For 2010. I just want to make it perfectly clear that no deal has been made public as to the future of Hey Hey It’s Saturday for 2011. You can bet we’ll hear about it (either way), and there will be critics no matter what the decision.

Hey Hey certainly has it’s fans. Nostalgia ran deep in 2009, allowing for two specials to be aired and a 20 show season to be commissioned for 2010 – and tonight’s episode draws that season to a close. The highlights package they aired (below) of the year was, in my opinion, telling – lots of “stuff” happened, but very few actual highlights compared with the show at its height.

Hey Hey has had it’s moment in the sun. There’s been a lot of support and criticism for the show this year, dividing TV viewers & critics alike. Being bounced around in the schedule (Hey Hey It’s Wednesday?!) didn’t help, and settling into it’s ‘spiritual’ home of Saturday night (albeit at 7:30pm and not the traditional 6:30pm slot) didn’t deliver the ratings that would validate it returning regularly. Some of the standard segments translated well into a modern landscape, a lot didn’t.

To the production team’s credit they were willing to try different things – the problem being the different things were the same old Hey Hey gags or segments. Introducing some new talent to the segments offered some light – the guest judges on Red Faces (Jack Strom has worked very hard to find some of the best worst talent we have to offer), new comedians in some of their team games, new artists miming performing to promote their latest thing. Hey Hey has, unfortunately, proved in 2010 that parlour games on TV played by famous people are not what the audience wants to see.

Red Faces will always be enjoyed simply because Red Symons takes so much pleasure in being a bastard – and it is gold. The chaos that is a Plucka Duck segment is simply entrancing because you don’t know what the guy in the most famous duck suit in Australia is gonna do next. Some performances – when live – have been spectacular. This clip was absolutely my highlight for the year…

Dear Mr Somers – lots of people love you. Even more like you. They want you to succeed. Perhaps pitching a version of Hey Hey for GO! or GEM, shortened to an hour? Tighten it up, focus on some of the live variety acts & Red Faces? Certainly repeating what you offered in 2010 will not cut it for 2011. I loved Hey Hey at it’s peak, and this season has been a pale, distant comparison. Please – for your dignity if nothing else – make some serious changes, or retire the show/format gracefully. Please.


Image/Video sources – Channel 9.