MOSH!! *Operator: Cris Pearson(firstname.lastname@example.org)*
Interwiew with PAUL
Wednesday, 06-May-98 22:50:25
I was walking down Collins st in Melbourne yesterday and noticed a person selling magazines, normaly I just walk straight past but she yelled out something about an article on PAUL. It's an alright article, not the best but here it is if anyone wants to read it.
THE BIG ISSUE
Chatting with former Doug Anthony Allstar Paul McDermott is an intimidating prospect. When I spoke ot him I had just witnessed a live taping of McDermott's television program Good News Week, nad that old smell of the audiences's blood in the air had transported me back to the days of my youth when we watched the All Stars and espeially McDermott letting rip on innocent citizens with their merciless brand of insulting diatribe.
In those days, the safest place was near the back of the audience, half-hiding behing a tall person. With Good News Week the impression is that McDermott had calmed down and pulled back. That impression is wrong. Face-to-face with McDermott in a Melbourne hotel room, ther is nowhere to hide.
Hours earlier, at the first of the Melbourne Comedy Fesitval specials for his program, McDermott was undisputed king of the packed Melbourne Town Hall. He goaded, baited and preyed on the audience with the sort of skill only possessed by someone who had worked the stand up circuit for over a decade; and the mostly 20 something crowd loved it. Swearing prolifically, McDermott, dressed in his trade mark three piece pin striped suit, supervised an effortless flow of funny banter between his fellow panellists. For a little over half an hour, we were treated to improvised stand up comedy that would have made most other acts in the Comedy Festiva blush with embarrassment.
But we were there to make television. and when the taping eventually began, the audience's self-consciousness and the more stilted, careful performances on stage sapped the earlier bristling energy a little. But, according to McDermott, that's simply the nature of the beast.
If McDermott was obviously tired as we started out interview, he was as alert as ever. After introductions, he launched into a virtiolic attack on the reception staff of the large city hotel he was staying in. As we entered the lift, the concierge was given a serve. When we got to his room-which overlooked the cocktail lounge- he turned his unbridled hatred to the piano player and female vocalist who annoyed him of and evening with their easy listening tinkling. I kept low and took notes.
Good News Week, not in it's third year, has proven to be an unexpected success for the everbesieged ABC. For McDermott, GNW, and political satire in general, is worth protecting. "The whole idea of our show is to attack the news. There should be more shows doing it. It't the right time. If you pick up the newspaper now, today, it's scary. Really scary. The whole Australian way of life is changing;we need to realise that."
McDermott believes that commercial tv networks are afraid of satire, because they're still grounded in the 70's and 80's Americal "apologetic P.C. sort of mentality where at the end of the show there's some sickening cloying moral" Add to this the commercial and political interess of th e media barons, and you've got no chance of widespread comical political comment.
Says McDermott, "The other channels should be doing it. But while it would be better off for the nation, it wouldn't be better offf for the networks because if youhave that stuff on for too ong people go "phuch yeah! Wait a second! they're makin' a joke of that but... there's a grian of truth in it!" Commercial stations cant do it. Also, you might want to do a joke about a car, but you can't mention that particular car because they're paying us to run their commercials. The Liberal part have been at the base of a lot of policies which assist the media tycoons and so they won't do much against the Liberal Party because if your're rich and you want to get rich, that's where it all is . They own it all."
And speaking of the Liberal party, McDermott denies that GNW shows a particular left bias. "it's simpley because the Liberals are in power that they get a bigger serve. I was actually quite depressed when Labor lost: not because Labor lost but because there was a whole front bench making some pretty public mistakes. But the Howard government;well, we didn't really know anyone. Comedy was looking pretty bleak there for a while, but my God, they've all come through with the goods. Alexander Downer in fishnet stockings! Reithy! Amander!" Here McDermott's eyes light up as he again shouts, "Amander! huh?" His genuine joy at the cast of ministerial characters is obvious. "And on the other side, there's always Gareth Evans sticking his head up and saying something. It's fantastic!"
That the end of the article. I hope you like it. It only took me and hour to type it out. I was meant to hand in my media CAT to my teacher. talk to you soon.
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