Gordon St Tonight: behind the scenes

This week TV Tonight swung by the Gordon Street studios to catch an episode of Adam Hills’ chat show.

Guests included k.d. lang, Tom Ballard and British comedian Mark Watson and Melbourne band Immigrant Union.

The audience for the show fills out a lengthy questionairre during the ticketing process which enables the show to draw upon ideas to feature some of them in Hillsy segments. This week, they include moments involving David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz and in a look at ettiquette, audience guests were also required to “bring a plate.”

Sidekick Hannah Gadby told TV Tonight she had worked with Hills during the Hobart Comedy Festival.

“But we really got to know each other quite well on a flight from Melbourne to Montreal. There was delay after delay and all sorts of muck ups, held over in LA and we were absolutely delirious by the time we got to Montreal, so I think we bonded on that,” she says.

“We also did the Kilkenny Comedy Festival in Ireland and he did a tour and I was his support act.”

As for Gordon Street Tonight, Gadsby says the process has been organic.

“I was asked to be involved in the workshops last year and did stuff which they liked. So they said, ‘We’d like you to do a little bit more stuff.’ I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do and it’s only evolved as we’ve done the programme,” she says.

It’s a different skill to stand-up. I haven’t done much television before, so this is fun working with quick jibes and wit which stand-up doesn’t necessarily get to showcase. It’s exercising different comedy muscles which is challenging. There’s not just a live audience but cameras and a delayed audience at home so it’s a scary prospect.”

Gadsby’s role on the show varies from week to week, but it is all driven by her chemistry with Hills and picking the right moment to throw in an aside.

“It’s instinctual. You wait for a pause but sometimes it doesn’t work. Adam and I have a really nice rapport. He’s a very generous performer and doesn’t mind if someone else gets the laugh which in a comedian is not necessarily an attribute. And he’s always ready to laugh so that helps me out. A lot of the time I’m just trying to make him laugh, which helps the performance”.

Prior to Gordon Street Tonight, Gadsby had made limited TV appearances which would often result in double takes from strangers. Now she is more readily recognised, and it’s having an interesting effect.

“ABC audiences are lovely, they’re not intrusive,” she says.

“I have been asked for hugs which worries me. Not a lot, but about 4 or 5 times. But I say no. I’m not comfortable with a hug. It’s very disconcerting.

“I have to know someone before I want to hug them. It’s fundamentally a nice thing, but no…. back off on the hugs.”

So far the balance between Gadsby and Hills is resonating with audiences. She says their comedy relationship is summed up as ‘Nice and Not-So-Nice.’

“I’m not a mean comedian, but in comparison to Adam I’m a nasty piece of work.”

Adam Hills in Gordon Street Tonight airs 8:30pm tonight on ABC1.


  1. Thanks for this. The first guest segment last night seemed to have been cut short, or edited back. Maybe to give more time to kd lang, including 2 songs. Does this tie in with what you saw?
    Also, did kd lang perform at the *start* of the recording session and it was latter edited in to the *end* of the show? Ta!

  2. Will Gordon Street be wrapping up soon with this new wednesday night lineup perhaps?

    Spicks & Specks
    Angry Boys
    At the Movies


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