Australian Broadcasting Corporation chair Ita Buttrose will investigate “as a matter of urgency” the decision by News Breakfast producers this morning to give extended TV air time to two admittedly very talented but still up-and-coming standup comedians and impersonators.
My insiders at the ABC have told me that with federal Parliament resuming this week for the last sitting fortnight before a looming election and so much politics to cover, Ms Buttrose has been forced to respond to widespread criticism of the appearance by the two funnymen and will be asking a very simple question: What on earth was the program’s executives thinking?
I must admit that watching this morning’s program, you’d think the Melbourne Comedy Festival was running this week and the ABC thought it was a commercial outfit whose job was to give it a shameless commercial plug.
First up on the show just after 7am was a Melbourne emerging talent with a passable resemblance to federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
This bloke couldn’t have afforded the airtime he got but, boy, did he make the most of it, cracking up co-host Micahel Rowland as he tried out what was clearly some fresh material.
The one I liked the most was when he said Prime Minister Scott Morrison was working very, very, hard each and every day of his life on behalf of the Australian people.
But as good as he was, I reckon he was upstaged by the next entertainer who fronted the show.
Okay, maybe he didn’t look quite like the former Nationals leader Michael McCormack he was pretending to be but his material was just brilliant, roll-on-the-floor laughing pisstake of everything that’s wrong about politics.
He told Rowland that the Nationals had to stop talking about themselves and then spent the rest of the routine talking about himself and the Nationals leadership and how great an honour and privilege it would be if the many, many disgruntled members of the Nationals partyroom appalled by Barnaby Joyce’s disgusting behaviour called on him to return to the top job.
It was wonderful, wonderful political satire at its gold-standard best and you could hardly blame Rowland for letting the performance roll on as long as it did. Personally, I hope both he and the show’s producers don’t get into too much trouble over this.
And I’m going to find out these two guys’ real names and once I get hold of their upcoming standup dates, times and venues, I’ll share them with you.