Ed Kavalee hearts TV

Ed KavaleeIf you truly love your television, you should cast your eyes Ed Kavalee’s way this Thursday night. Sure, it’s a clip show with gags, unapologetically. Sure it’s a format ripped from the UK. But boy do we have some bad telly. And it’s Ed’s job to remind us.

TV Burp, as Kavalee explains, is not out to critique television. It’s an affectionate look at the week in TV. It’s an absurdist time capsule of the last seven days, slicing scenes out of context, giving them inappropriate set-ups, and letting the shows provide the punch lines.

“We look for gaps, such as something that happens with the storyline where we can get in and show it in a different context,” he explained to TV Tonight. “So it’s not about good or bad but whether we can have some fun with it.

“We’re more a Lover’s Guide to Television, but it’s not all just promos.”

Kavalee sits on a brightly coloured living room set, cheerfully reminding us of some of the obscure moments we might have missed on Neighbours, Airways, Rush, Home and Away, Recruits, Hot Seat, Ready Steady Cook, Gardening Australia and Dancing with the Stars.

If the grabs weren’t already funny in their original form, they will prove more so out of context. The idea stems from Kavalee’s unashamed passion for TV which he took to Seven programme developer Brad Lyons.

“I said, ‘Brad I’ve got an idea.’ And he said ‘Before you say anything, look at this DVD,’ and he put TV Burp on the table in front of me. So it was one of those fortuitous ‘right place, right time’ deals.”

Seven had been sitting on the UK series Harry Hill’s TV Burp for a while, but hadn’t found the right home or the person to front it.

“Harry Hill is a legendary stand up in England. It was his idea and he’s now 8 series down,” said Kavalee.

The other successful format is the US TV skewer, The Soup, which airs in Australia on E!

“I like The Soup and Joel McHale, but it’s a bit more ‘critiquey.’  I don’t want to attack anything because I don’t want to see them taken off. I want True Beauty to run its course and find its audience.”

Although it is looking back at the week in television, TV Burp avoids politics. It sticks like glue to drama, reality, light entertainment and factual television. News and current affairs are off limits, left to the domain of Media Watch, The Chaser and The 7pm Project. Comedy is also off the list.

“We have a lot of shows that deal with current affairs or gags on panel shows and they’re great. But we want to turn the comedy light towards things that we perhaps take for granted. All Saints, Home and Away, Neighbours, Packed to the Rafters, Underbelly when it was on, Airways, World’s Strictest Parents, things like that.”

It effectively means Gordon Ramsay v Tracey Grimshaw, The Chaser‘s “Make a Realistic Wish” sketch or Karl Stefanovic the morning after the Logies are not typical targets.

“The Karl that we’re interested in? We’re interested in the Karl who hosts Random Acts of Kindness,” he explains. “We’ll leave others to look after Karl after he’s allegedly had a few after the Logies.”

Kavalee says Channel Seven has been very embracing of the show featuring programmes from rival networks.

“I said to them during the pilot, ‘Ok, let’s just say I love Farmer Wants a Wife. Are we going to get in trouble if I want to have some fun with that?’ To their credit they said, ‘No we don’t mind that.’ And let’s be honest our first show we’ll be talking about MasterChef. That’s the biggest show.”

The first episode tackles almost all the networks, including getting stuck into Seven shows. Before a studio audience Kavalee introduces comical moments, including putting himself into some scenes. Foxtel makes a brief appearance, SBS seemed absent -perhaps when its big sporting events are over it will provide plenty of mirth. There were several scenes from earlier weeks, no doubt included for the first week.

Kavalee admits he’s now watching relentless chunks of programming along with the show’s researchers. But it’s all coming from a place of devotion.

“We’re not reviewing, we’re not critiquing, we’re a celebration,” he said.

“I don’t want to be harsh for the sake of it. I just love telly.”

TV Burp premieres 9pm Thursday on Seven.

47 Comments:

  1. I’m from the UK. I have seen Harry Hill’s version. I have never found him ‘funny’. Perhaps his personality dominated the show too much, so I would only watch it if nothing else was on.

    Seeing this on TV I instinctively went to change channel, but kept watching when Harry had done a Houdini and Ed appeared. Sure, Ed is mimicking Harry, but it’s a style that works for the show so I have no problem with it. Ed is less dominating and so there’s more of a balance between the clips and his commentary.

    Aussie TV Burb makes me laugh. Much better than Harry Hill’s UK version.

  2. What I didn’t get was why TV Burp wasn’t on first. Why did Double Take lead into TV Burp and not the other way around? TV Burp was way more family friendly and surely after The Amazing Race TV Burp would be a better fit than the swearing and the pretend boobs of Double Take.

    Either way I thought Ed did a good job with the Burp and there were enough laughs for me that I’ll tune in again next week. Double Take on the other hand can go jump off a bridge.

  3. I like Ed Kavalee – but he just seemed to fake and animated throughout the entire tv show.

    I think he needs to relax and be a bit more natural.

    He bopped his head around which was really annoying…I found myself watching him with intrigue rather than listening to his jokes!

    I thought the end was really strange…with the dancers!

    I’d watch it again – I like this lighthearted Aussie stuff…rather than the American sitcoms and all the crime shows!

  4. The bit about Susan and the letterbox from Neighbours was hilarious and I agree with koverstreet, the lobster bit was funny aswell. Just thinking about the guy doing the Rock Lobster dance at the end is making me laugh. Interesting to note that Josh Lawson, Paul Calleja and Lawrence Mooney are all writers for the show.

  5. Tv Burp was o.k. and will stick with it.
    I think my problem is that I have seen quite a lot of Harry Hills’ version and love it, so I can’t help comparing it to the better version.
    If this was my first experience with TV Burp, I think I’d be happy that it was something a bit different and would be really looking forward to the next episode.

    As for Double Take… Oh my God that was as bad as I was expecting and there’s no way in hell that I’ll spend any time watching it.

  6. I thought Ed was great and we laughed quite a bit during Tv Burp.

    Double Take…….what a waste of 30 mins I’ll never get back! I’m no fuddy duddy at 35, but was all the fould language really necessary?? Almost every skit had s**t or f**k!

  7. Sorry guys but TV Burp was woeful…and I’m a big Kavalee fan with every Get This episode still saved.

    At this stage Ed’s just not cut out for this type of TV hosting and think about it – this is even with the benefit of good editing. From the impersonating of Harry Hill to the pathetic asides to camera, to the bizarre over-acting and severe lack of comic timing – just astonishing this got to air at all.

    The main crime – the writing. And guess which writers they’ve recruited folks? That’s right – we’ve got some old names here from Full Frontal, Comedy Inc and hold your breathe…..Tonight Live with Steve Vizard!!!

    As for Double Take – take a bow ex-Comedy Inc writers…..they’re employed here again too (I’m not joking)!!

    Australian TV….I’m going back to overseas shows..

  8. I thought it was okay. Actually made me laugh in places. He’s been watching Hill too much and is imitating his style but he’ll get better and more natural I imagine. Doubletake was appalling. The canned laughter was so badly done. When three people get knocked over in quick succession audiences do not laugh with equal measure at each joke, laughter builds. It was so distracting. Writing was average and it looked like it was shot by the news team. Subtitles on a song parody? Why? If you’re reading it you’re getting to the joke before it’s delivered.
    The editing was not great but they had little to work with. While the actors did their best they are don’t know where the jokes are and can’t play off one another. Looked very dated, Pretty much Comedy Inc. again. Let’s be honest, it’s there for the drama points. Needs stronger writing and pacier direction.

  9. Well must say I really enjoyed TV Burp and Ed is a very funny guy. Some bits were meh but others had me lol. I especially liked the bit where they made fun of that lobster guy from Recruits lol.

    Double Take..well some parts were funny but it became less funnier as it went on. Will sit through it I suppose while waiting for TV Burp.

    Anyway finally something fun on Seven that isn’t a boring factual.

  10. I think I liked this. He seemed to be imitating Harry Hill too much, and, as I don’t like Harry Hill, that counts against him. But the show has potential to grow into something entertaining.

    Double Take, on the other hand, with its horrible laugh track, was woeful.

  11. Speakerofruth

    “Ed Kavalee, you’re clearly no Harry Hill.”

    This comment is correct, not as funny as the British version (even though it was almost an exact replica) purely because of the host, not saying he is a bad host but definitely not right for the show.

    Though they could of got a lot funnier material off some of the shows on Foxtel.

    As for Double Take, thought it was pretty decent for an Australian comedy its rare that anything Australian made is genuinely funny, especially the comedians themselves.

    Both shows will probably flop in my opinion neither of them were anything special.

  12. I don’t know whether it’s just because of the trash I watched before it or not, but I quite enjoyed this. Definitely think this will improve over the coming weeks.

    As for Double Take, the only thing I can say is that the Kevin Rudd impersonator had his voice spot on. Other than that, woeful. Sell it to Channel Nine for their 7:30pm Tuesday slot?

  13. Some bits very funny! Some bits fell flat. I think they should have more atmosphere in the studio, perhaps guests or some sort of interaction.

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