Today I was part of a live work shop for a potential new series called Clued Up. I won't go into specifics as I'd hate to tell you the games played and how they were played only to see some mainstream TV station suddenly appear with their own watered down version of the same idea. That never happens in television though, right? Right? Riiiiiight. Josh Earl was the host of the show and there were two teams that competed. One team consisted of Adam Richard, Xavier Michelides and Rusty Berther. I was on the opposing side with Kate McLennan and Tegan Higginbotham. We started the show at 3pm and all up it took roughly two hours. I'm not usually a big fan of games shows but this was a lot of fun for a couple of reasons.
One: the games were easy to understand. The common pitfall with some of these shows (for me!) are games that just take too long to get your head around. I'm not that interested in the games anyway. If I watch these shows I want to see people I like being funny, not excellent at some game that means nothing in the real world.
Two: the games weren't too technical which then allowed a lot of funny to take centre stage. Similar to point number one but I don't want a game that takes too much concentration away from the act of being entertaining.
Three: both teams faced each other rather than being on a diagonal line. This is the default setting for most game or panel shows but what it usually does is alienate the person who is on the far end. The other thing that happens regularly is having comedians talk over each other because you can't see the other team properly. Since we were facing each other at today's work shop we could see when someone was about to say something and therefore each comedian was given space to be funny. There was much less talking over the top of each other and therefore the comedy was natural. Never at any point did it turn into a competition to see who could outdo the other.
Four: we are all friends. Therefore we all enjoyed each other's company and laughed heartily no matter who was starring at the time. I very rarely have liked all the people I've been on panel shows with...barely any of them sometimes. It is difficult to pretend you're having a good time when you're watching someone and thinking deep down that the person hogging the limelight is in fact a son of a bitch. Will I name names? Of course not, I'm a professional. Speculate away!
In the end it was a really fun show full of ad libs and games that would appear to have legs because they're fun to play onstage but also play along at home. Fingers crossed they can get it to a stage where a network rolls the dice and gives it a shot at the big time. It was also a good way to stretch the comedic legs before tomorrow night's edition of The Shelf. A nice practice run on a lazy Sunday in Northcote.
11th of August, 2013