It isn’t too often you can say in your career that you have mimed fellatio on a commercial network but thanks to Good News Week I can now tick one of the boxes on my to do lists. All I need to do now is appear on Lost as a character who stands by Jack and have a wrestling match with Livinia Nixon and I will have achieved all my television dreams.
In the lead up to Good News Week I was excited as I was appearing on Claire Hooper’s team. Claire and I have spent many a night drinking tequila and being silly (I drink the tequila and she is silly enough to encourage me to drink more…to which I am silly enough to do so) so this seemed like an early win. When I discovered that the way too good looking Andrew G was also on our side I knew that I could appear as scruffy as possible and still have some of his handsome shine wash over me. In fact while watching the episode I found myself for once not throwing up every time I appeared on the screen and I give all the credit to Andrew.
On Mikey’s team Celia Pacquola was making her second appearance and since we had worked together during the Comedy Zone at the Melbourne Festival we already had a strong rapport. Rounding out the opposition was the Amazing Jonathon, a man I had loved as a child and grown out of since. Not to say he isn’t still funny but one wants real damage done now when pretending to cut your thumb and not fake blood squirting all over the stage. I unfortunately have become deadened to fake magic and long to see a man saw a person in half and then panic when he realises he started at the head.
In the middle is Paul McDermott, a long time friend and hero, his squinty little eyes twinkling with shock every time he looks at me wondering how the fuck I have crept on to his show. I feel for Maccas, he met me for the first time when I was 17 and tried to impress him with my knowledge of Nietzsche, Hieronymus Bosch and Joe Orton. Now I am much to old to fall for that kind of stuff and just try to impress him by shovelling whole sandwichs in my mouth while he talks to me. Still he is good fun and even looks out for me when I have a mildly amusing quip to make, giving me plenty of time to knock one out of the park.
I knew that my time to shine in the night was the mime segment. I had grown up against the idea of mime, as I had always known deep down that mime doesn’t pay. Have you seen their clothes? Rags I tellsya but this was my moment and like a rabid David Helfgott I would take my moment and shine on brother! Paul called me to the middle of the stage. I was cocky. I knew no matter what happened this was the moment when the producers of the 7pm Project would realise their folly by not casting me over Carrie Bickmore as the hot newsreader with a mouth for sassy comments and I would land a fat contract that would allow me to buy my dream apartment in Fitzroy: a closet at the back of Mario’s café on Brunswick St. My hands were rock steady as I pulled the instructions from the box. I read the words carefully as the nation looked on.
Then I read the instructions again.
And once more.
Excuse me? Was this right? I was sure I was misreading it or they had placed an instruction in there that was meant for Akmal Saleh to keep him guessing the next time he was on the show. I showed Paul. His eyes twinkled not unlike the eyes of a chipmunk that has discovered a massive pile of nuts to roll around in throughout a cold winter’s break. I was not going to stand for this! I have written plays, one man existential shows that have plumbed the depths of the artist’s heart. I have written a trilogy of shows that inspired tens of people to never make that mistake themselves in. Now here I am on national TV and they want me to do this?
Looking out into the audience I saw a little old lady and figured she would be my salvation. Surely she could read these instructions and boldly state there was no way a man of my modest stature could sully his reputation by acting out this grubby mime? I raced over to her, placed a hand on her withered knee and begged her to read, read this note and tell me what you think. She read, looked up at me and squeaked, “Well, it happened.”
What the Hell? This was her time to stamp some morals on this show and instead she throws me like a drugged chimp into a pit for a monkey knife fight. Time was running short. I could either make a dash for freedom or I could swallow my pride and act out the mime. With heavy heart I stumbled back to the stage. I looked one last time at Paul and began to act. It was glorious. Everyone knew what I was doing from small movement to large gesticulations. I found myself on my knees about to commit the unsavoury act and then…
I blacked out.
I have no recollection of that night from that point forward. I have read the messages sent to me. I have heard the voices laughing down the phone. Yet I still have no idea what happened as my memory fucked off with my dignity and both have yet to return.
I look forward to watching the rest of the episode that I taped at some point. For now I like to think of it as bigger than it was…the mime not the mime knob…that it will inspire young kids all over our nation to stand up and reach for the stars, to become what they have always dreamed about…and not be afraid to drop to their knees when the time is right.
Good on me
Good on you.
Good news week.