Aunty bares crass soul

Pre­pare to cross the mo­ral and de­cency line, writes Dar­ren Cartwright

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

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

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