#126 – Hey, Hey It’s Saturday

14 04 2010

With bogan treasure Rove McManus calling time on his weekly variety show late in 2009, a gaping hole appeared in the Australian TV landscape. With P!nk’s next Australian tour only about three months away at any given time, a replacement promotional vehicle for visiting celebrities had to be found. Fast.

TV executives over at Channel 9 bickered amongst themselves. “Maybe we could give Mick Molloy or Shaun Micallef their 14th chance at finding a sustainable programme format?”, said one. “What about getting Eddie Maguire to do it, so that he never tries to get another back office role?”, enquired another. Finally, one of the older men at the table asked “What’s Graham Kennedy up to these days?”. “Well he’s dead”, replied Eddie. After some initial fingerpointing as to who didn’t lock the boardroom door properly, Maguire was ejected, and the discussion continued. “Well if Kennedy has croaked, the next best thing will be to dust off bloody Darryl Somers and see if he can win the bogan’s heart one more time”.

They needn’t have worried about whether he could. There are few things that the bogan likes more than something it used to like. The bogan will forget that it grew tired of it soon enough, and watch again for at least a couple of years. It had been joining Facebook groups for some time, demanding more unchallenging times with Dickie Knee. Hey Hey It’s Saturday lurched back into life in September 2009, a reunion special 38 years after its initial airing. It featured the same cast, and Russell Gilbert’s gut had arguably grown bigger, creating thrilling visual comedy for the bogan. Bogan women busied themselves with deciding which cast member had aged the best, and breathlessly speculated on who may have had some botox. The other thing that hadn’t changed was the humour.

In the Red Faces segment of the show, the bogan applauded a Jackson 5 “blackface” skit, and Harry Connick Jr did not. The bogan later learned that it was something to do with history or slavery, and bellowed that political correctness had indeed gone mad. The debate died a natural death within a week or so, and the “reunion special” was soon forgotten.  When Rove’s show also died a natural death two months later, Daryl’s phone started ringing once more. To do a show. On Wednesdays. Called Hey Hey It’s Saturday. The bogan, when watching this, will engage in a furious contest with its comrades to be the first to point out that it is, in fact, a Wednesday night, and then chuckle at its acute powers of observation. Of course, the bogan will soon tire of the show it was already tired of, and stop watching. But right now, Channel 9 will milk bogan nostalgia for every bogan buck it can.

When this great bogan entertainment institution wound down in 1999, it coincided with the first year of Rove’s hilarious prime time escapades. A decade later, the baton has again been passed. Back to Daryl. It is understood that Rove has been cryogenically frozen, and will be resuscitated to cater to the bogan’s entertainment needs once surgeons become unwilling to perform any further hip replacements on Daryl Somers.