The Money or the Gun

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The Money or the Gun was an Australian comedy/talk-show on the ABC network. It ran from 1989 to 1990, with occasional specials until 1994. It was written by Andrew Denton, Simon Dodd, Bruce Griffiths, and George Dodd, directed by Martin Coombes and produced by Mark Fitzgerald.

Each episode was based on a significant theme, with Denton interviewing a number of people as well as conducting vox pops on the street. Significant episodes include "Guns-The Musical" and the award-winning episode on disabilities, "The Year of the Patronising Bastard" (which picked up a United Nations Media Peace Prize). In 1993, a one-off special was called "Topic of Cancer", which talked to teenagers with cancer (while at a CanTeen weekend). In 2003, Denton held a 10-year reunion for the people on the 1993 show, as part of his ABC interview programme Enough Rope.

"Stairway to Heaven"[edit]

Each week a guest would perform their own version of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven". Versions would occasionally tie in with the theme of the episode ("Guns - the Musical" had a Broadway-style version by Jodie Gilles as the conclusion, while the episode on Australian Comedy had the Doug Anthony All Stars performing it with the assistance of Barry Crocker) but the most surprising of all was the version by Rolf Harris which eventually reached number 7 on the UK singles chart. Generally the performance of "Stairway" would be a break in the program and the artists would have no other part in the program. The CD release won an Aria Award in Australia in 1993 and was subsequently released on the Atlantic Label in the USA though truncated.

Performers and styles included:

Two compilations of the performances were released in 1992: a video which featured 25 of the 26 performances,[1] and an album, called Stairways to Heaven, which featured 22 of the 26 performances. [2] An album consisting of 12 tracks was released internationally in 1995. [3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Not including Rory O'Donoghue.
  2. ^ Not including Rory O'Donoghue, Friends Of The Castanet Club, The Jeff Duff Orchestra and Bob Downe.
  3. ^ The 12 album tracks were by: Kate Ceberano and The Ministry Of Fun, John Paul Young, Pardon Me Boys, Rolf Harris, The Australian Doors Show, Sandra Hahn and Michael Turkic, Robyne Dunn, Neil Pepper (Elvis), The Rock Lobsters, The Beatnix, Vegimite Reggae, and Leonard Teale.

External links[edit]