Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell is back this week, with series seven beginning on ABC on Wednesday night (June 21st).
Last year’s 12-episode series was fun, with plenty of ammunition from the federal election for Shaun’s unique brand of absurdist humour.
With a certain American president in every comedian’s sights, it’ll be interesting to see what approach Micallef takes.
To quote the ABC website, ‘In a world getting madder & badder; a world on the brink of a nuclear winter; where Europe is falling apart; a Liberal Treasurer can deliver a Labor budget; we’re running out of power, housing, climate, journalism, patience.’
Micallef is joined by long-term comedy partner Francis Greenslade, Roz Hammond, Emily Taheny, Tosh Greenslade and Stephen Hall.
A former lawyer, Micallef’s comedy talent were exposed on sketch comedy show Full Frontal in 1994. Micallef created many memorable characters, including hopeless actor David McGahan (and the spin-off sketch Roger Explosion), Nobby Doldrums, a parody of Fabio (the most beautiful man in the cosmos) and the Brownish Bomber Milo Kerrigan.
Micallef went solo in 1998 with the ABC’s The Micallef Program (1998–2001); the less commercially-pressurised format allowed Micallef to indulge his bizarre humour, with deliberately awkward interviews with celebrities and strange sketches.
Micallef’s attempt to go “mainstream” on Channel Nine’s Micallef Tonight (2003) bombed, with just 13 episodes. While Micallef’s humour didn’t work with Nine viewers, he redeemed himself on Channel Ten’s variety/comedy/game show Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation (2009-12), including regulars Josh Thomas, Amanda Keller and Charlie Pickering. With a spike in mainstream success, Micallef won a Logie for Most Popular Presenter in 2010 and hosted Ten’s New Year’s Eve specials. Before TBYG, Micallef went to the SBS for absurdist news parody Newstopia (2007-08), featuring Kat Stewart, who started with Micallef in the Channel Ten crime-comedy show Mr & Mrs Murder (2013). Micallef also starred in Welcher & Welcher (2003) and The Ex-PM (2015).
Along with hosting duties, Micallef has been a regular in Australian TV and movies, including SeaChange (2000), Through My Eyes (2004), Offspring (2010), Bad Eggs (2003), The Honourable Wally Norman (2003), The Extra (2005), Aquamarine (2006) and The King (2007).
He has written three books: Smithereens, Preincarnate and The President’s Desk: An Alt-History of the United States.
You can watch Mad as Hell on ABC or on ABC streaming channel iview.