Funky Squad

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Funky Squad
Funkysquad.png
Written by Santo Cilauro
Tom Gleisner
Jane Kennedy
Directed by Santo Cilauro
Tom Gleisner
Jane Kennedy
Starring Tim Ferguson
Jane Kennedy
Santo Cilauro
Tom Gleisner
Composer(s) Craig Harnath
Country of origin Australia
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 7
Production
Location(s) Melbourne
Running time 30 mins
Production company(s) Working Dog Productions
Release
Original network ABC TV
Picture format PAL (576i)
Original release 24 April – 5 June 1995

Funky Squad was a short-lived 1995 Australian comedy television series which satirised 1970s-era U.S. police television dramas, such as The Mod Squad. Only 7 half-hour episodes were produced, which were broadcast on the ABC. Real television commercials from the 1970s were shown during the program's "commercial breaks".

The show featured four "funky" undercover detectives: undetectable as police, given their "hipness". The conclusion of each episode was deliberately designed to be incredibly predictable: usually the perpetrator of the crime under investigation could be identified within the first few minutes of the episode.

Before the television series, Funky Squad originally aired as a series of episodes on radio station Triple M. Rob Sitch, who played Grant, was replaced by Tim Ferguson when the series went to television.

Characters[edit]

In a metafictional setting, the characters were played by "actors" whose "names" were displayed in the opening credits of the program. These "real names" were also satirical, poking fun at the names of actors who appeared American 1970s cop shows.

"Stix": Joey Alvarez[edit]

"Grant": Blair Steele[edit]

  • Played by Tim Ferguson
  • The leader of the group; the cool guy.

"Poncho": Harvey Zdalka Jr[edit]

  • Played by Tom Gleisner
  • Mute, as a bullet had hit his tongue. The joke was that this was a ridiculous plot device to get around having accidentally hired an actor with poor English.

"Cassie": Verity Svensön-Hart[edit]

  • Played by Jane Kennedy
  • The token female; a stereotypical 1970s feminist.

The Chief: Baldwin Scott[edit]

Production[edit]

The program was created and written by Australian comedians Santo Cilauro, Jane Kennedy, Tom Gleisner, and Rob Sitch of Frontline and The Late Show fame. Cilauro, Kennedy and Gleisner also co-directed the series. Sitch was originally to star but was replaced by Ferguson due to study commitments overseas.

The show was given a meagre production budget of A$1,000 per episode, so many of the costumes were acquired by wardrobe director Kitty Stuckey (best known for her work on Kath & Kim) at local Melburnian Salvation Army stores.[1]

Video and DVD release[edit]

A VHS video containing three episodes of the series ("A Degree in Death", "Wrong Side of the Tracks" and "The Carnival is Over") was released in 1996. A DVD set of all seven episodes of the series was released in Australia on 7 November 2007. The DVDs were marked as Region 4, but appear to be region-free.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tim Ferguson: Case File (Fan site) "...$1000 budget for each episode... Stuckey would scavenge around in all of Melbourne's second hand stores. The Salvation Army was a big help to her..."
  2. ^ Review: Funky Squad, DVD Times (UK).

External links[edit]