, A Current Affair and The Ray Martin Show.

[vii] The program’s executive producer, Peter McEvoy, had already got a formal warning under the ABC’ s misconduct provisions, and Martin and co-auditor Shaun Brown, ex-SBC, did not revisit the Mallah business.

20 thoughts on “The ABC’s Charity Home for the Humour-Impaired

  • Occidental says:

    You really took one for the team to research this article.

  • Ian MacDougall says:

    In these post Kath and Kim, and Absolutely Fabulous , days, what passes for ‘comedy’ on the ABC could fill a matchbox. Perhaps I stretch it a bit there… The cap of a beer bottle maybe….
    The vendors of zany situations and reheated theatre of the absurd should have got a ‘don’t call us, we’ll call you’ but instead they got welcomed with open arms. And then spread as far as possible: like the Peck’s Paste that stank to High Heaven in other kids’ lunches at primary school. (Aside: It was ‘a little Peck’s goes such a looooooong way’… Not nearly long and far enough as far as I was concerned.) But I digress….
    Ah yes…. And a helluva lot of the ‘comedy’ should have been left on whichever dunny wall it was found scrawled on.
    There have been great comedies galore since the time of Aristophanes. But budding and wannabe comedians appear to be ignorant of them, and of the way comedy works. They should study the greats, like Charlie Chaplin, Australia’s own Roy Rene and Reg Livermore, John Cleese, Tony Hancock…. I could go on.
    Ah well. Can’t be helped I suppose. Such is life.

  • Peter OBrien says:

    Great article, Tony. I reviewed At Home Alone Together in July ( but could only stomach a short immersion in that swamp. Your devotion to duty and commitment to the task are heroic.

  • Alistair says:

    Ah Tony! This really is the end, Isn’t it? It is Morrison that is funding this – which demonstrates just how pathetic the Liberal Party has become. There is no recovery from here.

  • Alistair says:

    Do you remember when Kerry Packer saw something on his Network that he didn’t like and he just pulled it on the spot? Now that’s leadership!

  • bearops says:

    Perhaps it is the funding of self destruction, like feeding the morbidly obese cream cakes.

  • Tezza says:

    The current generation of ABC lifers really have a corporate death wish. The only people more useless are the conga line of successive ‘Ministers’ who have purported to be responsible for the organisation, but have failed to shut it down.

    The sad thing is, the tiny ageing minority who remember when the ABC actually contributed something positive to Australian life in the ancient, narrower media world of the 50s and 60s seem to feel no need to constrain current ABC degeneracy.

  • Doubting Thomas says:

    Tezza, judging by comments from friends, I think most of that demographic, including me and my wife, gave up on the ABC many years ago. We rarely watch it or SBS except for the very occasional British drama series, and we never listen to ABC radio. To do so is equivalent to consorting with the sort of undesirables one would normally cross the road, or even move interstate, to avoid.

  • Simon says:

    I suspect they think this is all very avante garde and only the progressive mind-set will understand or appreciate it.

    Normal people think it’s all a load of excruciatingly unfunny bollox. Like their previous ‘comedy’ genius – Ballard.

    The joke’s on them even though they’re so far up their own backsides they’ll never get it.

  • Adelagado says:

    The ABC…. 4000 staff. What on earth do most of them do?

  • Peter OBrien says:

    Most commentators agree that the ABC used to do good work and still does in some areas – classic FM, regional radio etc. But it’s now an ideological monolith that thumbs its nose at half the population. Just to follow on from Tony’s theme, this morning I heard Tom Gleeson on Hard Quiz describe someone who didn’t enjoy rhyming slang as a ‘bit of a Greg Hunt’. Tasteless, insulting and gratuitous in my view.

  • Ian MacKenzie says:

    I’m with Occidental on this – thanks Tony for reviewing this so the rest of us don’t have to be exposed to an unnecessary toxic hazard. It must take a toll.
    Australian comedy has always been a bit raw, but what modern ABC comedy lacks is wit. To shock is one thing, but to be funny also requires wit. The ABC gets about half of that, if any. I’d say ABC comedy peaked with The Games late last century and it’s been down hill ever since.
    I note that Peter O’Brien claims that the ABC “thumbs its nose at half the population”. In fact ABC ratings over the last twenty years (but now including multiple channels) have remained static at about 15%, or the proportion of the electorate that vote Greens plus a few of the far Left. So 85% of the viewing public prefer to watch something else, and based on what we hear from Tony above, who can blame them.

  • Elizabeth Beare says:

    Your choice of ‘lame and grubby’ as descriptors for this program define it very well, Tony. There is nothing even vaguely amusing or witty in the material you so heroically describe to give us the flavour. This series is amateur, juvenile, puerile indeed, and pathetic. It says something about the very narrow cultural band of Australians they are hoping to impress and entertain and from whence they emerge in inner urbis, for it is condescending and cringe-worthy to anyone who does not share their interest in toilets, lewdness for its own sake, and wokeness in characterisations and situations. I am no prude, nor inexperienced in the many ways of the world, but this stuff is simply third rate. Not funny. Not even close. At 78 now, I could write a far more amusing sex scenario for an old girl than that tremendously banal and obvious clip. If I wanted to do so. Which I don’t.

    I got half-way through the video above and had to exit. It was excruciatingly bad. I haven’t watched the ABC for years now and it is clearly worse than ever.

    But I lie. We did watch a show the other night, grabbing it on Foxtel by title rather than channel; my husband nearly turned it off when he saw we were watching the ABC. The show was quite reasonable, a home renovation show with a likeable male presenter. It was about an interesting historic building in Sydney’s Millers Point, under the harbour bridge, where new owners were up against a rather pompous heritage bureaucrat in this tightly controlled sale of previous public housing. This show was generally played with a straight bat. A rare offering from the ABC I suspect. If only the old days of a good ABC could return and all of the current useless hangers on could be put out to graze, or to do real work somewhere.

    I was particularly interested in that renovation (which I really liked when shown completed) because I used to live in that very historically significance terrace in Millers Point in 1963 when I did my Leaving Certificate by funding my own ‘private study’ at Sydney Tech, using money I had earned, in order to try for a Commonwealth Scholarship which I achieved. It was Maritime Service Board public housing in those days, where rooms in the big houses were sub-let by middle-men tenants. I got my place by seeing a notice in the window. I had a basement room and put two pence in the gas for a shower in a bathroom two floors up. There was an outdoor toilet off the laundry behind my room, and a wash-house with a copper under which I lit a fire to heat the water. No mangle though, so I had to hand wring everything, even the sheets, ready for line drying in the back yard. A derelict old man, as sad and lonely case, lived in the kitchen in the next room to mine, separated off by a piece of fibro. In his small room there was the original Victorian fuel range that cooked for twenty, for we were both living in the old kitchen areas. I was interested to see in the renovation that a water-course ran underneath – for it was always dampish in there.

    Millers Point was still a genuine slum in those days. Now the properties are worth ten million renovated, in spite of the noise from the Harbour Bridge railway, which was always deafening. I held my 21st birthday party there in my big room and kitchen and the small basement garden. The whole terrace was being painted at the time (with paint that is now being carefully removed!) and various new friends of mine were swinging from the scaffolding as the party spread out into the street. Good times.

  • PT says:

    Ian Mac, that Chris Masters “expose” was nearly 35 years ago! To call a corrupted and thoroughly self absorbed institution a “national treasure” in the basis of something that far in the past ignoring virtually everything they do now is actually damning! Can you imagine a similar expose on 4 Corners on a left wing government: say political corruption was f the police and judiciary in Victoria and the unjustifiable suppression of human rights in that state under Andrews? They would only run such a story if it’s clear Vic Labor was on its last legs and wanted to “prove” they were in the know. They’re not running a story like this now as they think he can survive. Even in 86/87 when the Masters story ran, the ABC was far more reticent about running stories on WA Inc and on Caine’s deals in Victoria, even though they blew up within a couple of years of the Masters story on old Joh, and ultimately destroyed the governments concerned. And there is no doubt the ABC is far less professional and more ideological now than in the ‘80’s.

  • PT says:

    Regarding “At Home”, even my parents, ABC apologists from waaaay back (and rusted on ALP voters) couldn’t stand it! The truth is that we have a scribblers establishment who give funding and accolades to their own members. Success means being acclaimed by the cabal, not the public! Now for science, engineering etc, peer regard is all important (most people lack the knowledge to judge), but comedy is supposed to appeal to the emotions, and does not require some special knowledge to be able to appreciate (unless it’s a specific satire). Previous comedic writers/performers who influenced later writers/performers were themselves Ike’s by those who had the opportunity to see or hear them: Spike Milligan influenced Monty Python, but the Goons were wildly popular; and many, including the vast alleged comedians promoted by the ABC, try to copy the Pythons’ “shock comedy”, but lack the wit and talent (and basic understanding) to achieve it!

    Regarding Ballard! A far left homosexual atheist with an active hatred of “religion” and those who believe (except Muslims as he wanted as many of them to come to Australia as wanted to apparently), and campaigner for the cause du jour! You only need to tick the boxes to be feted! But the ideology is the key one. Milois homosexual and “non-Anglo” (he lives in Britain, does that make him a WASP by default) but having the wrong ideology, zero chance of the cabal using his comic abilities no matter how funny Joe Blow may find him!

  • Lacebug says:

    I once got a gig writing bilge for The Chaser. Never met a less funny group of ‘boys’ in my life. And the pay was a shocker; that’s when they paid you at all. I hated the fact they pretended to be enemies of the establishment, and yet every single one of them came from a wealthy establishment family. Frauds.

  • lbloveday says:

    While we’re doing confessions, Elizabeth Beare, I admit watching a mate’s grandson make his AFL debut on ABC.

  • Geoff Sherrington says:

    A few decades ago when I had some play money and more networks, I would have examined the possibility of taking on the ABC in court.
    It is irresponsible for the ABC to make sexual fun of defecation while the country has a virus with a dangerous transmission by the fecal to hand to mouth path. This borders on criminal, IMO.
    My words, here, are a narrow description of a much wider problem. The community is increasingly being denied the usual methods of conduct, replaced with a bureaucratic, Establishment view of what is good for the people.
    I do not know the remedies but there is potential for better government leadership by example. Geoff S

  • Doubting Thomas says:

    One genuinely hilarious ABC comedy show was Rob Stich’s “Front Line”, but that finished nearly 25 years ago. Can’t think of anything since.

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