Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler, teacher, scientist; Published author & Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published October 11th 2018
Cancelled show - Great album
Tonightly was a satirical news show on ABC-Comedy (ABC2). Its run was marked by a lot of incredibly biting satire, by annoying an upsetting too many politicians, for being genuinely funny (something too many Australian television alleged comedies fail to be)… and then, in 2018, it was cancelled.
Now, I try to support Australian comedy. However, I find too much relies on the comedy of embarrassment, or the comedy of abuse, or is just not funny. However, Australians do political satire quite well. And from those, Shaun Micallef's Mad As Hell and Tonightly have been my favourites. There are too few comedy shows from Australia worth while. And now one of the best 2 has been stopped. Bleh!
Back to Tonightly. The skits and rants were generally really good (occasionally hit or miss, but they really hit their straps in 2018, IMO), but, for me, the stand-out was always the songs. Those episodes where they hit a high were nearly always the ones where they included a song (especially one featuring Bridie Connell). The songs were the things most often talked about amongst those of us who watched the show. And so when I discovered (thanks to the joys of Twitter!) this album was available, I was a happy (elderly) camper.
The Album Cover (from Google Play)
A HUGE word of warning for readers of this site – the language can be rather NSFW. Personally, I think it's just language and so doesn't matter, but that is not a view shared by everyone, so, please, be careful. Especially if you are going to watch the videos embedded here.
To the album! Oh, it is at the moment a download album. I bought my copy from Google Play but you can use whatever suits you, I guess.
Sex Pest kicks the album off. This song won the 2018 Aria for best comedy performance in a highly contested category, and deservedly so. It is one of the funniest things I've heard this year, and its message is one that should be taken on-board by everyone. Maybe this is the best way to get that sort of message across. Bridie Connell is awesome. My new favourite comedienne. Sorry – I'm allowed to be biased.
Power Ballad (Called Goodnightly) is the song that closed off the final series of Tonightly. It was funny at the time, but seems a little bit dated already. Out of the context of the show, it does lose a lot of its bite. Unfortunately. The only song in the set I didn't bother to listen to a second time (although the begging for jobs on other shows was pretty funny).
On the other hand, Literally Everything – The Tonightly Christmas Single, skewering the standard Christmas song that has been a staple of radio since Band Aid in 1984, is going to be relevant for a long time (again, unfortunately). A genuine highlight of the album, and one I'd almost forgotten about until I listened to this again.
Best Mates is next, about the friendship between Australia and New Zealand, but the deportation of Kiwis putting a shadow over it all. That makes it seem like it's quite serious, but that's wrong. How can I put it across that this is a serious issue put forward as a really strong piece? I can't – my writing skills don't match this. And its denouement about ANZAC Day is perfect.
Valentine's Day is one of my two favourite songs in this collection. The truth of Valentine's Day has never sounded jauntier and… more horrific. "He was decapitated and died all alone." That's actually how I remember the day as well... Yay – Valentine's Day…
Refujesus, which contrasts Christian values with so-called Christian politicians' beliefs and actions, is very biting satirically and, yet again unfortunately, will probably be relevant in 20 years, and not just in Australia, either. Take out the names of Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton, insert a couple of US pollie, and it would be exactly the same and lose nothing. This is a very, very well written piece.
Next up is my favourite song from Tonightly – Royal Baby Song! The true news of the day being overshadowed by a birth is just incredibly written and Bridie's delivery is perfect. I love this track. If you download just one song – this is the one I recommend. Short, sharp and shiny and still funny…
Leadership Spill Song is next. It is funny but also rather depressing, because of the reality of its situation. And the end with all the bleeps instead of the actual swearing actually makes it funnier.
Internet Song closes the album. It's a rap song about something that was topical at the time; however, its sentiment is something that will be around and relevant for a long time. Yet again, once more unfortunately. Good song, but not the best on the album.
So, of the 9 tracks that make up this album, I really liked 7, and only didn't care much for one. That's a pretty impressive strike rate for a comedy album, and almost unheard of for an Australian comedy album. Of course, I could be biased, as I loved the show and felt that cancelling Tonightly was the second worst mistake the ABC ever did (the first being okaying 'Sylvania Waters', thus giving rise to our own home-grown reality TV rubbish-crap that pollutes our screens too often with no sign of ever stopping, making so-called stars (term used completely wrongly here) out of talentless hacks who wouldn't get looked at any other way, even if they performed whatever talent it is they claim naked at Spencer Street Station… [/rant]). Oh, yeah, and cancelling outback and regional and Pacific services is also a pretty big negative on the ABC.
I do like the ABC; I just wish they were better, that's all.
Now, look, I do understand that senses of humour and tastes in comedy are very subjective. This is slightly left-leaning, sweary, political and satirical, and I understand that is not to everyone's taste. But I like it; I find it amusing (okay, bloody funny) and I recommend it whole-heartedly.