We knew it was coming. With all the talk of budgetary cutbacks and belt-tightening by ABC Managing Director Mark Scott we expected cuts. It was just never expected to be this close to home.
To their credit the news was delivered in typical The Roast fashion. The full statement is on their Facebook page.
“Obviously the ABC are being hit hard at the moment,” offered showrunner Nich Richardson, “But we were hoping because we were the lowest budget production in the history of the planet and produced more original comedy content than any other show in the country right now, we’d skate through unscathed.”
For a show that started as a two minute interstitial original News satire on ABC2 three years ago and grew into the ten minute show from year two, the team have more than made their mark – they even won the 2014 Molkie for Fave Digital Find. Their weeknightly efforts prove there is a market for the product, labelled by many as our own version of The Daily Show.
No other show has delivered us the semi-regular joy of Australia’s only animated political satire as The Roast has with “Lambie and the Brick (and Wang)”.
Richardson is keen to redirect any praise for The Roast onto his team. “Everyone talks about how it’s so important to bring new people into the industry, and how hard it is for young talent to break in, and I’ve got 12 young, talented writer/comedians who all were TV newbies doing some of the best satire in the country, under the most gruelling, sweatshop-y, disgustingly abusive conditions I could put them under, and they all shone. Not to mention an amazing crew who just worked their asses off for slave wage and whippings.”
That team, including Mark Humphries, Alex Lee, Tom Glasson, David Ferrier, Jazz Twemlow, Melina Wicks, Evan Williams, Kara Jensen-Mackinnon, Sean Maguire, Seaton Kay Smith and Clarke Richards, have delivered a program that in three short years has become a part of the collective pop culture psyche by creating sharp and shareable content that lived a life much longer than it was on screen. No better example than this analysis of year one of the Abbott government:
But where to now for The Roast? “Now I’m going to put them in a new home so they can continue to be exploited and hilarious, because if I don’t, that’s basically it for a whole generation of comedy on Australian TV. It’ll be back to the old guard doing the old thing. Which works, but we all deserve more.”
The last daily episode will be this Thursday, with the usual week-in-review episode of Friday, though Richardson has planned some specials with content from across the year. “I will be be putting together some long form recap/best of pieces that will be online over the next couple of weeks. They’ll be themed around topic areas we covered over the year, and include all our best stuff.”
Thank you to the team at The Roast for three years of laughter, tears, non-partisan sticking-it-to-the-man-ness, more nude Tom than we ever wanted to see, shouty Mark, sliding-in Nich & so much more. We’ll all miss all of you. As the first official casualty of ABC budget cuts here’s to The Roast popping up elsewhere – and quickly.
The Roast – Weeknights 7:30pm, ABC2.