All the news fit to raise a smile

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television Free To Air - Sean Mi­callef’s Mad as Hell,

No doubt count­ing on the fact that if we can’t laugh about the news, we’ll cry, Shaun Mi­callef re­turns to as­sist with the for­mer with his seventh sea­son of Mad as Hell.

Its claims are mod­est: “Fewer ads than Project; ear­lier than and a good 23½ hours shorter than the for­mer ABC News 24.”

It has been in­ter­est­ing to ob­serve who’s up and who’s down in the US TV com­edy news scene with the dra­mat­i­cally changed cir­cum­stances of Amer­i­can pol­i­tics: Stephen Col­bert has found his own voice (sans his pre­vi­ous comic per­sona) and has been hav­ing tremen­dous fun, it seems; Jimmy Fal­lon has stum­bled, af­ter the broad crit­i­cism that fol­lowed his ruf­fling Don­ald Trump’s hair on air; plus a host of new faces such as Samantha Bee are crowd­ing the stage.

But lo­cally Mi­callef, a vet­eran of Aus­tralian Mad as Hell com­edy who has never lost the whiff of the sub­ur­ban lawyer he once was, has carved a niche that plays to his daffy comic stylings and found a loyal au­di­ence.

(In truth, I like him in char­ac­ter: the se­ries Stair­way to Heaven, which ex­plored re­li­gions and their ad­her­ents around the world was some­times — per­haps un­in­ten­tion­ally — con­de­scend­ing.)

There is so much in the news for Mi­callef to skewer, it’s al­most not fair: the Comey tes­ti­mony to the US congress; the cliffhanger Bri­tish elec­tion; and the ever-pop­u­lar seg­ment, “Bill Shorten’s Zingers”.

Mi­callef is once again joined by Roz Ham­mond, the un­re­lated Fran­cis Greenslade and Tosh Greenslade, Emily Ta­heny ( True Story with Hamish & Andy) and Stephen Hall. 8.30pm, ABC. Wed­nes­day,

Shaun Mi­callef re­turns to the ABC with the seventh sea­son of

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