THERE was a time when it looked like Mick Molloy might never work in television again. And he says even now the door is shut for him in some respects at the commercial networks.
‘‘ In terms of hosting my own show, I think it is,’’ he says. ‘‘ I do Before The Game (on Channel 10), I do a lot of appearances on other people’s shows, I’m constantly being asked to do stuff . . . I still enjoy sitting on the end of a panel or doing a cameo on a show and, as for that, I still look forward to doing the odd bitpiece on commercial TV.
‘‘ I’m quite resilient . . . I’ve been on the receiving end of two massive campaigns which, quite frankly, were over-the-top. But, I mean, who cares? You pick yourself up, you dust yourself off. What I laugh at is they’re just TV shows. People tend to think they’re the end of the world. Most of them fail. You’re allowed to have a crack. People seem to get upset that you have a crack at something.’’
He’s currently doing somewhat more than having a crack. ‘‘ At the moment, I’m working in radio, TV, stand-up and writing a film, so I’m working in every possible artistic medium. I don’t think anyone needs to feel sorry for me.’’
Molloy started working in breakfast radio again this year, next to Eddie McGuire at Triple M in Melbourne.
‘‘ I’ve always loved radio,’’ Molloy says, ‘‘ because, regardless of everything, no one can really interfere ’ til you’ve said it . . . All they can do is put you in an office after you’ve said it and say, ‘ Don’t do that again’.’’
How many times has that happened, so far? ‘‘ Quite a lot. Yes.’’
But the problems he’s faced in a commercial environment, where the sponsor is in charge, don’t exist on subscription television, where the viewer is a crucial part of the equation.
‘‘ I love that,’’ Molloy says. ‘‘ It gives me great freedom. Also the other thing I love about cable, if they film a series, they’re going to play a series. They’re going to roll it out . . . not only roll it out, they’re probably going to repeat it.’’
He burns with passion when he says: ‘‘ I love this show.’’ Molloy didn’t write or produce The Jesters, but it has his familiar tone.
‘‘ That was exactly my feeling when I read it for the first time,’’ he says. ‘‘ I haven’t done a lot of stuff for other people, because I’m not a proper actor, I have fairly limited range. I can play 10 degrees either side of Mick Molloy. That’s pretty much it. I’m not a chameleon.
‘‘ So when this came across my desk, I loved it. Straight away I felt it’d been written for me. It hadn’t, but I think they came to me first. They sent me the script and I just laughed my tits off. It was really natural for me.’’
In interviews for the first series of The Jesters, Molloy said the character he plays, Dave Davies — ‘‘ an ageing showbiz a-------,’’ — was inspired by Doug Mulray, among others. The ‘‘ others’’ include Andrew Denton.
Part of the pleasure of The Jesters is trying to identify the various showbiz people in it.
The Jesters, Movie Extra, Tuesday, 8.30pm Resilient: comedian Mick Molloy. Picture: MANUELA CIFRA