Test Pattern: Host Swap
Tuesday, May 18 2010
It’s all too common these days to see hosts and other personalities vanish from one television show, only to appear on another program or even another network a month or two afterwards.
Shaun Micallef, Cornelia Frances and the entire cast of Neighbours are some exemplars of this phenomenon. Drawing from these inspirations, we’ve come up with our own proposed host swaps. Many of the following shows (not to mention hosts) are aging and becoming dull, so if any network CEOs could listen up, we have plentiful suggestions for casting changes, to help revitalize Australia’s televisual offerings.
Mel and Kochie (Sunrise) host The 7:30 Report (ABC1)
Mel and Kochie’s particular brand of wake-up-with-friends “news” has been diluting the journalistic landscape for years, so why not let their empire expand to one of the last bastions of quality analysis, The 7:30 Report? Who wants to see Kerry O’Brien interrogate a legislator on the minutiae of policy, when you could listen instead to Mel relating the political questions of the day back to being “a mum.” Then everyone could have a good laugh at how hopeless Kochie is at housework, but hey, aren’t all men? Ha. Ha. Ha. And now it’s time for celebrity gossip with Clarke and Dawe.
Lee Lin Chin (SBS World News Australia) hosts Australia’s Funniest Home Videos (Channel Nine)
Think geometrically-perfect glasses, spiky hair, experimental fashion and an unusual British-sounding hybrid accent. It’s classic Lee Lin. Wouldn’t she be the perfect match to a tacky plywood set with lots of plastic props resembling McDonald’s toys? Yes, Funniest Home Videos is still on, and we think that Lee Lin could perfectly deadpan some classy introductions to grainy footage of children and the elderly hurting themselves. Close your eyes and envision Lee Lin saying the following. “Who let the dogs out? These people, apparently.” Or perhaps, “Ouch! I bet that grandpa had a sore groin the next day!”
James Mathison (The 7pm Project) on Meerkat Manor (Channel Ten)
The documentary series depicting the lives of a meerkat family in the Kalahari Desert was narrated in Australia by Channel Ten staple Mike Goldman, who probably feels a certain affinity to those forced to exist in a barren wasteland from his years on Big Brother. Yet, it seems a terrible oversight on the part of Channel Ten not to employ the talents of another of their presenters—James Mathison. Not as a replacement for Mike Goldman, but to play the meerkats themselves. Watch an innocent creature look constantly bewildered and attempt to survive in a harsh and cruel environment against the odds. Oh wait, they could just stitch together footage from his stint at hosting Idol.
Mary Murphy (So You Think You Can Dance?) hosts Q&A (ABC1)
Imagine a panel full of prominent political and media figures. Perhaps Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott, Bob Brown, and Andrew Bolt. Murphy is in the middle, mediating and posing the tough questions. They’re discussing the new nationwide school curriculum. Gillard mentions an aspect of compulsory physical education, including activities like basketball, hockey and dance. Dance, you say? Cue Mary Murphy! “Julia. You. Just. Boarded. The. HOT TAMALE TRAIN! AAAAAAHHH! WOOOOOOOO! AAAAAAAAAAWESOME! GIRL, YOU ROCK! WOOOOOOOO!” This would be repeated any time fruit loopy Murphy has been off camera for more than ten seconds and thus needs attention.
Hayley Lewis (The Biggest Loser) hosts The Apprentice (Channel Nine)
For those who are unfamiliar, former Olympian Hayley Lewis is the new host of Channel Ten’s The Biggest Loser. In fact, she’s so fresh out of her packaging that she’s still stiff, clunky and with squeaky speaking skills in desperate need of some grease. Frankly, she’s a total robot and we’d like to theorise that she can therefore do cool robot tricks, like shooting death lasers from her eyes. Picture Hayley in a big office chair à la Donald Trump, berating some losery contestants who can’t run a decent advertising campaign, until she’s had enough of their pathetic sycophancy. Zap! “You’re fired!” Literally: with lasers. Also a similar, viable option: Julie Bishop.
Tony Jones (Q&A, Lateline) hosts Playschool (ABC1)
It’s no secret that male hosts of Playschool are chosen almost solely to appeal to lonely mothers, because Big Ted just isn’t ripped enough. And as Tony Jones is the thinking woman’s pin-up, what better forum for him to reveal his softer side? Tony Jones’s particular lean-in-and-deliver-the-clincher interview technique has extracted the truth from many a wily politician. Now he can use his skills to garner answers to more pressing questions of the day such as: what time is it on the rocket clock? And why the fuck do they never go through the arch window?