Trying a different angle on comedyTV and Radio
At last, Slide Show (Seven, 7.30pm) is here. Not since Hole in the Wall has television promised so much. Remember Hole in the Wall … a relentlessly stupid show in which celebrities of various levels of desperation had to fashion their bodies into the shapes of the fast-approaching holes in the wall?
Some disappeared through the holes, never to be seen again.
Well, Slide Show is just as sophisticated. Here, a marquee of celebrities is forced to play parlour games combined with a physical challenge. It's Thank God You're Here meets It's a Knockout.
The key plank in the piece is a set that can be tilted to precisely 22.5 degrees, so performers are improvising their scene while battling gravity. Apparently 22.5 degrees is technically the limit at which you can just stand.
In this world, though, just standing isn't funny. Falling is funny. And so the improvisation skills of the performers are almost irrelevant, so long as they crash into something. Now that's comedy.
In truth, there were more laughs than I expected, but the tilting gag will wear thin unless the performers have more in their kit bag than simply sliding from one end to the other. I think I caught sight of Frank Woodley in a promo for a future episode. Now there's a truly genius physical comedian who could nail this.
The rest of the games are older than cutlery, with a dash of technology spicing up miming and charades.
Seven will describe the show as ''fun for all the family'' and, certainly, the small fry will get just as much out of it as the old folks. Even the family pet won't be intellectually overextended.
Host Grant Denyer is suitably pumped and team captains Cal Wilson and Toby Truslove do their jobs nicely. Unfit comedians need not apply.
This Week Live (Ten, 9.30pm) puts the jokesters in a more conventional setting - behind a desk. Some people are just funnier when we can't see their pins.
Only a couple of weeks in, there's plenty to like about the combination of Dave Thornton, Tommy Little, Tom Gleeson and Meshel Laurie as they blow raspberries at the news of the day.
The opening exchanges are a little frantic as they try to out-gag each other, but once it settles into humorous, engaging conversation, it zips along. Gleeson's ''I Hate You, Change My Mind'' interview with Bob Katter in the first show was exceptional.
Finally, I'm angry. Having taken several series to get hooked on Offspring (Ten, 8.30pm), they decide to threaten me with losing a character with whom I've developed a crush. Not that I know who it is as this brilliant piece of television slides to a close.
All I know is, it's gonna hurt.