Aunty bares crass soul
Prepare to cross the moral and decency line, writes Darren Cartwright
THE ABC has raided its vaults to pull together some of the most crass, crude and questionable humour for a two-part series Shock Horror Aunty.
It’s the ‘‘humour’’ that crossed the moral and decency line over the past 40 or so years and resulted in viewers jamming the ABC switchboard with complaints.
Some clips are still relatively funny others definitely not – now or then.
Norman Gunston’s political interlude on the steps of federal Parliament when the then-prime minister Gough Whitlam was sacked will bring back memories and a chuckle or two.
Elle McFeast pulls up former prime minister Paul Keating for treating her like the Queen and placing his hand on her back.
For those wanting to bask in retro comedy, look away now.
Shock Horror Aunty is as far as you can get from a series about warm fuzzy nostalgia comedy shows as the ABC has served up in its time.
The Chaser’s Craig Reucassel and host of Shock Horror Aunty explains the series is a collection of clips about what was controversial in its day.
‘‘This is not a show of my favourite clips of comedy moments,’’ Reucassel says. ‘‘These are things that created controversy or were complained about at the time.
‘‘It’s funny to see what was funny and also what led to complaints.
‘‘It’s an ability to look back over history and see how things have changed.’’
During the first episode The Doug Anthony Allstars (DAAS) are featured among some of the more distasteful sketches.
The Chaser boys also feel the heat over a grossly-worded ditty which included the death of Princess Diana.
Comedian Paul McDermott expresses the dark side to one skit which fellow DAAS member Tim Ferguson later shed a tear about.
Andrew Denton gives a modern take on complaints now that social media has arrived.
In hindsight, Reucassel can understand why some of The Chaser’s sketches hit a raw nerve with the public.
‘‘Even some of The Chaser ones, I can see why people got a little bit het-up over that,’’ he says. ‘‘It’s not being seen in the full context (though).’’
The title of the series lends itself from a headline that appeared in Sydney’s former afternoon newspaper The Daily Mirror: Shock Horror Aunty.
Many of the clips were dragged out of the ABC archives by producer Andy Nehl who has a long association with the national broadcaster.
Some of Nehl’s more recent work has been as series producer of The Hamster Wheel , Hungry Beast , Lawrence Leung’s Unbelievable , Yes We Canberra and The Chaser’s War On Everything .
Reucassel guarantees there will be a variety of views about the series.
Shock Horror Aunty host Craig Reucassel