‘Ab­bott’ set for star­ring role in new com­edy show

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

NO politi­cian is safe from co­me­dian Paul McCarthy (pic­tured), who has sharp­ened up his Tony Ab­bott im­per­son­ation for the ABC’s new satir­i­cal com­edy show Wed­nes­day Night Fever. And there are no po­lit­i­cal party al­liances ei­ther. McCarthy played Kevin Rudd in the ABC se­ries At Home With Ju­lia, hav­ing im­per­son­ated the for­mer PM for Com­edy Inc, which in it­self spawned a cor­po­rate gig ca­reer on the side. Prime Min­is­ter Ju­lia Gil­lard is also part of McCarthy’s reper­toire. But it’s Ab­bott who is in the fir­ing line for the sev­enepisode com­edy show. Wed­nes­day Night Fever com­bines po­lit­i­cal im­per­son­ations, satir­i­cal char­ac­ters and mu­si­cal com­edy, based on the week’s po­lit­i­cal and cul­tural events, both na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally. The half-hour pro­gram is filmed be­fore a live stu­dio au­di­ence and is hosted by Sammy J. The reg­u­lars in­clude McCarthy, his At Home With Ju­lia co-star Amanda Bishop, Genevieve Mor­ris ( The Late Shift) and Heath Franklin (Chop­per of The Ron­nie Johns Half Hour). ‘‘I’ve been do­ing lots of Tony Ab­bott stuff for this show,’’ says McCarthy, break­ing into the im­per­son­ation (which is ex­cel­lent) mid­way through the in­ter­view. Be­cause each episode runs for just 30 min­utes McCarthy says it makes for a punchier and sharper show, with­out any of the flat spots that can oc­cur with an hour-long pro­gram. Sammy J’s job is to di­rect the con­ver­sa­tional traf­fic and quickly switch be­tween seg­ments, which McCarthy says worked ex­tremely well when they tri­alled the se­ries with a live au­di­ence. ‘‘The (fic­tional) char­ac­ters are ac­tu­ally placed in among the live au­di­ence. We found that was a nice way to in­tro­duce char­ac­ters who are more generic and then we have in­ter­views with the im­per­son­ators of fa­mous peo­ple. We kind of get to have a pretty broad spec­trum of ways of re-in­ter­pret­ing the sketch for­mat.’’ While McCarthy started out his ca­reer in tele­vi­sion as an ac­tor on Neigh­bours, he says he is en­joy­ing the com­edy as­pect. He has flipped be­tween the se­ri­ous side to act­ing, such as ap­pear­ing in an Un­der­belly tele­movie, Crack­er­jack and Sad­dle Club, to satir­i­cal se­ries in­clud­ing Com­edy Inc. ‘‘That’s just about try­ing to make a liv­ing re­ally,’’ McCarthy jokes. ‘‘I started out do­ing nor­mal act­ing stuff and fell into com­edy and do­ing im­per­son­ations, which seems to have worked well.’’

Wed­nes­day Night Fever: Wed­nes­days, 9.30pm, ABC1.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.