The show you ei­ther love or hate

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gaming - AN­DREW FEN­TON

CO­ME­DIAN Sam Sim­mons is in a Crum­pler shop en­gaged in a fu­ri­ous ar­gu­ment over whether they’ll fix his bro­ken bag strap be­fore he leaves to play some UK dates the fol­low­ing day.

‘‘ They need to re­place it!’’ he says em­phat­i­cally.

It doesn’t sound like they’re go­ing to re­place it. It’s a weird start to a weird chat about his weird, but very funny sketch show Prob­lems. It features a talk­ing cat ( Ronny Chieng), two moths with mar­riage prob­lems (Gary Sweet and Susie Porter) and a man rid­ing an enor­mous taco.

Fans of The Mighty Boosh or Mi­callef will love it, oth­ers may not. ‘‘ Peo­ple get really an­gry about it,’’ he says. Sim­mons is ter­ri­ble at pub­lic­ity and spends most of the in­ter­view mak­ing ex­cuses for the show and re­spond­ing to crit­i­cisms we haven’t asked about.

He wants peo­ple to know he hadn’t seen Wil­fred when he wrote the talk­ing cat. ‘‘ Then I watched an episode and I was like: ‘ Oh sh--.’ We just wrote what was funny.’’ He should in­stead fo­cus on the fam­i­lies and the 50-year-old blokes who stop him on the street or in air­ports telling him how much they love it.

It’s sur­pris­ing it’s as good as it is con­sid­er­ing how fast it was made: com­mis­sioned as a sin­gle episode pi­lot in Au­gust, it was writ­ten in a blitzkrieg, ex­panded to four episodes, filmed in Oc­to­ber and on air by Novem­ber.

‘‘ We were green­lit. I was writ­ing, then learn­ing lines, then on cam­era, then straight into the edit,’’ he says. ‘‘ The best thing about this project is I’ve learnt a hell of a lot and I feel I’ve got the con­fi­dence to (go on and) make some­thing quite ex­tra­or­di­nary.’’ Prob­lems, ABC1, tonight, 9pm

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