Tom Glee­son


No-one is bet­ter than Tom Glee­son at a put-down. The co­me­dian won a le­gion of fans grilling celebri­ties in­clud­ing Karl Ste­fanovic, James Blunt and Steve Price for his Hard Chat seg­ment on The Weekly with Char­lie Pick­er­ing.

So much so last year, the ABC took a punt on match­ing Glee­son’s acer­bic style with a game show for­mat. Hard Quiz was an in­stant suc­cess.

Each episode fea­tures four con­tes­tants with ex­pert knowl­edge in spe­cial­ist sub­jects. Last year’s series in­cluded au­thor­i­ties on ev­ery­thing from Harry Pot­ter to Seinfeld, The Bea­tles, wom­bats, Re­nais­sance art and punk rock.

The con­tes­tants on Hard Quiz – ge­niuses or just plain weird? Both. And I love them for it. They’re such great sports. They might be weirdos but they’re my weirdos. Hard Quiz is a cel­e­bra­tion of these peo­ple and their ex­pert sub­jects.

Last year’s con­tes­tants were happy to give you a bit of lip back. Is that some­thing you en­cour­age? I al­ways tell the live au­di­ence that I en­joy tak­ing the piss out of the con­tes­tants but I love it even more when they take the piss out of me. The sea­son two con­tes­tants have re­ally taken that ball and run with it. In some episodes I’m cop­ping it from all an­gles.

Did you ever en­vis­age you would be a suc­cess­ful quiz show host? No, but then again I never even thought I would be on TV. Head­lin­ing the Sydney Com­edy Store on the week­end was as far as my am­bi­tion stretched when I started com­edy.

You’re also renowned for Hard Chat. Who is still on your wish list for a grilling? Mal­colm Turn­bull. I’ve Hard Chat­ted an ex-PM (Kevin Rudd) and a po­ten­tial fu­ture PM (Bill Shorten) but not a sit­ting PM. Tony Ab­bott would be fun too. If you’re read­ing this Tony, Hard Chat welcomes snip­ing and un­der­min­ing with open arms.

If you were a con­tes­tant on Hard Quiz, what would your spe­cial sub­ject be? Monty Python, Rolling Stones or quan­tum me­chan­ics. Physics is a great sub­ject to stop the other con­tes­tants steal­ing from you.

You had ev­ery­thing from a Cold Chisel ex­pert to a flags ex­pert in sea­son one. What are some of the loopy ex­pert fields we can ex­pect on this year’s series? So many to choose from: Thomas the Tank En­gine, cas­sowaries, the Bangladesh cricket team ... there are peo­ple that are re­ally into these things.

Do you have Hard Quiz fans com­ing up to you in the street, how would you de­scribe them? Ex­pan­sive. They never stop me for a quick chat.

What could you learn from Grant Denyer and what could he learn from you? I could learn from Grant that if I was happy to com­pro­mise on qual­ity I could record 10 episodes in two days. Grant could learn from me that if his game show for­mat was more in­ter­est­ing, he wouldn’t have to dance around so much.


“I love them for it. They’re such great sports. They might be weirdos but they’re my weirdos”


Tom Glee­son doesn’t mind serv­ing it up ... and cop­ping a re­turn.

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