Kamahl angry over unkind comedy

kamRenowned singer Kamahl has weighed into the Hey Hey debate -and doesn’t like what he sees.

The Malaysian-born Australian has long been lampooned on the show, seemingly with affection, but his statements today paint a different picture.

Kamahl told The Daily Telegraph he had endured years of racist remarks, despite numerous appearances on the show. He admits he used to laugh along, but after his likeness was sketched into the notorious Jackson Jive sketch, he is critical of the Channel Nine show.

“They are just trying to push the envelope. Like The Chaser. The Chaser may take it to another level but at least it’s witty,” he said.

In a scathing attack on the show, he says, “Hey, Hey is devoid of any real wit.

“It’s desperate. It’s toilet humour and it should be flushed.

“If Harry Connick Jr had not been there it would have just slipped through to the keeper,” Kamahl said.

“It’s not an advantage to be born black in this current society, neither is it to be a woman. Both have to work twice as hard.”

Kamahl was even said to be considering legal action, according to the newspaper.

Meanwhile the sketch continues to gather outrage internationally, now being reported by the BBC, The Times, The Sun, The Mirror, CNN, CBS and E!

Both Nine and Daryl Somers have apologised for any offence caused.

Source: The Daily Telegraph

54 Comments:

  1. I have watched the replay on GO! to night & the parts that were deemed to be offensive have been excised out. by powers that be in the network.

    We live in the Orwellian society where PC is the order of the day.

    Anyway I’m going back to mt “Victory Gin” and wait for the thought police to show up take me to room 101……

  2. What? This is still going???
    It is getting so rediculous it is funny … Josh got it right … the only reason Racism (sexism, homophobia, etc…) still exists is because people choose to take excessive exception to incidents like this which were not intended that way at all … if everyone treated and regarded everyone equally and did not judge … according to colour, race or particularly religion … there would be no such issues … the ones taking offence are the ones with the issues …
    Jack!

  3. sounds like sour grapes to me – he was not invited to the show, but told he could make his own way to the green room (pay for his own airfare etc…)

    personally I think he was a huge part of the show in it’s day and I think the Hey Hey team should have done the decent thing and asked him to appear

  4. Wow,what a whiny little backstabber. He uses the show to his own advantage for all those years, and then turns around and insults the very people who undoubtedly played a significant role in advancing his career. And for what – a silly cartoon?

    Perhaps Khamal should learn a thing or two about cartooning – he could start by buying a newspaper. Maybe then he’d realise that all cartoons exaggerate the physical features of their subjects, meaning that if you have a big nose, big lips, big ears, lots of freckles, a bushy mustache or a silly haircut, these things will be blown out of proportion by any cartoonist. Exaggerating Khamal’s big nose and full lips is no different to exaggerating John Howard’s eyebrows or Kevin Rudd’s nerdy schoolboy smile.

    The context in which the cartoon was introduced was also completely harmless, so much so that I find it hard to comprehend how anyone other than someone who holds racist views themselves could possibly read any racist intentions into it. To the truly non-racist mind, a joke about someone’s skin colour is no more offensive than a joke about blondes. Alas, those who want to be offended will always find something to complain about – the events of the past couple of days have made this truth strikingly apparent.

  5. Gravy train was not a racist comment I meant it as he can see a way of getting money out of it by sueing..

    geez we have all become to PC I think.

    I wonder if the other red faces acts llike the half black man/white woman are offensive and racist now? Or the Michael Jackson with 5 black dummies he’s controlling…?

  6. @ Allie Kamahl may have had his career since the mid 60’s but he certainly wasn’t well known until he made his appearances on Hey Hey. Anyway why bring up that he was offended now when it suits him, why didn’t he bring it up at the time when he was on the show when he was milking Hey Hey for all the exposure he could get. Sounds like sour grapes to me by a man who is past it just because he wasn’t invited back for the reunion specials while other similar performers like Rhonda Burchmore were.

    • Rackman, Kamahl has a career as a working professional on stage, clubs, recording industry that is formidable. He has performed at the Palladium, Carnegie Hall, Royal Command performances, Commonwealth Games, telethons, corporate work, cruise ships and practically every major variety show concurrent to Hey Hey. He has been in the Aus performing industry for 50 years. Like most variety performers he appeared on Aust TV in the 70s and 80s while he was sustaining a living from the clubbing circuit. I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest he was not invited to the reunion.

  7. Frankie > Don’t quite have a Croc Dundee outfit myself…. nor did I say I wouldn’t tell people I’m Aussie, in fact I’ll be trying to be the friendly positive person who they no doubt can tell just happens to be Aussie. Being Australian doesn’t define me but unfortunately it’s more about other people’s perceptions, and this whole affair has slightly tainted those ‘other people’s’ (by the look of the reactions from US and world media) perceptions.

  8. The reality is, people who think this is racist are the reason we still have racism in the world today, racism is either being derogatory or prejudice to another group of culture or race. Putting black makeup on and dancing like the Jackson five (in a silly way or not) isn’t either, and unless your blind, they didn’t look like baboons. A while back before the 50’s, I don’t know if you’ve heard of them, they used to have these dolls that were really black, have you heard of them? they band those because they were considered racist, the skit doesn’t belong the past, people’s reactions does. If you think this is racist you should go live on that planet were you all live in a society that Chris has explained (October 9 – 11:14 am)

  9. @Rackman. Kamahl has had a performing/recording career in Australia since the mid- ’60’s, long before HHIS was even an idea in a programmer’s mind. If HHIS had never existed, Kamahl would have continued to record and perform in clubs, just as he has been doing for almost 50 years, as his career was long established before HHIS began taking the p out of him..

  10. That was a bit mean putting up that pic of kamal during the act, but appart from that there was no intended racism.
    I bet those american news outlets didn’t mention the fact that most of the Jackson jive were from non-anglo backgrounds- coming from india, sri lanka, lebanon etc.

    Anyway australians we better prepare for america to start a war in Australia.

  11. Growing up in the 80s with a similar ethnicity to Kamal I know exactly where he’s coming from. You had no option but to go along with the humor even with the hope it just goes away. But sometimes it gets malicious. It’s not that you can’t do jokes about it (Stephen K Amos seems to can be witty with it) – but it gets tiresome and hateful when every mention of colour seems to cop it.

    Hey Hey is a clear example of this humour. What are people really laughing at? Because I stopped the fake laughs a long time ago.

    I always wondered why Kamal obviously stuck around to be the brunt every black joke. Obviously he stayed to help is career – it was not like there was many other tv options for him.

  12. Right, so according to a lot of comments here you should just put up with being offended / tolerate prejudice if it’s not doing your career any harm. Wow , you people are the leaders of tomorrow!

  13. Just remembered — Kamahl played an aborigine in the 1967 movie “Journey Into Darkness” (with Ed Devereaux, just before his days on “Skippy”, playing an aboriginal tracker–scenes from this movie are on disc 2 ‘deleted scenes’ of the “Not Quite Hollywood” dvd set).

    Kamahl has been performing in Australia since around 1960, all details are in his autobiography released around 10 years ago.

  14. Wait … now I get it … I just saw today’s ep of “The View” and they were defending Harry … then they said the way to deal with a bully is to beat them up! Oh dear me!
    But the real key to all this was the comment that reminded me … they have a Black President in the US now … That is why they are all so sensitive about it all of a sudden … Tragic!
    Jack!

  15. Without Hey Hey kamahl would be a nobody, it is Hey Hey which helped him lampoon his career for all those years he appeared on the show and this is all the thanks they get! Go away kamahl and go see if Rove will have you.

  16. 6.7 billions opinions in the world and in Australia we have many opinions that say “PC” gone mad, arguing that it was a ‘harmless skit’ and that people should ‘lighten up’.

    Well that’s fine and that’s your opinion. Just take note that other people in the World have opinions too and the consensus of those opinions (of the people who have seen the skit and yes probably not in the ‘shows’ context, but that isn’t the point) is that they think a little less of Australians.

    So thank you Channel 9 for putting the spotlight on us (dam I have to go overseas soon too, oh well I’ve always tried to be human…. rather than Australian).

  17. The best thing to come out of the Hey Hey Reunion controversy is the exposure of ingrained racism in modern Australian society. This incident has rightly brought worldwide condemnation. It is also bringing to light how nasty, outdated and unfunny Hey Hey it’s Saturday was and is.
    Anyone who saw that act and thought in context it was OK because it was a reenactment of a 20 year old act is missing the point. It was racist then and is racist now. The reason Kamhal did not appear on the reunion is because of the constant vilification (in sound effects and cartoons) he received on the show all those years ago. Well done Kamal for pursuing this in the courts. Someone needs to make a stand so something like this is never endorsed again.

  18. Get a grip you PC thugs, This all started because 5 guys wanted to have a little fun.. One man makes (HCJ) makes a little noise and is found to be a Hippocrite. Now Every Tom/Dick & Harry wants to Jump in and comment.

    Kamahl, You shouldn’t feel upset about this.. This is HCJ’s fault for opening up this Pandora’s Box!

  19. I am amazed.. comedy has always used nationality, colour, weight, hair, sex, marriage, you name it, the best comedians use every aspect of society for a giggle.

    This debate is so out of control. Political correctness gone crazy.

    We as a society have become so sensitive to absolutely everything that we no longer know how to laugh at ourselves or With others. We are creating a world of rules allows no humour, no speech, no laughter, in fact we have got so correct that it wont be long before even looking at another human will land us in court for something rediculous..

    What about the black and White Minstral show.. loved by all.. what about the skit the HKJ did a few years back.. This is not racisim! This is genuine people, multiculteral people, who are entertaining others. Do we get our knickers in a knot everytime a comedian makes a crack about the gay comunity or fat people or skinny people or when a black comedian makes jokes of whites.. I think not.. we all understand that its just Comedy!!!

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