Hey, hey it’s offence archeology

It’s a slow news week in Australia. Nothing much worth reporting about; the flood waters have subsided, Federal parliament is on holiday from their rapey calendar, the number of covid cases is back down to zero, and we’re not due a new Prime Minister for weeks yet.

To pass the time, the Sydney Morning Herald news room has borrowed a silver DeLorien, revved it up to 88mph down a deserted George St. and has discovered an important crime against humanity to report upon.

The serious and sober investigative journalist Andrew “Deep Throat” Hornery, kicks us off.

Broede Carmody, who looks like he was yet to be conceived when the show last aired, also piles on….and, just to ensure he got the roadkill, he reversed back over it again.

Rebecca Shaw offers us more of the same.

Someone who reads the news off an autocue at SBS gets in on the act.

Finally, back to the SMH with Julia Baird adding to the canon with this one.

When I say “finally”, obviously I don’t mean that’s the end of it; the former news outlet has clearly found a safe target with which the journos can contrast their prescience and righteousness and will continue to ejaculate column inches until the data analytics team point out nobody is actually reading them.

So, what is this sordid story of evil racism and what lessons can we learn?

Well, you may wish to sit down before you read any further as I have some disturbing news for you….

You won’t believe this but a light entertainment TV show made in the 1980s doesn’t, upon review, pass the 2021 Reinheitsgebot.

No, seriously; some of the jokes relied on crude racial stereotypes, sexist and gauche humour which, by today’s standards, are unacceptable.

Shocking, isn’t it. What a marvellous public service the brave and selfless staff at the Sydney Morning Herald have performed to inform us of this.

Andrew Hornery, for example, had to decline a cushy ex-pat posting to Basra in order to bring us the important and vital revelations that a 40 year old TV show didn’t age well.

This truly is the work of a future Pulitzer Prize winner. One can easily envision Mr Hornery being called in to news studios during the twilight of his career to be asked for his opinion, à la Bob Woodward, on the latest scandal. And, as with Woodward, nobody will be interested in a damn word he says until he delivers the moneyshot, which, instead of “worse than Watergate“, will be, “worse than Hey Hey, It’s Saturday“. Bang! Mic drop.

Bill’s Opinion

The previous post here was a defence of some aspects of “cancel culture”.

The problem is, of course, lazy journalists take the admirable theme of reviewing the past to learn by our mistakes as an excuse to churn out hundreds of column inches pointing out the bleedin’ obvious: we were all different back then.

What I’ve yet to read is an explanation why the show (which I’ve never seen, by the way) was cancelled? Could it be the ratings had fallen because it was out of touch with the mood of the audience?

What would that say about the discerning Australian public? That they rejected cheap humour based on lazy stereotypes?

That would be inconvenient to the narrative, wouldn’t it?

In the meantime, can someone send a few DVD box sets over to the SMH with the back catalogue of Til Death Do Us Part, On the Buses, The Goodies, The Dukes of Hazzard and, heaven forbid, The Black and White Minstrel Show?

That should keep them busy right up until the point the newspaper is finally closed down.

5 Replies to “Hey, hey it’s offence archeology”

  1. Hey Hey got cancelled because the audience was no longer sufficient to justify the high production costs (live band, international celebrity guests, etc.)
    Channel 9 suggested to Daryl that they make it into a smaller-scale, comedy talk show like the then popular Good News Week.
    Hey Hey had already become more 90s PC by the end but was getting stale. It was what it was.
    Looks like most complaints are coming from white Millenials who are getting offended on behalf of 80s ethnics who didn’t much care at the time. Maybe they needed more unsupervised play as children because they never learned to toughen up. God help them if they ever face a real problem.

    1. The main person for whom the vifence is being expressed is a singer I’ve never heard of.
      I wonder how many records he sold as a consequence of his multiple appearances on the racist show?
      Did he appear on many other TV shows at the time?

      1. Kamahl sang the theme song for Never Ending Story. The film about the boy and the flying elephant. A kiddie show filled with beautiful whimsical touches that made it good adult viewing too.

  2. There’s a kind of humour that is intentionally so bad that the audience will laugh at the coarseness of the actors. Hoges for example. The brain dead SMH scribes would totally miss the subtleties of this not at all subtle genre.

    1. Well, that humour doesn’t age well is only a surprise to people who deliberately decide to be surprised by it.
      Worse than that is when people deliberately take humour out of context; the Fawlty Towers German scene, for example. Only someone trying really hard to be offended wouldn’t realise Basil’s lazy stereotyping was the butt of that joke.

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