Adam Hills In Gordon Street Tonight

Likeable.

So darned likeable….

Adam Hills’ new show reminded us all why he is so beloved. Charming, spontaneous, a bloke you could take home to mum.

His long overdue chat show In Gordon Street Tonight was a breath of fresh air.

Hillsy’s true skill is in making the show look so effortless. From the opening credits in which he strolls through the streets of Melbourne with greetings from locals to being welcomed by a clearly devoted audience, he had them eating out of the palm of his hands. Nice place to start your first show.

In his opening monologue, Hills launched straight into self-deprecation, with an old TV commercial in which he looked terribly youthful. Awwww. Instantly we were not laughing at Hills, but with him.

Sidekick Hannah Gadsby talked us through some of the “set-warming” gifts he had been given for his first show: a naked portait of himself (including one foot), a dancing cat, and a gift voucher for a ‘boy-zillian’ or as described by an audience member a “back, sack and crack.”

Hillsy has accepted the challenge.

By interacting the audience, this most affable host had won over the studio audience, and as a result, the viewers at home before even introducing his first guest.

Arj Barker, who had appeared on Ben Elton Live from Planet Earth the night before, was first guest. Barker sang for his host, made jokes about Canberra, Americans and our accent, and seemed far more relaxed than his routine the night before.

Hills chatted more with his audience, including to a guy who was an “Underwater Crockery Maintainance Officer” or Dishpig if you prefer, a sci-fi loving minister and a girl who once buried some money in her yard in a Perth suburb. Then via the magic of television Peter Rowsthorn was found in her yard ready to dig up that very hole. Shades of Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush

2011 Australian of the Year Simon McKeon kept up the gift-giving with some iced coffee, before talking about winning the award, his health, and our crazy summer weather.

A surprise inclusion was Ross Noble “phoning in” his stand-up act via an iPhone.

The show also reunited Hills with an old school pal he couldn’t remember (they celebrated with a handstand) and Twitter-submitted photos of people frowning in front of famous places.

James Reyne performed Dragon’s April Sun in Cuba (a nod to the studio’s Countdown history) and Dan Sultan sang.

Actress Melissa George spoke about returning home to Oz to film The Slap before some priceless footage of her watching the Australian Open with an awestruck Bruce McAvaney. Special.

Seated in a chic lounge set, Hills glided through this first episode surrounded by mutual admirers. The format was closer to Rove and The Graham Norton Show than Parkinson or Enough Rope. Whilst it doesn’t allow enough time to dig deep with guests, it strikes a good balance between conversation and spontaneity.

Comparisons with Ben Elton’s effort this week are hard to avoid, but Nine’s bar was set a lot higher with punchline sketches on a vast, spartan stage before live cameras. Hills has aimed more within his means with amiable chat in a more intimate environment. Save for some Twitter interaction with the audience, the pre-recording of the show was barely noticeable.

The credits also indicate Hills had a team of writers to support him, contrasting the Elton vehicle for which he is solely responsible for the creative.

In a perfect world, the audience would end up with two terrific shows, but that remains to be seen. Adam Hills wins Round One in a knockout blow.

Adam Hills In Gordon Street Tonight airs 8:30pm Wednesday on ABC1.

45 Comments:

  1. I just loved the aboriginal singer and his band that you had on the show and would love to buy their album but do not know their name.
    Please can you help?
    What a wonderful show-well done.
    23/04/2011
    Warm regards and happy easter
    Vicki Borcich

  2. Not a comment. Please tell me the name of the band that closed the show on the 16th Feb and 23rd Feb. I have to get some of their music.

    Gloria

  3. I love the show, and will never tire of Adam’s chemsitry with the audience. I wish to share a conversation I had with my almost-89 year-old friend. After watching the segment with the three Taxidermists, he said, “Did you know that Paul Keating was a Taxidermist?” Obliging him, and knowing that a funny comment was forthcoming, he said, “Yeah, he stuffed Australia!” Just wanted to share that little gem with you all. Cheers, Colleen.

  4. Watched the second show, turned it on a bit late to see some model prance around . { more like Kerrie Anne K show } don’t interview models unless they are doing something for charity !

    Then they tried to do some boring dating segment.

    Give Adam 10 mins of stand up and the singers a couple of songs and cut out the quirky stuff.

  5. Hannah Gadsby is the best thing on that show by a mile. She’s new, unique, young, clever, a genuine talent. She should have her own show. But unfortunately she is no chance. Ever. Pity really. Banality reins supreme on free to air telly. Which is why Adam Hills cracked the gig with his nice guy routine. I don’t doubt he is genuine, but the relentless smile in his voice, a faint tremor which suggests he is a fraction away from pi**ing himself laughing at any moment is awful. You don’t have to infer hilarity Every second. Take a break – contrast helps. Again, I shouldn’t be too harsh, it was OK overall. But the format is soooo old, I expected more from a such clever guy, the highlights being when he allows himself to wander off the ‘unscripted’ script.

  6. Finally got around to watching this today – thought of turning off after first 10 minutes, but persisted – and enjoyed it.

    With Ben Elton, I turned off after 5 minutes and hoped not to see it again. Based on all the comentary, gald I didn’t persist!

  7. Really wanted to like this show as we need more interview and music shows, however it reminds me of the Don Lane Show, there’s just to much of the host trying to hard.

    I also hope we are going to have better singers than James Rayne.

    What’s the idea of the girl to the side and why spend so much time talking to the audience it’s not Q&A !

    Next week I’ll record the show and flick through the boring bits.

  8. Not sure if it was too long by 10 mins (most international generally come in at 50mins and content on OZ commercial TV is roughly 43 mins in the hour).

    I felt, like a lot of other contributors here, that there was too much packed in; resulting in the interviews being a bit too brief to learn anything much more we didn’t already know about the guests. Also made the then necessary tighten-up edits a bit obvious in places.

    Whilst I wasn’t really up to speed on Hannah Gadsby before the show, I did sort of like her, but wonder if she shouldn’t be staged closer to Adam and the main action of the show/set. I had a feeling right through of ‘who & why?’ regarding her presence. Maybe as I said earlier, she should be closer, maybe even on set such as Carson’s sidekick Ed, Conan’s Andy etc.

    Loved Peter Rosethorne’s segment. I also got a bit tired of constantly seeing the studio audience. After all, we tune in to see the star Adam Hills, not Betty of Broadmeadows.

    All in all though, a great first effort with (compared to Ben Elton) reasonable figures – why not bite the bullet, ration the extra segments a bit and go live with flexible out time – surely ABC presentation could cope with that?

  9. A good first attempt, but the format probably needs a little bit of tweaking. Firstly – it is probably 10 minutes too long. Secondly – there was excessive interraction with the audience, this should stay in but perhaps a bit less than on this week’s show. Thirdly – in my opinion, the digging in the backyard in Perth seemed a bit flat.

    Apart from that, it was pretty good and I will give it a watch next week.

  10. I loved it. Laughed myself silly many times throughout the show. I felt like I was sitting in Adams lounge room being a bit of a voyeur. Very relaxed style and really entertaining. I’ll definitely be watching again next week unlike Ben Elton’s flop which is a case of once bitten, twice shy.

  11. It was classic Hillsy. I agree charming, friendly and apporachable. You felt a connection with him as if you were a part of the audience!
    Looking forward to more!

  12. Have not watched yet as I am waiting for some free time – Prob this weekend – but am definitely looking forward to it based on these comments. If Arj was more relaxed it was prob due to having been on Spicks and specks many times with Adam

  13. Really enjoyed the show. It did feel a lot like Graham Norton, but in a good way. It kind of reminded me of Rove in the early days. I loved the audience interaction and being from Perth its always nice to get a mention!

    @Maurice I agree, though it is repeated on ABC2 at 7:30pm on Saturday.

    Looking forward to next week. Seems to be a run of former Perth people with Melissa George and now Megan Gale to be on next week.

  14. I think the team made a great start. Adam seemed a little nervous a lot of the time but you can’t help but like the guy. I agree with Tony Bee that if it goes more in the direction of Graham Norton it will be even better. Nevertheless a keeper for ABC1 anyway. Please don’t go to Channel 9 Adam – ever.

  15. Great first effort and I would love to see the format move more in the Graham Norton direction. Adam has a little to learn about keeping the previous guests in the conversation, as Arj looked a little lost when he was sitting on the end of the line. But Adam will only improve with time.

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