mcphail & gadsby

David McPhail on Jon Gadsby

Many years ago I was invited to a Dunedin student party.

It didn’t have the incendiary reputation that is has today but North Dunedin was still a socially unstable part of the city and I wasn’t a student. I’d been invited to meet a man who was “bloody funny”.

Now, as I considered myself to be “bloody funny” this was a challenge I couldn’t refuse. I should point out that in those days there were very few people who were “bloody funny”.

Jon Gadsby was standing outside the swirl of the party.

He was drinking a bottle of beer and he watched me carefully as I entered. It was obvious he’d been told there was man attending the party who was also bloody funny and for over half an hour we stalked each other waiting to be amused. Then, to our immense surprise, we both were.

Eventually, Jon and I parted company around five o’clock in the morning. I had discovered a man considerably younger than myself who not only made me laugh but was entertained by my limited repertoire of silly voices.

That might have been simply the beginning of a long friendship except for one thing.
I was a television producer and director at the time and was straining my brain to come up with a new programme.

I wanted it to be a satirical show and was boring my colleagues by repeating a tiresome mantra. If newspapers had political cartoons why shouldn’t television have them as well?

The closest we come to that now are some throw-away lines in 7 Days.   Read more »

Go on, have a laugh

NZ on Screen have placed a nice range of home grown comedy on-line for us all to go all watery-eyed about.  Some of it is cutting political satire (especially back then) the likes of which we haven’t seen since the ’90s.  Somehow lampooning our politicians on TV is no longer the done thing.   And more is the pity.

Unfortunately NZ on Screen doesn’t allow embedding videos, so for a taste of ’70 political satire, check this out.  You’ll be treated to a wholesome sex education lesson, just in case you need a refresher.  (Hint:  Make sure the chair has cooled down)

Or just fill your boots.

fffjjyy