A Bluey-led recovery
And while this year the Prime Minister appeared to support a gas-led recovery for the nation’s economy, I think it’s time we recognised that our best chance of economic recovery is a fictional blue heeler.
Bluey, the animated ABC series of 7-minute episodes, is no longer just a hit in Australia, it’s gone global following distribution deals with Disney and the BBC. To quote Robert Duvall’s character in the 1976 film Network (and apologies for the language/avert your eyes if you’re a small child), Bluey is “a big, fat, big-titted hit”.
The Morrison government completely dropped the ball on the arts sector this year, but a Bluey-led recovery could be just the shot-in-the-arm this country needs. A stage production of Bluey has just opened in Brisbane to rave reviews, and is believed to be the first premiere of a professional play at a full capacity theatre since the pandemic began. You can’t move in a Target or Kmart without falling over a Bluey-branded quilt cover, kick board or inflatable arm chair. The answer is staring us in the face. We need to go all in on Bluey. Bluey-themed restaurants, Bluey handbags, Bluey gardening equipment, a Bluey cooking show (Bluey’s Cooking Adventures, anyone?), a Bluey cinematic universe … call the coronavirus vaccine Bluey and everyone in the country will want a dose. If the Treasurer wants to get the government’s books out of the red, he needs to get into the Blue.
What the duck?
Speaking of cartoon characters, if you’re like me, you winced last week when Health Minister Brad Hazzard felt the need to say this about the details people fill out when checking in at venues: “What we are finding is that some of the visitors to various venues still think that it is funny to be caught putting in there that you’re Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse or a false phone number. That must stop.”
When the human race is eventually wiped out, and our kind is memorialised in a museum by some future, more advanced species, the words above the entry to the gallery will be that quote. Although the Donald and Mickey impersonators will no doubt think we’ve all lost our sense of humour, they can take comfort from the fact that the rules dictating that all Thai restaurants must include a pun in their name remain unaffected.
A tough year all round
It’s been a year of some tough farewells. I’m speaking of course about Peter FitzSimons’ bandana. I think I speak for every Australian when I say, just at the moment we’d finally come to accept the bandana, we were forced to say goodbye to it. Vale. Adding to the sadness, last week we had to bid farewell to Pete Evans’ facebook page after Facebook took it down for breaching its misinformation policies. Truly a great loss to comedy writers everywhere. And finally, spare a thought for jet-setting Queensland Nationals MP George Christensen who did it toughest this year: due to travel restrictions, he had to spend 2020 in his own electorate. A cruel, cruel year.
If I ruled the world
It’s high time public toilets offered those thin seat layers you get on airline toilets. Just at the very moment you’re desperate to relieve yourself, you’re instead having to engage in some arts and crafts to fashion yourself a sea out of toilet paper. The money wasted on all that paper could surely be better spent on getting some of those pre-made paper seats. There, I said it.
While British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been scrambling to reach an agreement with the EU, I remember when I first became aware of him on an episode of Parkinson in 2003. Interviewer Michael Parkinson was digging around to see if there was some sort of dark backstory to Johnson’s life, until Johnson put him out of his misery by saying “I suppose you want me to say I grew up in a hole in the road”. I laughed. Simpler times. No one’s laughing now.
Mark Humphries is a satirist and writer. Peter FitzSimons is on leave.
Mark Humphries is a writer and comedian. He is the resident satirist on ABC’s 7.30.