Australia

Hard Quiz host Tom Gleeson reunites Mad as Hell cast

Just as we were lamenting the end of top-rating ABC hit Hard Quiz for the year, hard-hitting quizmaster Tom Gleeson has given fans an early Christmas present.

Gleeson, one of Australia’s funniest and most successful stand-up comedians, has pulled off a Christmas miracle, and reunited Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell cast for a one-off special four days before Santa arrives (December 21, ABC and iview).

Aptly titled Mad as Hell Does Hard Quiz, the battle for the big brass mug is between Micallef’s beloved cast, Christie Whelan Browne, Tosh Greenslade, Emily Taheny and Francis Greenslade.

With Micallef’s satirical comedy, Mad as Hell, winding up on the ABC on September 21 after 10 years and 15 seasons, the Fab Four were left with just one decision for their next gig.

Their subjects for Hard Quiz, of course!

Francis Greenslade, better known for becoming Vice Rear Cabin Boy Sir Bobo Gargle on Mad as Hell, has simply written “this”, without any hints about his subject.

His podium photo, of an 1899 chromolithograph of a woman and a donkey’s head from A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, is helpful.

A Bill Greenslade [relationship not disclosed] suggested on the Twitter thread that his could be “mafia slayings”, and not, as others surmised questions about Shakespeare or from the play and its various subplots involving Athenian lovers.

Christie Whelan Browne – who played various characters on the show including Penelope Impact, Katerina Rot, Frumpelina Jeckyll – has a photo of US actor comedian Steve Carrell on her podium.

Is the topic The Office, of which he was the main character? Or maybe from his lead role in Get Smart or the series starring Agent 86, or the actor Don Adams.

Loads of hot topic suggestions there, people!

Emily Taheny’s topic is on, or around or about iconic singer-songwriter Paul Kelly.

She was one of Mad as Hell‘s main players, and had a showcase of characters to delight the hell out of audiences, including Evadne Sidebottom and Draymella Burt.

A man with a mullet holding a big shaggy mop on the front of Tosh Greenslade’s podium is … ah … confusing.

Is the topic about the 2001 movie Joe Dirt with David Spade, or is that too obvious? Mr Greenslade [no relation] reckons the topic is mullets.

For the season finale of Hard Quiz two weeks ago, ratings peaked at 478,000 viewers, and it has been a consistent ratings winner for the ABC since it started in October, 2016.

Topics included Bruce Springsteen, flags and the musical Hamilton, but it was Matt who was handed the brass mug with his expert subject of Japanese artist Hokusai.

Who is worthy of the mug at the end of this one-off show?

Just as long as Gleeson says: “Thanks for playing, hard” and shuts the fake sliding door as each player departs.

The quizmaster was unavailable to take a few questions about the special, due to Hard Quiz preparing to touch down in Perth for an extended live tour across regional centres around the country.

Here’s some we prepared earlier, and your time starts now:

  • Do you think people from Wollongong will like your sense of humour?
  • Why do you describe some regional towns as “s–t holes”?
  • Are you concerned people from Frankston will ask for free tickets?
  • How feral do you expect audiences to get in Dubbo? (double points)
  • Did you choose Noosa so you could mix with the elite for a few days?

Hard Quiz Live – Hosted by Tom Gleeson kicks off on December 2 at Perth’s Riverside Theatre and finishes in Frankston on June 15.

 



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