ABC appoints new Head of Comedy

By David Knox on April 24, 2013 / Filed Under News 12

2013-04-24_1431The ABC has appointed Rick Kalowski, currently Creative Director for Quail Television, as its new Head of Comedy.

Kalowski’s credits as either co‐creator/co-writer/executive producer include At Home with Julia, Comedy Inc, Double Take, Big Bite, The Honourable Wally Norman and the upcoming Wednesday Night Fever scoring AACTA/AFI Award nominations, Australian Writers’ Guild Awards and nominations, Logie Awards and a Golden Rose of Montreux nomination for Best International Comedy.

He has also developed comedy pilots for 20th Century Fox Television in the US, and for the BBC.

Kalowski said, “I’m hugely honoured and excited to be joining ABC TV as Head of Comedy. The ABC’s greatest comedy shows have been foundation experiences in my life, both as a viewer and a writer, and the opportunity to help continue that tradition is truly a privilege. Hopefully I don’t wreck the joint.”

Carole Sklan, ABC TV’s Head of Drama added “We’re delighted Rick is joining ABC TV as Head of Comedy. He is passionate about Australian comedy and brings considerable creative skills and experience to the role. Rick has written and produced hours of sketch and narrative comedy. He also has a background in the law which seems to have only enhanced his sense of humour.”

Kalowski will take up his position in Sydney following production of Wednesday Night Fever in the second half of 2013, and exit his role with Quail Television.

Until then ABC Fiction will continue to manage the comedy slate.


  1. JimboJones April 26, 2013 at 4:30 pm -

    @victor – spending some of that comedy money on pilots is a great idea. Most of the best comedies of all time started as pilots in the USA and UK. Time to give other writers a go (there are others out there writing comedy – I know because I’ve met them) instead of being a benevolent society for the same old faces.

  2. victor April 26, 2013 at 12:24 pm -

    This is a good development. But please just don’t produce a “comedy” because the budget is there for it as clearly this has failed with some truly unfunny recent comedies in the recent past. Better to make fewer but better developed comedies and some pilots. But with the BBC deal gone the ABC may put anything to air which is under developed but cheap to produce. Please, this strategy won’t be funny at all.

  3. Darcey09 April 25, 2013 at 7:41 pm -

    The ABC Comedy department has become a little Melbourne-centric over the last few years. Melbourne has a strong comedy tradition, but it would be nice (although difficult) for more comedy to be produced in Brisbane,Perth & Adelaide.

  4. JimboJones April 25, 2013 at 1:17 pm -

    @HieroHero – Those shows are comedy gold compared to stuff like Laid, Please Like Me, etc. At least people actually watched the shows he was involved in. And at least he was trying to be funny. The comedy output from the ABC over the last several years has treated humour as if it were leprosy.

  5. carolemorrissey April 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm -

    Oh, ok thanks Honkster.

    I loved Comedy Inc, thought it was funny.

  6. Honkster April 25, 2013 at 9:41 am -

    Carolemorrissey – The Chaser is out of a diff department (Entertainment, not Comedy).

  7. @HieroHero April 25, 2013 at 9:30 am -

    His credits include “At Home with Julia, Comedy Inc,, Big Bite” These are some of the unfunniest and worst TV program’s Australia has ever produced.. If that is your head of comedy God help the ABC.

  8. carolemorrissey April 25, 2013 at 8:44 am -

    As long as he leaves the Chaser boys alone!!!

  9. byeana April 25, 2013 at 1:00 am -

    Showing my age a bit with this comment, Best of luck in his new role as he wrestles with some unfunny comedies and comedians, but I am sure he will be a ‘ Killer’.

  10. Darcey09 April 24, 2013 at 9:05 pm -

    @jimboJones, comedy is subjective but I do agree with your comments. Those shows were made by the same small group of people that seem to have infiltrated the ABC, a clique. Kalowski is new blood & hopefully will broaden the range of producers that work there.

  11. Ronnie April 24, 2013 at 6:37 pm -

    Great news – appointing a genre head who has been an actual producer. That is a step in the right direction. Now all we need is the same criterion applied to kids and drama. The ABC seems to be making a lot more good decisions at present.

  12. JimboJones April 24, 2013 at 4:43 pm -

    Let’s hope he does a better job than his predecessor, who commissioned such spectacularly unfunny turkeys as Outland, Laid, Please Like Me, The Strange Calls, Angry Boys, Randling, Problems, Woodley, and Lowdown.

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