This is Your Laugh

Andrew O'Keefe's new show is an alternative chat show that is having a go, improvising with the 7HD channel.

Andrew O’Keefe’s pet project This is Your Laugh finally hit screens last night, airing exclusively on 7HD.

The digital-only channel allows the show to find its feet without the same pressures as its analogue channel. Seven has experimented with 7HD before, when The Night Cap aired briefly earlier this year. Using the channel for ideas like this is a clever “off-Broadway” path for new shows.

The format for this show is chat meets improvisation. O’Keefe, who already takes a chat chair on Weekend Sunrise, flies solo here and is clearly loving the freedom already.

Filmed in a small studio with an even smaller audience, the set was simple, with a low-rise performance stage taking the centre, straddled on one side by the four ‘Improfessional’ actors and host and guest chairs on the other.

O’Keefe’s opening monologue, which floated the differences in laughs and laughter was rather forced. Hopefully there are some gags with punchlines written into subsequent episodes (it isn’t clear if these are being shown out of order -I suspect they are).

First guest radio gal Jo Stanley told O’Keefe of her early years being born in Papua New Guinea, including a return to PNG as an adult where a flight in a small plane was accompanied by a live cow. This anecdote  provided opportunity for the four actors to leap to centrestage (a doorbell indicates the interruption), and illustrate the scene for comic mirth.

The four actors, Nicola Parry, Rebecca Deunamuno, Toby Truslove, Daniel Cordeaux, all show great skill in improvising -some will be familiar to viewers of Thank God You’re Here and Comedy Slapdown.

The Umbilical Brothers similarly provided tales of their formative years, which were enacted by the four.

A final scene fused both Stanley and The Umbilical Brothers together -the best scene of the debut show.

O’Keefe was, like his appearances on Deal or No Deal, a man in control. He knows how to keep the ball in the air, even if his abrasive style sometimes divides viewers.

For a one hour format, the show could do with either a third guest or another trick up its sleeve. These guests are not ‘A-list’ enough to sustain two segments each, unless, and it’s a big ask, O’Keefe wants to conduct more introspective interviews. But that would probably digress from the brief.

As an HD experiment (it’s not making much use of the ‘high-definition’ so much as the low key forum) This is Your Laugh is an alternative that is having a go, improvising with with channel itself. Sometimes it will probably fall flat on its face, and sometimes there will be entertainment for the fact it is going off script and loving it.

This is Your Laugh airs 8:30pm Sundays on 7HD.

19 Responses

  1. I tuned in for a bit of this program. My immediate reaction was that it reminded me in some way of the Drew Carey prgram “Who’s line is it anyway”. Albeit in a someone modified format. At this stage I’d give it the benefit of the doubt and stick with it to see how everyone settles into the format.

  2. I thought it was quite an interesting show. I never minded O Keefe as such but since it’s only the first episode I’m willing to give it a few goes. And thank god 7HD have some alternative programs that I haven’t seen following after it. Getting so sick of the other stuff that doesn’t interest me on Ten and the normal 7 Digital channel.

    I’m willing to give this a show a few chances, but it will be interesting to see how long before they’ll pull it off the air.

  3. Channel 7 will never be able to do a comedy hour. After years of “cute” laughs on Sunrise and co., they will never be able to make a real cutting edge hilarious program. It will be the same tired manufactured jokes about easy targets such as Michael Jackson, Shane Warne and Paris Hilton. Ho hum…that’s commercial reality for you.

  4. i thought it was ok, did 7 intend on this being a late night show? it seemed a little toned down and light for 8:30. i was expecting a rove type set but instead it is a just-before-u-go-to-bed/wind-down type.

    more suited for late night (10:30) i thought. out of the question replacement maybe?

    andrew o’keefe was also toned down and handleable so for all of u that can’t stand him on deal should be able to handle him here. he did a good job interviewing the guests i thought

  5. The Thank God team were never signed to Ten, which is why you see Shane Bourne on City Homocide.
    I thought the show was really good.
    But I’d like to know what happens to Daniel Cordeaux… I went to a taping where he was replaced with Russell Fletcher…?

  6. I agree with Mac that it was forced and unfunny. I have to disagree with David regarding the final scene. I left the room during that birthing sequence as it was a pretty immature attempt at comedy. I don’t particularly like O’Keefe as he seems quite insincere.

  7. I’ve loved Andrew O’Keefe since I first saw him on the brilliant Big Bite. He’s one of the very few Australian personalities that I like. I always wanted him to have his own chat show. From the screencaps and descriptions, it looks like it needs some work but if 7 give it a chance, I’m sure it’ll get better. It’s not the parts involving Andrew that I’m having a problem with. It’s the other people, although I do like Rebecca De Unamuno

    I hope that I can get a set-top box soon so I can check it out for myself but I have a feeling 7 will scrap this fast.

  8. This is my time not to laugh
    Thankgoodness that this tv show is on 7HD
    I don’t think I could watch another tv show with Andrew O’Keefe
    it’s just the way he presents himself and that annoying laugh
    just brings shivers down the spine

  9. i didn’t mind it, at first i didn’t like the improfessionals and thought they tried too hard and came in too many times, but later on some of what they did was actually funny. agree with your assessment david, o’keefes monologue was pretty forced. i enjoyed the nightcap a lot more though.

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