Ben Elton Live From Planet Earth dead on arrival

Comedian Ben Elton’s return to live television rated just 455,000 for Nine last night.

The debut of Live From Planet Earth is one of the bigger risks in Nine’s schedule for the start of the 2011 ratings season.

But the show was 22nd for the night and finished third in the timeslot, behind Seven’s Parenthood and Ten’s NCIS, and with just 1000 more viewers for Ben Elton than ABC1’s episode of QI, according to preliminary overnight ratings from OzTam.

A breakdown of Live From Planet Earth’s performance shows that after inheriting an average Top Gear Audience of nearly one million, viewers started fleeing immediately from a peak of 805,000.

The first 15 minutes saw the average audience fall to 633,000 – and 15 minutes later that had dropped by a dramatic 33% to 421,000. An average of just 296,000 stuck around for the final 15 minutes.


The British comedian and author – who has now settled in WA – was one of the driving forces behind the rise of alternative comedy in the 1980s. Elton’s TV writing credits includes Blackadder and The Young Ones. The show is being produced by Fremantle Media.

Meanwhile, the top end of Tuesday’s most-watched list had a familiar feel, with Seven’s Packed To The Rafters averaging a metro audience of 1.943m and My Kitchen Rules rating nearly 1.6m.

Ten’s series return of Talkin Bout Your Generation rated 831,000.

Tuesday’s top 15 shows:

  1. Packed to the Rafters Seven 1.943m
  2. My Kitchen Rules Seven 1.551m
  3. Today Tonight Seven 1.190m
  4. Seven News Seven 1.153m
  5. NCIS – 9:30pm Ten 1.153m
  6. NCIS – 8:30pm Ten 1.058m
  7. Home and Away Seven 1.048m
  8. Nine News Nine 1.042m
  9. A Current Affair Nine 0.966m
  10. Top Gear Nine 0.939m
  11. The Big Bang Theory Nine 0.922m
  12. ABC News ABC 0.871m
  13. Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation Ten 0.831m
  14. Parenthood Seven 0.769m
  15. Ten News Ten 0.752m

Tuesday’s share:

  • Seven: 28.9%
  • Ten: 19.3%
  • Nine: 18.7%
  • ABC1: 9.3%
  • SBS1: 4.2%
  • GO!: 3.2%
  • 7TWO 3.1%
  • Eleven: 2.8%
  • Gem: 2.8%
  • 7mate: 2.7%
  • ABC2: 1.5%
  • SBS2: 1.2%
  • One: 0.8%
  • ABC3: 0.7%
  • ABC News 24: 0.6%


  1. Juz
    9 Feb 11
    9:34 am

  2. gave it the benefit of the doubt – 2 minutes and it was all over. Terrible show.

  3. Mick
    9 Feb 11
    9:36 am

  4. Of course it did, it was shit! I switched off after 10 minutes.

  5. Brett I
    9 Feb 11
    9:38 am

  6. Ben Elton is just not very funny.

  7. Bert Maverick
    9 Feb 11
    9:40 am

  8. I think one of the major issues with this show is that every gag (except for the guests) is written BY Ben Elton. No matter who delivers the lines, it all sounds like him. If they REALLY want an all-Aussie deal like the ads said, then they need to diversify the writing. Sure Ben can still be the head honcho, but if all he has is Minge and Bum gags, this show wont last 3 weeks.
    ALSO Is Tuesday night really the night for this kind of show?

  9. Paula
    9 Feb 11
    9:40 am

  10. I didn’t even last through his opening monologue. Switched back after a while, and lasted only a few more minutes. Pure smut. Bring back intelligent comedy.

  11. Daniel Oyston
    9 Feb 11
    9:47 am

  12. Well the promo’s were way off weren’t they? The only joke in the ad wasn’t even original let alone funny. Essentially it was “cricket is boring because after 5 days it is still a draw. Why not watch something decent … me?”

    Please. We are getting hammered by the Poms in the cricket and in the ad breaks we have to listen to why cricket is shit … from a Pom!

    I wanted to punch him but my old man always tole me you shouldn’t hit a bloke with glasses.

  13. Tim
    9 Feb 11
    9:52 am

  14. Let’s look at the silver lining: if large numbers of people aren’t tuning in, it might be because they’ve previously purchased on of Elton’s books.

  15. Aidan
    9 Feb 11
    10:03 am

  16. Sweet Jebus where does one begin to describe how truly awful this was! A look at the Twitter stream #benelton reveals some, no a great many, reactions like:

    Kerry Packer would have had this off by now…
    Doesn’t anyone at C9 review this stuff before they air it?…
    I can’t take anymore…
    Horrifically, devastatingly, gut-wrenchingly bad…

    I was late to switch on and by the time the fat chef sketch on found I was starting to feel physically ill from all the cringing to that point, so switched off again…

    It was quite possibly the “worst… television… ever…” to borrow from the Simpsons, I cannot for the life of me see it getting another airing.

    Please C9, don’t inflict this gawdawful tripe on the country again, Australia has had enough disasters in the last couple of weeks. Just let it die now before someone gets badly hurt.

  17. Ron Jeremy
    9 Feb 11
    10:09 am

  18. Were Channel 9 serious in screening this?

    I though I hit Channel 31 by mistake.

    So bad it will last less time than Warnie.

  19. Thomas Dodson
    9 Feb 11
    10:11 am

  20. thats possibly because it was totally shithouse.

  21. Ian
    9 Feb 11
    10:19 am

  22. Well done Channel 9 for giving Ben Elton this platform; he’s done it before with Friday/Saturday Live and he’s doing it again.

    Great observations on modern life that hit the mark everytime.

    If you don’t find it funny; find it offensive then use that little button on your remote to change channel and go and watch yet another reality show/cookery show/dumb American sitcom.

    Variety, as they say, is the spice of life!!

  23. Paddy Douneen
    9 Feb 11
    10:34 am

  24. George Negus is funnier than Ben Elton….marginally.

  25. Gee Why?
    9 Feb 11
    10:42 am

  26. Apparently they auditioned some great calibre and experienced actors. Then they decided to run with relatively no-named actors who apparently have minimal or no professional experience. Massive risk for a live show and clearly underwhelming results.

    The “Elaine Front” celebrity interview was about the only thing that was close to being amusing. Yet even for this segment they could only manage to secure Ruby Rose as a celebrity guest. No offense to Ruby, but surely they could have secured someone with a higher profile.

    Double Take on Channel 7 last year opened with about 900,000 and moved to about 500,000 at the end of its season. As we know Aussies are harsh on skit comedy, but that kind of trend means Ben Elton will finish on about 12, if it gets a second run.

    Surely there is someone in Australia who can crack the skit comedy show market for TV? Or do Aussies have way too many expectations for this genre of TV?

  27. JDB
    9 Feb 11
    10:50 am

  28. The irony of Mr Elton bagging American shows and then saying “We aussies”, as a pom was the most hilarious gag of the night.

    I’ll be honest, I did enjoy some of the jokes, but this was because they were a parody of old skecthes from the UK. But as orginal Aussie comedy, this has to go down as an Epic Fail.

  29. Nickatnights
    9 Feb 11
    10:52 am

  30. I was amazed that Channel were willing to put their watermark to it.

  31. Adam Paull
    9 Feb 11
    11:07 am

  32. I’m afraid this was always going to be a failure. Once again Nine lanches a comedy program straight into primetime with promos and bus shelter ads promising the funniest show ever… and it’s a turkey. How many times will they keep doing it?Television comedies that are a success from episode one are a rare beast – they need to open Off-Broadway first, find their groove then find their audience. The ABC had success with shows like The Chaser because they started late on a Saturday night and were only moved into primetime once they’d figured out what they wanted to be. Seinfeld, Cheers, Top Gear… All were dismal failures during their first season(s). Television programs, especially comedies, need time to evolve – time that unfortunately the talented Mr Elton isn’t going to get. Developing a new television format is an expensive job, so why Australian commercial networks continue with this madness is beyond me.

  33. MJ
    9 Feb 11
    11:07 am

  34. Terrible, I really tried to like it…..but i felt like i was being shouted at by an unfunny comedian.

  35. Ben
    9 Feb 11
    11:12 am

  36. Ian, you are Robinson Crusoe here – you don’t work for Channel 9 by any chance, do you?

  37. Jay
    9 Feb 11
    11:13 am

  38. I’m a young gay guy exposed to a lot living in Sydney and I think that this was distasteful, uneducated, fuddy duddy ramblings that he is trying to pass off as humor by including bad scripted, poorly acted scenes that include sexual connotations as shock value. He’s really just a whinging old pom that is using his accent to try and sound funny and insult others as jokes.

  39. ed
    9 Feb 11
    11:16 am

  40. Wow. Poor Ben Elton. It was very very shit though.

  41. Charlie
    9 Feb 11
    11:28 am

  42. I love Ben Elton, he’s my favourite author., in year 4 at school I stuck tin foil to my head and went as Vivian to a school fancy dress day… I bought a tape of his stand up in 95 and it lasted a good 2 to 3 years of plays in my car, never got tired… Should never say never…… His comedy was largely the same as then. I really wanted this show to work. Sadly it doesn’t….

  43. Ben Elton fan
    9 Feb 11
    11:32 am

  44. I didn’t think it was that bad, and appreciated the ambitious nature of the show. Not every skit can be side splitting, but some of it was really quite funny, and I was just relieved not to be watching another American/reality/cooking/crime show? I enjoy Ben Elton’s books and believe that he is true talent who can improve as weeks go by. I’m clearly not in the majority here, but geez I feel everyone is just so quick to slam something. The idea is ambitious, and the results could be great if we give it a chance? Sadly we won’t, and lets see what gets thrown in instead…

  45. Deson
    9 Feb 11
    11:40 am

  46. Ian (Comment 11)

    Look at the ratings. People did exactly what you suggested.

  47. Jayce
    9 Feb 11
    11:45 am

  48. Fact: Ben Elton WAS funny back in the day
    Fact: Computers had less memory than your modern wrist watch…back in the day

  49. Al
    9 Feb 11
    11:58 am

  50. Think what was sad is that a lot of Ben Elton’s stand up was recycled from shows he’d done almost 20 years ago. Fine there was a few jokes about NBN etc but some of the other stuff (e.g. yoghurt) I’d seen years ago. Did he think he could just get by on old stuff.

  51. Ed
    9 Feb 11
    12:01 pm

  52. the thing is; they had a long time to prepare this first show – it should have been witty and well…funny.
    i can only assume that the calibre of skits on a week to week basis will only get lower and more desperate.
    its a shame coz i like Ben Elton but I would much rather zappy and witty dialogue to the cringe worthy and overacted sterotypes that tried to amuse with bum and dick jokes last night

  53. MB
    9 Feb 11
    12:27 pm

  54. Epic fail for sure. Switched off after about fifteen minutes and won’t watch it again. The worst part of it for me was that the skits seemed like lame copies of other successful, well-written comedy shows: Kath & Kim; Summer Heights High; even a bit of Little Britain. It was like photocopying ABC comedy, mixing in some smutty one-liners, and pitching it to the Footy Show crowd. Fail.

  55. The Worst of Perth
    9 Feb 11
    12:42 pm

  56. Ben hasn’t really done anything good since Blackadder. His apologising to the Queen for his jokes a while ago was the last straw.

    But it’s a shame to see a show – a live show, fail so miserably, but more of a shame that it was so incredibly bad. On the other hand Shaun Micallef did great shows that didn’t rate.

  57. mark
    9 Feb 11
    12:51 pm

  58. I was rooting for Ben, I’m glad he got a crack at it, but this was pretty awful.

    @Ian, did you watch it? It wasn’t offensive, just lacked…well anything funny. There were a few giggles in there somewhere, but you had to sit through a lot of crap.

    I hope he gets another shot at it, but one more week will be enough, if it bombs again – kill it

  59. Trevor Trevorsen
    9 Feb 11
    1:33 pm

  60. Shit happens.

  61. Mark from the Internet
    9 Feb 11
    1:57 pm

  62. Of course it didn’t go well. Ben Elton’s books are great, but the promo spots for this show were so horrible that I didn’t even bother to attempt to watch it.

  63. Stephen
    9 Feb 11
    2:00 pm

  64. I came across it while channel surfing, and landed in the middle of the Nigella Sauce skit. I have to admit I WAS momentarily distracted, but oh, it was awful. And that Ruby Rose interview! I agree, one more week…

  65. Cambo
    9 Feb 11
    2:02 pm

  66. Very embarrassing for Aussie TV…thank God he is a Pom!!

  67. Chuckster
    9 Feb 11
    2:03 pm

  68. Not surprised – he’s had it in the UK and now he’s had it here. Bye Bye Ben. back to WA.

  69. Cambo
    9 Feb 11
    2:05 pm

  70. Poor Fremantle Media for having their name anywhere near it

  71. Chuckster
    9 Feb 11
    2:10 pm

  72. Crap is being too polite!

  73. marcus
    9 Feb 11
    2:14 pm

  74. It really was very ordinary- Ben’s opening stand up was funny, but it went downhill really fast, I couldnt watch the end of it!! The chick talking about sex wasnt funny at all, the female body builder was margianlly funny, but alittle embarrasing, the school girls were not funny. A shame though, as I love live comedy, Ten does much better with the Int Comedy Festival, and Good News Week, and TBYG.

  75. Kat
    9 Feb 11
    2:14 pm

  76. i watched QI and glad i did at this rate!

  77. Scott Pettet
    9 Feb 11
    2:19 pm

  78. From the promos it seems Elton’s show was unlikely to succeed. Whilst Brits might still be amused by ‘Knob’ and ‘Boob’ jokes, I think we Aussies have moved on.

    Glad I didn’t bother tuning in.

  79. Anonymous
    9 Feb 11
    2:20 pm

  80. It was so poor. I watched for about 10 mins and turned off when I hear him telling the gag about Chinese writing tattoos. Geez that joke is almost as old as Blackadder.

  81. talkingboonie
    9 Feb 11
    2:25 pm

  82. I got here late so not sure I can add to anything as I agree with most of it (I was looking forward to the Mumbrella reviews and the thought of them was far funnier than the show, even the secret agent positive remarks from the channel 9/fremantle guy).

  83. Cap'n Salad
    9 Feb 11
    2:30 pm

  84. Just watched a few clips on YT, Jeez it was bad! I nearly lost my lunch.

    At least the Nigella Lawson character DID actually have stupendous mams!

  85. Clara
    9 Feb 11
    2:30 pm

  86. Was willing to give it a shot….was barely hanging in there….then the school “like totally serious” sketch started and I wanted to stab myself in the ear. With something blunt. It just wasn’t funny, the canned laughter didn’t help much either.

    Sorry Ben, I wnted it to be funny. But it just wasn’t!

  87. bob
    9 Feb 11
    2:54 pm

  88. poor Ben thought he was talking to audience that had barely heard of him and thought he could get away with some v. old gags. His style still works but the skits were shocking.
    9 will have no choice. He should have picked the ABC and gone for a more cultish effort that would have grown over time.
    Think he’s gonna have to rely on the books

  89. DS
    9 Feb 11
    3:04 pm

  90. While my opinion is based on two minutes while channel surfing, I am confident enough to say that this was truly awful, one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. Poor even by channel 9 standards.
    Not offensive, not edgy, not funny, not original.

  91. inq
    9 Feb 11
    3:08 pm

  92. Am a huge fan of Ben. But as Stephen Fry says, he’d benefit from some strong-handed self editing. There’s a fair bit of chaff in there that could easily be chopped – the singer sit com being an obvious example. But bringing Barbara the bank manager her own talk show should be applauded. A bit of polish and that could be gold. I hope we see more of Ben at his best.

  93. Robert
    9 Feb 11
    3:14 pm

  94. Ben Elton has been boring for a long time. He used to get up my nose when he used PC jokes.

  95. KN
    9 Feb 11
    3:33 pm

  96. When will the programmers not relax in the fact that we have our own cultural identity and are capable of producing uniquely australian humour such as The Chaser and SHH? Ben Elton, talented as he is, in NOT of Australian heritage and is not capable of uniquely Aussie humour.

  97. LT
    9 Feb 11
    3:39 pm

  98. I love how they are touting that Nigella clip everywhere. Has anyone seen Ronnie Ancona’s version back in 2007. So much better. It’s been done. Ripped off.

    I am a massive comedy fan. I watch copious amounts of British comedy not on TV of course but online (you can’t get the current stuff on Aussie TV yet) and it really puts Australia to shame.

  99. inq
    9 Feb 11
    3:50 pm

  100. Also to be fair to Ben (as with Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear) they don’t realise just what contempt Channel 9 has for its audience. It can put on a glitzy show, but the content and over-commercialization kills just about everything it does now.

  101. Anonymous
    9 Feb 11
    4:03 pm

  102. I like Ben Elton. I watched Black Adder et al growing up. I’ve read a number of his novels and quite enjoyed them.

    But this show wasn’t even offensive. It’s all been done before. Recycled jokes and a format from the ’80’s.

    Ben Elton had officially jumped the shark.

  103. Chuckster
    9 Feb 11
    4:33 pm

  104. One big pile of rubbish!

  105. jik
    9 Feb 11
    4:44 pm

  106. This confirms something I’ve long suspected; Nine executives are trapped in the 1980s.

  107. Megan
    9 Feb 11
    5:00 pm

  108. Elton should stick to writing books, he’s still pretty good at that.

    Australia used to produce excellent satire and comedy programs.

    We just don’t do that anymore.

    I wonder why that is?

  109. Simon
    9 Feb 11
    5:01 pm

  110. The Elane Front interview was very funny and Ruby Rose was a good sport about it. I think the fact the skits were performed live just created a tinge of ‘cheese’ to the feeling, there were will written and the actors weren’t that bad.

  111. Bubbles
    9 Feb 11
    5:12 pm

  112. This was never going to work. Even the station promos had Dud written all over them.

    Even at they’re peak Blackadder and Young Ones only appealed to an obscure intellectual monority.

    Australian humour and variety has moved in light years. We don’t need a has been import to waste precious TV time on.

    It’d be easier to bring back Vizard and the like.

  113. Luke
    9 Feb 11
    6:13 pm

  114. I thought a couple of the actors were really good.

    However, Elton’s comedy has nothing subtle or interesting about it. Without any self awareness, it made the awkwardness just too much to bear. Another comedian might be able to make the format funny.

  115. Anna
    9 Feb 11
    7:29 pm

  116. I honestly forgot that show was even on last night and looking at the clips, it looks like I didnt even miss anything.

    I always comment to friends that its sad that we don’t have our own version of Leno or Colbert and the likes but how can we? The channels never give them a shot in the first place. They get some dated comedian because it seems like the safest bet. When in reality, they should be looking for some fresh talent, its out there. Sadly, its always ABC and SBS finding the talent and taking the risks.

  117. Blogwynn
    9 Feb 11
    7:32 pm

  118. Awful! Awful! Awful! Will not be watching again. Worst comedy I have seen for many years. Stop preaching!!! Make us laugh……..

  119. Baldrick
    9 Feb 11
    7:40 pm

  120. I am a Ben Elton fan and some of the standup was ok. The sketches, especially the Girl Flat, were so embarrassing that I hope they can it now.

  121. sue
    9 Feb 11
    7:47 pm

  122. Ben Elton: Live from PLANET DELUDED!!!!!!

  123. sue
    9 Feb 11
    7:49 pm

  124. I would have loved it to be a talk show. BRING BACK DENTON!!!!!PLEEEESE.

  125. Lover Of Comedy
    9 Feb 11
    9:48 pm

  126. Anything with Arj Barker on the card is usually pretty lame… He is like Phil Jupitus in the UK.

    As for Ben Elton, you either like him or you don’t. I cant see Channel Nine watching Aussies understanding the gags – it will go over their heads or will not be conservative enough for them.

    I just watched Adam Hills’ new show on ABC and gave it a thumbs up – albeit Arj was on that tpp!!!! ??

  127. Darran
    9 Feb 11
    10:55 pm

  128. Channel 9 has list the plot. Another strong reason to stick with Ten for comedy and Seven for drama.

  129. Jeff
    9 Feb 11
    11:55 pm

  130. Hmmm … it’s being repeated on Go! right now.

  131. LOL
    10 Feb 11
    1:22 am

  132. Another hilarious comment thread

    @Trevor Trevorsen (1:33pm) HAHAHA (for your comment AND nickname)

  133. Mark
    10 Feb 11
    9:30 am

  134. I thought it was hilarious. I’d watch that 10 times over before anything the Chasers guys did.

  135. Cambo
    10 Feb 11
    9:59 am

  136. Mark, you are probably 14 and live in Wollongong

  137. MiSociety
    10 Feb 11
    10:37 am

  138. Ben Elton ‘Live’ – hmm someone else stole my line here about ‘dead’ springing to mind. Stilted, unfunny, old (& I am). I tried to watch, I realy did, lasted about 10 minutes – you know how it is when something is so bad amazement and bewildament sets in (that kept me there for the extra 8 minutes).

    Absolute insult to Australians for a TV station to believe we would swollow such nonsence. Shouldn’t be surprised though as a script writer I know how the system works.

    Viewers will walk with their fingers on this one – except ‘Mark’ – if mum and dad will let him stay up that late.

  139. CK Cash
    10 Feb 11
    10:48 am

  140. Why is Channel Nine keep trying to bring up an interview/chat show to TV…they cannot get the format correct with a decent host….I say get Michael Parkinson….

  141. Dan
    10 Feb 11
    11:28 am

  142. Cambo. Keep Wollongong out of it.

  143. mumbrella
    10 Feb 11
    11:52 am

  144. Hi MiSociety,
    As well as the reader-voted sessions, I’ll be retaining some wild cards of my own to make sure anythign that excites us still gets a hearing.


    Tim – Mumbrella

  145. MiSociety
    10 Feb 11
    12:14 pm

  146. Good t hear – thanks

  147. Harry
    10 Feb 11
    4:40 pm

  148. Well I thought it was extremely good, the skits were well acted, Ben’s monologues were clever and funny and the celebrity interviewer was hilarious.

  149. Stephen
    10 Feb 11
    4:46 pm

  150. How can so much money be spent and yet this show still look so cheap.

    Friday Night Live on Channel 4 was excellent as Ben did his standup, but was backed up by Harry Enfield, Steve Fry, Hugh Laurie etal all doing their own charaters, not just relying on Ben’s writing.

    Full marks for giving it a go, but Nine just can’t seem to break the varitey mould – I was os hoping this would be good, so Daryl would be killed off forever.

  151. The Worst of Perth
    10 Feb 11
    6:37 pm

  152. Stephen #75 @theworstofperth
    Daryl Somers jets in to “workshop” Ben Elton’s standup routine, as Live from Planet Earth bombs. “It’s all in the timing and the jumpers ” s…

  153. JS
    11 Feb 11
    1:35 am

  154. This guys won 6 BAFTAS… Let’s stop being so fucking judgmental and give the show a chance to grow and evolve. Seinfeld bombed on its 1st episode too.

  155. marcus
    11 Feb 11
    9:52 am

  156. The promos for the show weren’t even funny…was there ever any doubt it the show would be humourous when they couldn’t make a 30 sec promo that was?!!All we could say is that the show lived up to the pre promotion expectations of viewers,not funny at all.

  157. ALW
    11 Feb 11
    12:21 pm

  158. This show put me in such a bad mood, hubby missed out on some bedtime fun that night.

  159. caca
    11 Feb 11
    2:25 pm

  160. Crass is not funny.

  161. Tom
    11 Feb 11
    5:38 pm

  162. Whilst I certainly agree that the show wasn’t great, the harshness of the commentary seems a trifle unfair. At least this was something a bit different, I personally would watch this over GNW hands down. And Ben has the courage to acknowledge facts that most television personalities aren’t; for example, the pathetic behaviour of the Australian media when Oprah visited our shores.

    I do think the fact that the sketches are performed live just makes the whole format a little lame. It would be better if there was a bit of pre-recorded material thrown in.

    11 Feb 11
    6:11 pm

  164. I sat through the entire program, wanting to like it, and keen to see “new Australian talent”. I offer the following analysis.:-
    Motor Mouth delivery by Mr. Elton, needs a slower gearing, for the “live” audience and those at home, to find the funny bit. His experience in entertainment, should have told him that words such as ..” tit, fanny, dick, penis, breasts and bum” belong to jokes from adolescent lads or Men’s Smoking Concerts of the 60s.
    Genevieve Morris’s ad libbed interview, (the only non scripted item) was the funniest. Characterisations by local actors/commedians proved fatal, with loud squeaky voices, getting through their lines as fast as possible.
    In general, the TV show, was amateurish, dis-jointed, embarassing, and worthy of a Logie award as the”Lemon of the Year”.

  165. Ckmy
    11 Feb 11
    6:54 pm

  166. Absolute shocking show. Jokes were not funny and even made me cringe at times. Trying way to hard and diistasteful. Recommendation would be to take it off air and broadcast it live on planet craptus.

  167. Muz
    14 Feb 11
    3:56 pm

  168. Almost like it was written by the folks at Kraft. Comedy 2.0???!

  169. me
    15 Feb 11
    9:40 pm

  170. this was absolute crap
    seriously pathetic
    yet again ch 9 has shown how out of touch it is with its viewers
    the heavy voice over ads for all their shows and the ‘home of comedy’ / ‘home of underbelly’ (god they flogged that horse to death) is pure tripe
    the proof of this is the fact that ch 9 got rid of its comments page etc
    the only bit worth watching was the absolute goddess impersonating nigella lawson
    otherwise totally crap !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  171. Andrew
    15 Feb 11
    10:08 pm

  172. Oh dear. I didn’t crack a smile once. This won’t last.

  173. CK Cash
    16 Feb 11
    8:29 am

  174. His standup last night was unfunny and the part 2 of “Girl Flat” was totally unfunny…is he trying to do the Young Ones (which is hella funny) with this concept…bombed.

    How much is the audience getting paid to laugh? I think TT should do an expose on this show 😉

  175. Mark Hoota
    16 Feb 11
    11:14 am

  176. Australian television doesn’t get much of a chance in this country does it. 2 episodes to air and the headline reads “Dead and Buried”! Wow. So much for giving a show some time to develop an audience.
    Hopefully channel 9 won’t be as cynical and reactionary as the Australian Press (who wont be happy until they have killed off all Australian television and have nothing left to write about)

  177. Dave Oz
    16 Feb 11
    5:05 pm

  178. This show has been widely condemned by critics, reviewers and by the public via social media networks – and rightly so. I cringed. I whinged. I was left traumatised and had to strangle two small furry animals to relieve the tension. Never before have I looked forward to, and been thankful of, advertising – a break from the torture.
    Perhaps the exodus of Executive talent from Nine to Seven over the last few years is a partial excuse. But surely someone with talent at Nine could hear warning bells? Did someone miss the point when the test audience attempted suicide en masse? Or did the people behind this, lacking any wisdom or comedy perspective, just put faith in Elton’s past success? And Nine are rumoured to be giving Hamish and Andy complete creative control? Charles Darwin help us. Thankfully I had the foresight to wear my tin foil hat and adult nappies whilst watching this second serving of tripe. Next!

  179. Bill
    16 Feb 11
    6:56 pm

  180. I loved it. It demonstrated just what is wrong with our left wing, politically correct, dumbed down, attitude. Political correctness is the new cancer. It is destroying all that makes us different from the rest of the world. Resist it at all cost.

  181. Pete
    16 Feb 11
    8:09 pm

  182. To Dave Oz,

    “Never before have I looked forward to, and been thankful of, advertising – a break from the torture.”

    Did you see that IINet advert with the shoe throwing? Gave me a laugh! Can’t say much for the programme breaks though.

  183. Pat
    16 Feb 11
    10:51 pm

  184. The only reason 296049 people stuck around till the end was because they fell asleep. If you look at the ratings, the show after Ben Elton probably had a similar amount of viewers.

    And people, please don’t call the Ben Elton Show extreme shit because the reality is, it was much, much worse than that. A blind monkey’s arse couldv’e been better

  185. Pete
    17 Feb 11
    12:06 am

  186. To Lover Of Comedy (#63),

    You drew my attention to Adam Hills on ABC1 tonight (no over-run, it started as advertised at ‘8:32pm’, bless Aunty) so I checked it out. Funny, light-hearted, no banging on about a personal agenda. He’s an unassuming bloke who brings the very best of humor out of his guests without shouting or making blatant nob gags. Absolutely made my evening. This calibre of Aus comedy on the teeve is so rare.

    I’m oficially hooked. Thanks mate.

  187. H
    18 Feb 11
    10:05 pm

  188. Ben Elton the highbrow comedian of the early eighties with all his intellectual political jokes and sneering at the true greats llike Benny Hill. He and his so called New-Wave got Benny the sack from Thames for being too sexist in the Modern Age. Guess what he’s a leper in Britain now and oh how about some knob gags for the Aussies. The man’s a complete charlatan.

    20 Feb 11
    5:59 pm

  190. A brave and fresh attempt, and If you just stuck with it, it got better, with more gutsy and live variety, once the feeling it was like a stand-up show was gone.
    Ben Elton is one of the funniest, cleverest guys. Often hilarious. I am disappointed at the slamming he is getting before he even gets on almost.
    “Girl Flat” was almost a classic.

  191. H
    20 Feb 11
    9:55 pm

  192. I take it ‘THE SURPRISE HIT OF THE SUMMER’ is a pseudonym for Mrs Elton or maybe even Ben himself? It can’t really be classed as a ‘HIT’ when the ratings are dropping like a stone literally by the minute!!

  193. halcyon2001
    22 Feb 11
    11:26 pm

  194. Funny how Stephen Fry and Ben Elton studied and worked together as students. Now, on different continents, we have Ben Elton shouting in high pitched voice “jokes” and sketches that aren’t really working, but “QI”, bless it, tickling every funny bone with Stephen Fry as the Ultimate Quiz Master – dry, humourous, calm, FUNNY, informative, INTELLIGENT…
    Oh it is a shame shame shame… and oh Good Lord, now that Bryn thing married to Jeffery Eddlestone is on – at least it has a dress on. That’s all I can say. Back to QI.

  195. Rory
    23 Feb 11
    1:18 am

  196. Ben Elton is a terrible terrible host, he is probably the worst stand up comedian I have ever witnessed… god he was unbearable I had change the channel lots due to his stand ups taking 5-10 minutes segments WTF and most the sketches are boring and lame.

    Its like they grabbed the rejects, the worst members of the Australian comedy community shoved them all in 1 play.


  197. DiDi
    23 Feb 11
    1:53 am

  198. Oh Dear!….Goddamn awful!….a little like some of the spelling in this thread!! Genevieve Morris should have her own show suitably developed with interesting characters like the Comedy Company and Fast Forward had in the 1980’s suitably moulded for today’s audience of course.

    The skits are very weak and lack serious substance. Some of the themes in the skits should be developed further, as they have potential if exploited properly.

    Comedy is a tough nut to crack and unfortunately Australian comedy is nowhere near as sharp as fresh and original British offerings. American comedy is just scripted-to-the-max rubbish. Ben, Please go home! Genevieve!….Develop it!!!

  199. CK Cash
    23 Feb 11
    9:13 am

  200. I had to laugh at last nights episode that the “live audience” basically did not laugh at any of Elton’s monologue jokes at the start….and the rest of the show follows that same unfunny thread

    Why can’t an Australia comedian come up with a better concept show?

  201. harry
    23 Feb 11
    10:48 am

  202. I’m beginning to suspect there’s an orchestrated drubbing of this show from opposition tv. The cast are all very talented. It’s just ridiculous to say they’re the worst of the worst. Ben’s monologues are spot-on social observations.

  203. H
    23 Feb 11
    1:40 pm

  204. On the contrary harry, there are a wide range of people on here slating this rubbish.
    More likely you are responding on behalf of Ben, his agent or Nine!

  205. Harry
    23 Feb 11
    3:34 pm

  206. No H, I’ve never met Ben in my life, do not work for channel 9 or his agent. I just appreciate an intelligent person’s work and I’m sick to death of reality tv. I’m sick of cooking, fat people and talent shows.

  207. H
    23 Feb 11
    4:11 pm

  208. Well Harry, i must agree with your sentiments on the 3 genres your talking about.
    Please add to that ‘Beauty’ shows and ‘Home/Gardening’ and you’ve got a full house(no pun intended).
    You must agree that Elton is an ‘insignificant’ when you compare his humour to Monty Python, Ricky Gervais, even Barry Humphries also his contemporaries like Stephen Fry Rowan Atkinson etc etc.
    If you were compiling a list (another TV genre I detest) he wouldn’t get in the Top 100.

  209. The Worst of Perth
    23 Feb 11
    4:29 pm

  210. Harry, everyone’s sick of reality tv, cooking, fat people and talent shows. That’s why they are all so angry that Elton’s alternative was so bad. The dismal failure of this show means that we will get more of the same crap and less likelihood that something else local and funny will be tried. Elton is going to contribute to more trash being on the screen, not relieve it. That’s the worst part about the whole thing.

  211. No one is immune
    24 Feb 11
    3:45 pm

  212. Kochie tweets from Eathquake central “Time to sleep like the dead” and we hear nothing. Elton get’s his show pulled off air and it’s like someone shot the pope. Are Channel 7 immune to Mumbrella???

  213. PB
    26 Feb 11
    6:04 pm

  214. … there was the figure that Ben Elton got only 1,000 more viewers than the ABC’s QI—surely (yet another) indication of ratings having nothing to do with quality..? Perhaps the ABC should swap ‘Planet Earth’ for their new ‘Adam Hills at Gordon St…’ No-one has suggested yet that Ben may have offended any sponsors (do I watch Media Watch too much ….?). Switch off altogether & listen to ABC Radio.

  215. PB
    26 Feb 11
    6:30 pm

  216. …just by-the-way… come Ch.9 won’t let me watch the first ep. ?

  217. Pete
    28 Feb 11
    11:14 pm

  218. These characters have been going as long/longer then BE but are still funny because … well, err, they’re funny :)

    Thing is, they’ve adapted to the modern world, and not remained in the 80s.

    Gawd bless ’em.

  219. Ellie
    7 Mar 11
    10:32 pm

  220. Ah… where’s all the true talent of this country? Oh yeah. In other countries. Oops.