When Shaun Micallef pulled up stumps after 10 years of Mad As Hell last year, the writers in the team had to start looking for work. One of those writers, who was part of 13 of the 15 seasons, David M Green, is an Adelaidean whose life has been dedicated to pursuing the craft of comedy. He joins us to share some great insights into writing, the nature of comedy, and the workings of a weekly comedy show.
And in the Musical Pilgrimage, Matt Cahill returns with a new Evoletah song.
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Running Sheet: Cunnos, Comedy, And Micallef With David M Green
One of our former guests, Caroline Rowe, whose episode was, I Wouldn’t Be A Baker If I Couldn’t Eat The Cakes, has just launched in interesting quiz on her website that helps you identify your inner cook, so you can start the process of getting more confidence in the kitchen. During this week, while she’s testing it, you’ll find it on her homepage at carolinerowe.com. She’d love you to make use of it and the resources it points you too.
Also, Steve is working with some university students on a project focussing on the City of Adelaide and would dearly love you to fill in one or both of their surveys today or within the next few days. As a thank you, when you complete the surveys you can opt to go into the draw for a $50 ByAdl voucher and a $30 Rundle Mall voucher!
The first one reflects on living in, working in, or visiting the city: Resident/Visitor survey
The second one is perfect if you work in the city but have had changes in where you work brought about by Covid: Working from home survey
Ideally, they need you input by Saturday, May 27, 2023.
00:00:00 SA Drink Of The Week
There is no featured drink this week.
00:05:31 David M Green
In recent years, there have been only two shows that have given me my money’s worth in paying for the ABC. The first is Mediawatch. The second was Mad As Hell. So when Shaun Micallef pulled the plug late in 2022 after 10 years and 15 seasons, I was left, well, Mad As Hell. One of the people who created the magic behind the scenes was a comedian and comedy writer from Adelaide, David M Green. He was invited onto the show by Shaun for season 3 and he stayed there until season 15 in 2022. Some might say that gig was a long way from his humble beginnings of producing the Channel 31 show, Good Afternoon Adelaide, in between popping down grab some bargains at Cunnos. David, welcome.
Link to David’s website: David M Green
Link to David’s youtube channel: David M Green on YouTube
The movie referred to is not Mad Men or similar with Dustin Hoffman but rather Crazy People with Dudley Moore. Crazy People
David, you might be pleased to know that even though I don’t have a team of writers, I did revise my intro a few times. I’d like your opinion on one of the early drafts: After mentioning Micallef’s decision to end the show I had this sentence: For Mad As Hell comedian and writer, David M Green, the end of the show meant he had to find a new gig so that he could continue being paid to release his Kraken (and by that, I mean, joke crackin’). Yes, I’ve opened this interview with a Bill Shorten-style zinger.
Talk to me about revisions. I imagine gags and jokes follow some sort of arc. Can you tell me what the life cycle of a joke was like at Mad As Hell?
Something I find intriguing and disturbing is that News Corp and many other outlets have twisted and ransacked journalism so much, that I find I get most of my news sense from comedy and satire programs like The Bugle, The BBC News Quiz, and Mad As Hell. Did you have any sense that you were helping us distill the silliness and the context of news in your comedy?
Use by dates are severe in political writing. When I was a journo, I lived and breathed in the news cycle to the extent that it overtook my life. Did you need to be a news junkie to write for Mad As Hell?
We’ll be back in a moment, to talk about comedy through Covid, the limits of comedy, and Cunningham Warehouse Sales
That is a classic ad that you wrote for Mad As Hell. There were many nutjobs and deluded people swanning around with various conspiracy theories during Covid. In fact, it was like covid became an incubator for lunacy. Were they easy gags or did you get some pushback?
This brings me to the question of “the line”. You reference online that you are quite the nerd, so I want to nerd it up for a moment and create a quadrant. From dry to the opposite, and safe to daring, where do you sit now, and where have you sat?
This might be a good time to talk TJs three jokes because we’ve been talking about crafting some
- Division 12 footy players
- Woman wiht axe in car
- Armed robbery at supoermarket
- Protester dangling
- A truck driver safely swerving all over the road
- The Crows doing pies in faces
One of the main triggers for doing the quadrant was this Good Afternoon Adelaide visit by Santa (cancer and dead dad).
What’s your reaction to hearing that again.
Let’s turn to the VHS Revue. Some points for discussion include:
- Cunninghams Warehouse Sales
- SA Great Commercial
- Lots of sung jingles including Southern Music Centre about Organs – we can make them big or make them small
- Force Electronics with paper money
- Monday Morning Movie
Why do VHS Revue nostalgia? Just fun, or important?
What is next for a career in the arts?
I want to finish with some Mad As Hell highlights:
- The 2019 wrong episode
- Your favourite character
- Favourite moment with shaun
- Most memorable moment
- Would you have done anything different
01:16:27 Musical Pilgrimage
You might recall our special episode with Matt Cahill, reliving the history of the band, The Violets. One of his other projects, which had been brought to our attention by radionotes with John Murch, is Evoletah.
They’ve just released a new son, Calliope Dream, and Matt tells me there’s a new album on the way, too.
This is a nice mellow end to the show which should transform us from mad as hell to mellow as the Ancient Greek heavans where Calliope was a muse to the Greek poets.