Rus­sell Howard’s Good News

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Thurs­day, 9.30pm, Com­edy I’m em­bar­rassed to say I’ve never heard of Rus­sell Howard, es­pe­cially as this is the de­but of his sev­enth sea­son. Yes, it’s a news par­ody pro­gram, hardly a new thing th­ese days. But while, say, Ten’s The Project blends ac­tual news with in­ci­den­tal satire, Good News is satire all the way. Howard’s de­liv­ery is more high-voiced and hys­ter­i­cal than Gra­ham Nor­ton’s, but the first 18 min­utes of this episode re­minded me quite a lot of Nor­ton’s three-minute open­ing mono­logue. Howard stands alone on stage in front of a live au­di­ence; he’s equipped with a gi­ant video screen con­tain­ing vi­sion of ba­bies who are dis­in­clined to be in­ter­viewed, and with pic­tures of the royal fam­ily that act as photo punch­lines for his rou­tines. Vis­ual puns abound, and if there is no news-based item that’s up to the task, then he’ll jolly well film him­self as var­i­ous characters to make the point. Howard is very funny, even fall-about funny at times, but his de­liv­ery does start to grate af­ter a bit. Mind you, do you know any­body else who could pull off an 18-minute mono­logue at the be­gin­ning of ev­ery episode?

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