He saw the end of Ben Elton, and he re-established the home of variety television as the ABC. I know – who woulda picked that in January 2011?!
The success of Adam Hills In Gordon St Tonight was far from accidental. A void has existed since the end of Rove, and even the once-great Hey Hey It’s Saturday, with all it’s retro-“hilarity” was unable to fill it. The affable stand-up has seen great success as the host of Spicks and Specks so it seemed like a very short leap to go from game show host to variety show host. Australian television audiences are glad Adam Hills did.
The show was a solid performer for Aunty. It didn’t really light up the ratings to win any night, but settled into mid-late 700,000’s which is absolutely respectable (Elton/Gyngell would have wished for as much). It was Hills’s show, but never about him – always his guests or the audience. His stage partner for the series Hannah Gadsby was delightfully ascerbic, witty and sharp as a butcher’s knife (as well as being effective as one), offering insight and gags to punctuate but not overshadow proceedings. If nothing else AHIGST has provided a much wider audience the chance to appreciate the depth of her comic talent and timing.
Involving the audience has proven key to the success of the show, and spawned many memorable moments from the series. I offer these three clips as personal highlights of how involving the audience can make for superb television…
The series proved to be fun, entertaining, never dull, always insightful and deliciously random. Hills signed off the final episode of the series with “Good night, Australia. We hope to see you next year.” The ABC would be very well advised to ensure that hope is transformed into reality. For all our sakes. Nobody wants any more episodes of Hey Hey.