Monday, May 3, 2010

I'm beginning to suspect Mr Helliar’s popularity is greatly overstated

As part of the promotional campaign for his forthcoming film I Love You Too, Peter Helliar has been about and about in the popular media.

Now I’d rather staple wolverines to my genitals than go and see this film, which is neither here nor there, but what did baffle me was that in one puff piece, Mr Helliar was described as “one of Melbourne’s most beloved comedians”.

To which the only reasonable response is “sez who?”

I have no strong personal opinion about Mr Helliar either way. For all I know, he might be an absolute top bloke, loves his mum and pats kittens on the head on the way to work. What I find to be a bit of a puzzler is the above cited description of “most beloved comedian”.

A quick squiz of Mr Helliar’s Wikipedia entry reveals a string of capers, including The Bounce and the radio show he co-hosted with Myf Warhurst, all of which have crashed and burned owing to the fact that not really that many people took any interest in them.

If Mr Helliar really is one of “Melbourne’s most beloved comedians”, then we have an odd way of showing it.

Same with that Magda Szubanski chick. We’re constantly told how loved she is but just about every show in which she starred, tanked.

It’s all very perplexing.


Cath said...

Ramon, I have often wondered who in fact finds him funny. I certainly don't. If anyone does find him funny, I need a list of reasons why. Major tool.

wari lasi said...

Same with that Magda Szubanski chick

She's just famous now for being less fat than she was before. And "Babe" did ok, But I guess she wasn't actually the star.

I could be really bad and say she was just one of the pigs, but I won't.

Am I allowed to never have heard of this Helliar guy? Not that I'm much of an expert on Melbournian comedians.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

To be fair, wari, most people in Melbourne know Peter Helliar as "the fat bloke who's even less funny than Rove".

Melba said...

I like Strachanie, but I won't be seeing the movie and I never watched Rove.

I hate all Melbourne comics (pretty much) but he doesn't offend me as much as the others.

Oh whatever.

Do we really fucking care?

patchouligirl said...

I think Magda won me over with her portrayal as love gumby Sharon Strezlecki.

I've emailed you a little piece on the immunisation debate Ramon.

Kettle said...

I’d rather staple wolverines to my genitals

Say what, Ramon!

Dr. Golf said...

Both "Pete" and Magda have very high Q scores Ramon, according to TV research group Audience Development Australia.

Magda actually topped the list a few years ago.

Kyle Sandilands came in at number 800.

Mad Cat Lady said...

It has my favourite little person in it - Peter Dinklage - I have to see it. I kind of have a crush on him.

Perseus said...

I liked Strauchanie, but that's it. Maybe that says he's a better actor than he is stand-up. He'd be better off going down the Barry Humphries / Sasha Baron-Cohen / Chris Lilley path and inventing characters.

Ramon does not approve of Barry Humphries, but I do. I approve of him greatly.

And Germaine Greer.

The current crop of local comedians / intellects / social commentators are pretty lame.

Perseus said...

Speaking of local comedians, our friend Catherine Deveney is in trouble again for her Logies tweets.

Here's the two examples that have angered some:

"I do so hope Bindi Irwin gets laid,"


"Rove and Tasma look so cute ... hope she doesn't die, too,"

Whether this is funny or not is beside the point of my comment. The point is that she has used that timeless copout of an excuse...


I'm sorry, Devs. Taking something out of context is only a defence when people edit out words / passages. These were whole Twitter comments. Stand by them, or apologise. One or the other.

Her other defence was that the people who thought they were offensive Tweets were the same people that think "Hey Hey" is funny, which Devs finds offensive. It's as if they are the only two options.

But Devs, I'm a third. Hey Hey is not funny, and nor are you.

Puss In Boots said...

She certainly is not funny. And I don't find Hey Hey funny either.

I also didn't think Will Anderson's tweets were amusing. There was a news post about them, and I read them and thought, "Wow. If that's all a 'comedian' can come up with, I'm glad I've never even seen the Twitter page."

Melba said...

OK can we come up with a group list of Top 5 Australian comedians?

And then a Top 10 Internacionale?

Gotta love a list.

I'm happy to accept votes for "don't like" cause they would pretty much be all the ones I'd be doing. Vetoing.

Melba said...

So I'll start?

With Orstralyan Talent:

Don't like: Wil Anderson, Rove, Catherine Deveny, Dave Hughes et al.

Don't mind: Hamish and Andy, Peter Helliar (aka Strauchanie), Shaun Micallef

Like: Kath and Kim inc assorted actors thusly involved, in their characters; some of the Old Comedy Company people, D-Gen.

Really like: Chris Lilley.

God is that it?

There might be others.

I admire Barry Humphries but I don't know that I think he's that funny. But I admire what he's done.

Puss In Boots said...

Hate (with the fire of a thousand suns): Chris Lilley, anyone in Kath and Kim, Will Anderson, Hamish and Andy, Catherine Deveney, Dave Hughes, Judith Lucy.

Dislike intensely: Rove, Shaun Micallef, Shane Bourne, Carl Barron, Dame Edna.

Don't mind: Paul McDermott, Josh Thomas, Charlie Pickering.

Like: The Chaser boys.

Come to think of it, there really aren't that many Australian comedians I can actually tolerate.

Perseus said...

I love John Clarke (and Brian)!
And Barry Humphries.

I like Chris Lilley, Micallef, D-gen crew (mainly Frontline and Late Show), some Chaser bits and pieces.

That's about it.

Oh, there's a standup chick... a chubby lesban. She's sometimes funny. I forget her name.

Melba said...

Oooh goody off to a good start.

I don't like Judith Lucy either, but enjoyed her book.

Don't like Shane Bourne.

How can you hate Chris Lilley, Puss? How? I mean his shows/characters.


And Kath and Kim?

Did it hit a nerve?

Puss In Boots said...

I don't know Melba. I find all of his characters intensely irritating (I also find it odd that he likes to dress up as girls so often). The boy made me watch an episode of one of his shows once. I didn't even crack a smile. Same with Kath and Kim. I just find it horrendously annoying. What do you mean, "hit a nerve?" Are you suggesting I'm like one of them? Not at all. I just don't think it's funny. Humour is very subjective, though. I think Jeeves and Wooster and Black Books are hilarious, for instance. I'm sure there are people who wouldn't.

Ooh! Ooh! I've remembered an Australian comedian I actually like! Frank Woodley. I saw his Complete Works of Shakespeare a few years ago. It was fantastic.

Melba said...

Sorry Puss it was a little dig. Just the shoes, you know, made me wonder whether you were a bit Kymmmmmyyyyy.

So you would judge a (male) comedian on the fact that he likes to dress up as female characters? That's a bit narrow. But if you don't find him funny, that's another thing.

Humous is so subjective. What one can find lame, another can find hilarious.

Puss In Boots said...

Considering I've only watched one episode, I can't comment on whether I'm a bit whatever-she-is. She strikes me as intensely bogan though, so I will have to say I'm nothing like her. I especially do not have such an awful accent.

As for Lilley, it's not the fact he likes to dress up as women that bothers me, and no, I'm not judging him on that. I don't find him funny anyway. The dressing-up-as-women thing just puzzles me somewhat.

Puss In Boots said...

Good news! Deveney has been sacked from The Age! Seriously, that has made my day! Now, if only Marieke Hardy would disappear forever, the world would be a grand place! Oh, and get rid of Miranda Devine while we're at it. And Sarah Palin. And Michelle Bachmann, and... Ok, fine, this list is getting too long. Baby steps!

Melba said...

Marieke had a nice piece in the weekend paper. She writes very nicely when she's not trying too hard to be cool/funny. It was a fine piece.

And how can you make a judgment on something you've only seen one episode of? I've gone on to love lots of series which were questionable after one viewing. To be sure, sometimes they don't grow on you, but often they do. They have a settling in period.

I'm going to bed now so if I don't reply, I'm not snubbing you!

Good night all. Work on your lists.

Puss In Boots said...

I might have only seen one full episode, but I've seen lots of bits of the other episodes. The boy watched them all. I would drift in and out of the room. Nothing I saw/heard ever struck me as even vaguely amusing.

Dr. Golf said...

Not sure how Deveney can bag Hey Hey when she was a writer for IMT with Frankie J Holden.

Prediction: Deveney to run for Parliament at the upcoming state election. Maybe as an independent in the Upper House (With a half decent preference deal, my left testical could get elected to the Victorian Upper House).

Like: Tony Martin, Hamish Blake, Shaun Micallef, John Safran.

Perseus said...

Oh yes, Safran. He's high on my list.

Deveney used to write gags for The Logies as well. Oh, the irony.

The irony.

Melba said...

Safran's high on my list too. Forgot about him.

Who can forget "Footloose" at Yeshivah?

Anonymous said...

This list of comedians that we're to come up with; it's not supposed to be limited to people who do stand-up routines, is it? Because the only one I can think of that I don't mind is George Carlin, and he's neither Australian nor alive, so I guess he doesn't count. Alexander Downer was pretty consistent at making me laugh. I guess he's not really a comedian, though. Hmmm, This is hard.

I admire Barry Humphries but I don't know that I think he's that funny. But I admire what he's done.

Um, what's he done that's so admirable, Melba?

The only thing I know about Peter Helliar is that he used to be the least unfunny of Rove's two sidekicks. I only know Catherine Deveney from her appearances on Q & A. I thought the way she talked over the top of people was annoying. From what I've seen of The Chaser, they're lucky if they can get me to smile once in an episode. I did like the song about dead celebrities, though. Safran's about the same. Occasionally mildly amusing. Mostly not.

The only Australian comedy show I can think of that I liked was Fast Forward. But I was watching some episodes earlier in the year and noticed that many of the sketches that I liked the least, were the ones done by people who had gone on to make Kath & Kim. The people I liked the most had gone on to do bugger all. Michael Veitch hosted an art program, Peter Moon's making a lousy sitcom, and Marg Downey had a 10 second appearance in the stupidest vampire movie ever made.


Melba said...

Barry Humphries, and the things he has done that I admire:

- creating the character of Edna Everage cum Dame Edna. You have to admit, it's a pretty impressive achievement. Talk about longevity and high profile. I'd rather our country be famous for her as cultural ambassador than someone like Kylie or that incredibly annoying Kathy Lette. Another supposedly funny Australian who is so unfunny.

- what he used to do as a young avant-garde dude in the '50s in Melbourne, the stunts on trams, that sort of thing. Ahead of his time, in this country anyway.

Like I said, not necessarily funny, but clever.

Anonymous said...

I don't really know much about Humphries' early work, Melba. I guess you're right though, about Edna Everage. It is pretty impressive for somebody to get that much mileage out of one gag.

Also, I can't say that I've ever heard of Kathy Lette.