CHAR­LIE PICK­ER­ING

WHY I’M AN OP­TI­MIST

Herald Sun - Switched On - - FRONT PAGE - BY COLIN VICK­ERY NA­TIONAL TV WRITER

Char­lie Pick­er­ing had to take a risk. The 38-year-old co­me­dian felt sti­fled on The Project and left Chan­nel 10’s cur­rent af­fairs pro­gram in April 2014.

A year later he was back on the ABC with his own news satire show The Weekly — a sort of an­tipodean version of The Daily Show with Jon Ste­wart.

The risk has paid off with The Weekly gain­ing a ded­i­cated fol­low­ing and a re­cent AACTA Award for Best Light En­ter­tain­ment Tele­vi­sion Se­ries.

Now it is time for Pick­er­ing to re­view the past 12 months’ news events on The Yearly.

What has been the big­gest chal­lenge mov­ing from The

Project to host­ing your own show? Get­ting used to life with­out see­ing Pete Helliar and Car­rie Bickmore ev­ery day. Aside from that, I’d say the pres­sure is dif­fer­ent. We have an ex­tra­or­di­nary team making The Weekly, but if some­thing doesn’t go well it’s on my shoul­ders.

A lot of tragic events have hap­pened this year. How do you tackle those top­ics? The say­ing the “com­edy = tragedy + time” is very true. Laugh­ter has al­ways been the best cop­ing mech­a­nism that hu­mans have ever evolved. We just have to be care­ful that we are never laugh­ing at any­one who doesn’t de­serve it.

You’ve be­come a dad in the past year. How has that changed you? I spend a lot more time in sand­pits. It has also made me acutely aware of how much more time I had to do things be­fore and how I will never have that much time on my hands again un­til I re­tire! It’s also made me ap­pre­ci­ate fam­ily in a dif­fer­ent way.

What is the place of satire in com­ment­ing on con­tro­ver­sial is­sues? Laugh­ter has al­ways been an ef­fec­tive way of keep­ing the pow­er­ful in check. Of­ten a joke can get at the truth of a mat­ter bet­ter than a com­ment or an ed­i­to­rial and it will of­ten find a more re­cep­tive au­di­ence. And the more pow­er­ful a politi­cian or aris­to­crat, the riper they are for satire. Are you an op­ti­mist or pes­simist? I’ve al­ways been an op­ti­mist and will con­tinue to be. We hu­mans are pretty in­cred­i­ble an­i­mals,We’ve come a long way and made some in­cred­i­ble things. There’s evil in the world, sure. But evil has never been ca­pa­ble of cre­at­ing any­thing; only de­struc­tion. And I’ve got to be­lieve the cre­ativ­ity of good peo­ple will win in the end.

THE YEARLY, ABC, WED­NES­DAY, 8.30PM

Char­lie Pick­er­ing has been spend­ing more time in sand pits since be­com­ing a fa­ther.

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