It was 20 years ago today that The Late Show first aired on ABC TV.
Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner, Jane Kennedy, Tony Martin, Mick Molloy, Rob Sitch and Jason Stephens brought us two seasons of their champagne comedy, after their earlier sketch show The D-Generation and a failed Channel 9 pilot The Late Late Show. Judith Lucy joined for the second season.
It was irreverent Australian fun, with its hallowed segments The Late Show News Headlines, Shit Scared, Graham and the Colonel, PissWeak World, Bargearse, Street Talk, Charlie the Wonderdog (with Bud Tingwell), Shirty: The Slightly Aggressive Bear, and a revoiced Rush as The Olden Days.
It’s hard not to look past their ever so wrong musical numbers in which Mick Molloy would always book an act with the wrong name: Pete Smith instead of Aerosmith singing “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)”, Norman Yemm singing R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion”, Mike Whitney as Whitney Houston performing “I Will Always Love You”, Ron Barassi as Shirley Bassey singing the theme from Thunderball and “Baby” John Burgess performing “One Word” by Baby Animals. Apparently they just couldn’t entice Jana Wendt to sing Nirvana or Bananarama…
But the triumph had to be having then-Victorian premier Joan Kirner singing Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock & Roll” backed by her minister David White. Classic.
These days Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner, Jane Kennedy, and Rob Sitch are still busy with Working Dog Productions, while Mick Molloy is on Triple M and Before the Game, Tony Martin has published “Scarcely Relevant,” Jason Stephens produces for FremantleMedia and Judith Lucy is still packing them in whenever she steps onto the stage.
Tony Martin today tweeted: “Thanks to all for Late Show anniv wishes. 20 years ago tonight I was preparing to tell the nation I’d just removed a hatstand from my arse.”
Lastly, there’s a great fan site for The Late Show at Champagne Comedy.
Thanks for the memories!