The Comedy Company

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The Comedy Company
Comedy-company-logo.jpg
The Comedy Company logo
GenreSketch comedy
Created byIan McFadyen
Written byRob Caldwell
Mary-Anne Fahey
Directed byJo Lane
Ian McFadyen
StarringMark Mitchell
Mary-Anne Fahey
Ian McFadyen
Glenn Robbins
Kym Gyngell
Russell Gilbert
Tim Smith
Siobhan Tuke
Chris Keogh
Country of originAustralia
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
Production
Production location(s)Melbourne, Australia
Production company(s)Media Arts
Release
Original networkNetwork Ten
Picture format4.3 PAL
Audio formatStereo
Original release16 February 1988 (1988-02-16) –
11 November 1990 (1990-11-11)

The Comedy Company was an Australian comedy television series first aired from 16 February 1988 until about 11 November 1990 on Network Ten, Sunday night and was created and directed by cast member Ian McFadyen, and co directed and produced by Jo Lane. The show largely consisted of sketch comedy in short segments, much in the tradition of earlier Sketch comedy shows, The Mavis Bramston Show, The Naked Vicar Show, Australia You're Standing In It, and The D-Generation. The majority of the filming took place in Melbourne. The show and characters had a significant effect on Australian pop culture, and had a cult following particularly on Australian youth. The word "bogan" was popularised by The Comedy Company character Kylie Mole, portrayed by Mary-Anne Fahey.[1]

The series won two consecutive Logie Awards (1989–1990) for Most Popular Light Entertainment/Comedy Program, while cast member Mary-Anne Fahey won a Logie Award for Most Popular Light Entertainment/Comedy Personality for her appearance on The Comedy Company in 1989.

This program should not be confused with a short-lived American sketch-comedy/variety series of the same name that ran 10 years earlier.

Synopsis[edit]

In 1987, the Media Arts company was asked by Network Ten Australia to produce a one-hour-a-week comedy program. The Comedy Company premiered in February 1988 and within a few months, The Comedy Company became the most successful comedy program of the decade being the highest rated weekly television program, particularly of note it ran against the Nine Network popular current events show 60 Minutes. Much of its success was due to it being the only family entertainment on television on a Sunday night. The Comedy Company remained the consistently highest rating weekly television program for two years.

The Comedy Company premiered many famous characters such as Con the Fruiterer, Kylie Mole, Col'n Carpenter, Uncle Arthur and David Rabbitboroug, which remain minor Australian icons.

The third and final series was titled The New Comedy Company featuring some of the original cast but mostly new cast. This version (and by extension, the show) was cancelled within a year.

Comedian Kym Gyngell also created a spin-off series called Col'n Carpenter (1990–1991) based on his character of the same name. Kylie Mole was also featured in the second series of the ABC's Kittson Fahey (1993). Notably, Glenn Robbins often did public appearances as Uncle Arthur and on The Panel he often referenced The Comedy Company by periodically slipping in and out of the character, as well as appearing in full costume as Arthur for The Panel Christmas Special in 2005.

In 2002, an hour of clips from The Comedy Company was edited into a special called The Comedy Company: So Excellent, with the subtitle referencing a famed line by the Kylie Mole character.

Merchandising[edit]

Quite a large amount of merchandise was produced for a comedy show, including "The Comedy Company Holiday Book", "My Diary by Kylie Mole", "Con's Bewdiful Australia", T-shirts, dolls and albums (see below).

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions
AUS
[2]
1988 The Comedy Company Album
  • Released: November 1988
  • Label: CBS (462994)
9
1989 Comedy Company Classics
  • Released: November 1989
  • Label: CBS (466119)
98

Singles[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Album
AUS
[2]
1988 "So Excellent / I Go I Go" (by Kylie Mole) 8 The Comedy Company Album
"A Cuppla Days" (by Con the Fruiterer) 48

DVD[edit]

A DVD box set has been released including four DVDs with select clips from the series, the four DVDs are;

  • The Best of the Comedy Company Volume 1
  • The Best of the Comedy Company Volume 2
  • The Best of Con the Fruiterer
  • The Best of Col'n Carpenter

Awards[edit]

ARIA Music Awards[edit]

The ARIA Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony that recognises excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of Australian music. The Comedy Company won one awards from two nominations.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1989 The Comedy Company Album ARIA Award for Best Comedy Release Won
1990 Comedy Company Classics Nominated

Special guests[edit]

Many well-known national and international stars appeared as guests throughout the series including: Julian Lennon, INXS, Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Sigrid Thornton. Con the Fruiterer, played by Mark Mitchell on one episode even met the then Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke, on the show.

Notable characters[edit]

  • Mark Mitchell as Con the Fruiterer, Marika, Glenn Gelding
  • Mary-Anne Fahey as Kylie Mole, Jophesine, Sharon Maclaren
  • Ian McFadyen as David Rabbitborough
  • Glenn Robbins as Uncle Arthur/Gary Dare, Darren Maclaren
  • Kym Gyngell as Col'n Carpenter
  • Russell Gilbert as Russ the Postie
  • Tim Smith, various characters

Col'n Carpenter[edit]

Col'n Carpenter
Starring
Country of originAustralia
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes58
Production
Running time25 Mins
Release
Original networkNetwork Ten
Picture formatColor
Original release1990 (1990) –
1991 (1991)

Col'n Carpenter is a 1990 Australian sitcom spinoff, starring Kym Gyngell, reprising his character from The Comedy Company, it ran for two series, co-starring Stig Wemyss and featured singer Kaarin Fairfax and featured former Prisoner star Monica Maughan in a comedy role as Carpenter's Mum.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Meanings and origins of Australian words and idioms". Australian National Dictionary Centre. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (pdf ed.). Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  3. ^ Albert Moran, Moran's Guide to Australian TV Series, AFTRS 1993 p 122

External links[edit]