PAY­ING AT­TEN­TION TO COM­EDY RISKS

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS - By Shan­non Mol­loy

WE live in the out­rage era, where the small­est mis­step can fire up an on­line mob, which makes com­edy fraught with risk.

Tom Gleis­ner (left), host of Net­work Ten’s news quiz show Have You Been Pay­ing At­ten­tion? is aware of the ever-present dan­ger of land­ing him­self in hot wa­ter.

“I’m mind­ful of how some­thing can blow up and, be­fore you know it, you’re at the cen­tre of a Twit­ter storm,” he says.

“Not to ex­cuse peo­ple who are de­lib­er­ately of­fen­sive, but there’s a point where it’s like, ‘Oh, for God’s sake, it was a joke. Let’s not lose per­spec­tive here’.”

His show, which fea­tures five con­tes­tants an­swer­ing ques­tions about the week that was in news and cur­rent affairs, is shot the day be­fore it airs, mean­ing some­one could “slightly over­step the mark” and be com­fort­able in the knowl­edge any­thing too hairy would be edited out.

The down­side to that ap­proach is the risk ma­jor news will break in the hours between film­ing and broad­cast­ing the episode – but it’s only hap­pened once in the show’s five sea­sons.

“Last year I was driv­ing home on a Mon­day af­ter­noon and heard on the ra­dio Mal­colm Turn­bull had chal­lenged Tony Ab­bott,” he says. “I was sud­denly do­ing a men­tal cal­cu­la­tion of how many ques­tions men­tioned the prime min­is­ter. Thank­fully the spill didn’t take place un­til about 9.30pm, so we just snuck in.”

HAVE YOU BEEN PAY­ING AT­TEN­TION? MON­DAY, 8.30PM, TDT

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