Can Of Worms host Ian "Dicko" Dickson

After much press, supposition, advertising controversy & preparation, Dicko got to open the first Can Of Worms on the Australian television audiences last night. The show delivered exactly what it promised it would – it got people talking (and tweeting).

Those that only stuck around for the first break (10 minutes long) or less didn’t get to see the show deliver anywhere near it’s best. Dicko was stiff and clearly nervous but had relaxed by the time the guests had… about 3 minutes AFTER the first ad break. Dicko is no stand up yet still delivered a tough monologue at the start of the show and didn’t fall off it entirely.

When Meshel Laurie started to engage with the audience and guests Jason Akermanis, George McEncroe and Craig Reucassel was when everyone seemed to breathe a collective sigh and agree that “this is what the show is about – now let’s get on with it”. Those that left early missed seeing some engaging conversation and comment and the inclusion of infographics from Pat Clair (responsible for the same for Hungry Beast) was note perfect.

The more they all talked the more everyone seemed to understand where it was at. For a first show it was engaging, confusing, delightful, distracting, controversial, distressing and compelling. It didn’t matter if you liked or agreed with the guests – that’s part of the attraction and the conversation starter. Would Can Of Worms be more fun if everyone agreed? If you liked all the guests they had on? Do you live in some kind of television Utopia?! You may not like Aker, but his discussion regarding his contemplating suicide at 15 due to bullying was powerful and intelligent.

As a gauge of opinion, 3700 tweets were broadcast including the #CanOfWorms hashtag from 2000 people during the show. None of them made it to air due to the pre-recorded nature of the show however tweets during the show will be overlayed during the replay on Friday night at 11pm. It’s a good middle ground between being live and running a tweet/screen process and not including it at all. Though it could be WAY more fun live. The tweetstream is an interesting read – a broad mix if comments and opinions on the various topics (and of course Dicko’s suitability as host; who should replace him; some rampant defensive rages; etc, etc). The debate was fiesty and, just as you’d expect from the internet, somewhat intolerant.

For those so inclined, you can keep up with the show on it’s website, facebook fan page and twitter account.

I liked Can Of Worms, and I’ll be tuning in next week to see how they’ve progressed. It’s a great first effort. Things will improve (even The Panel took a little while to warm up). It’s far better than some other tripe we’ve been served this year, and it will offer intelligent debate to boot. The strengths of Can Of Worms will be in the topics discussed and the guest selection, as these are what will get everybody talking.

Well done Can Of Worms – more, please.