Dr Mumbo

Too much Shaun Micallef is never enough

The purpose of most media upfronts Dr Mumbo attends is to enthral and delight media buyers into splashing some cash and entice journalists into writing nice things with flashy show concepts and big-name celebrities. But it’s a different story at the ABC, whose tightening budget means there is little cash to splash.

So who better to lighten the mood, than Shaun Micallef, who revealed that – despite what you might think – audiences have not had enough of him.

Shaun Micallef wanted to be sure which media was in attendance at the ABC upfronts event, and was delighted to hear it wasn’t news.com.au

The lawyer-turned-comedian-and-political-commentator announced his program Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell would be returning in 2020.

“I’m Shaun and I’m here to confirm Mad As Hell is coming back. I shouldn’t assume you know Mad As Hell, it’s like a comedy version of The Weekly.”

Not only is Mad As Hell coming back, Micallef promises two seasons of it.

“Mad As Hell is coming back next year for two seasons. Now you might be thinking, ‘Oh really? Isn’t that too much? It’s your eleventh series. Surely you and the audience have had enough’. But no.”

Dr Mumbo was delighted to hear there would be even more Micallef on offer in 2020 too, with a new series – Shaun Micallef’s On The Sauce. The factual series will see Micallef, who doesn’t drink, explore Australia’s drinking culture. Or rather, as Micallef would rather we put it: “It’s a pub crawl through the national psyche. Can you all write that down, it’ll play well in all of the newspapers and online platforms.”

And speaking of online platforms, Micallef was desperate to know which of his friends and foes from the media were in the room.

“There are no journalists here are there?” Micallef asked the room. No hands were raised.

“No journalists here? So, just entertainment writers then?”

It wasn’t just entertainment writers Micallef had in his sights. TV Tonight founder David Knox, who was in the room, was also targeted.

“Is David Knox here? David are you live streaming this? You’re live-tweeting, that’s alright, and you’re taking pictures. Can you take my picture? I figure in a couple of years with the budgets the way they are this will be our only platform for the ABC.”

Plus: “Is News.com.au here?” he asked. Greeted with silence, he had one response – “Good.”

It was at this point that the presenter following Micallef, the ABC’s future China bureau chief Sarah Ferguson, decided to weigh in on how the segment was going.

“When it says here ‘Shaun is going to adlib and there’s no idea when he’s going to stop’, can you give us a clue?” she asked from the other side of Triple J’s The Set, where the event was being held.

Dr Mumbo would like to see Micallef host upfronts for other media organisations in 2020, although he’s unsure if someone who has ‘No idea when he’s going to stop’ will improve their runtimes.


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