Hamish and Andy’s Gap Year

From their Brooklyn warehouse, Hamish Blake and Andy Lee delivered a traditional Tonight show with an undergrad twist, plus 'traxidos', catfish, bobbleheads, and even Neil-Patrick-Harrison-Ford.

It’s not a holiday. It’s a Gap Year. It’s not a holiday.

So said Hamish Blake and Andy Lee in their own hokey theme song on their new Channel Nine variety show.

Perfect harmonies? Hardly. But that’s just the relaxed approach that has made these boys so successful. To blokes they are perfect drinking buddies. To women they are the guys to take home to mum.

In the first episode of their anticipated new series in New York City the boys greeted us from a warehouse setting in Brooklyn. They had all the trappings of a traditional Tonight show: host desk (sorta), a band (sorta), skyline (sorta), and studio audience, but with an undergrad twist fitting with their style.

There was a giant Statue of Liberty, an open staircase, and a ‘Busker-teers’ band with two saxophone players and a drummer. The audience, we have been told, is made up of many expats -it was hard to see them.

Hamish & Andy were dressed in tuxedo track suits -“the traxido’- and sneakers. Their opening repartee was casual, and with the appearance of veering off script (hmm, or was it?).

Amid their larrikin humour there were Hamish & Andy bobbleheads, an R2ToDo robot and Hamish’s’ Thursday 8:30′ tattoo on his arm. “Timeslots are for life!” he boasted. They are if you rate, which was kinda the point.

The audio in the plastics factory-turned-studio was poor and echoed around the room.

Video packages throughout the show included a “noodling” expedition for catfish in Oklahoma which resulted in a permit warning from the local sherriff, a visit to building resident Oscar (who will presumably become a regular) and a candid camera-style sequence of the boys falling asleep in front of surprised New Yorkers. The latter package fell flat.

There were two interview guests, Taylor Swift, who sang an impromptu “Chaperone Dad” song and a quick-witted Neil Patrick “Thanks for having me dead last on your show” Harris. He was a good sport at the odd notion of becoming Neil Patrick Harrison Ford and parodying Raiders of the Lost Ark. The boys won’t win any prizes for their interview skills, but it’s more about the chemistry they can demonstrate with their guests and on that front they get a tick.

Just as Flight of the Conchords did with New Zealanders, the show works best when it gives us an Australian perspective of America, where everything is big, bizarre and driven by celebrity. The country is often accused of lacking irony and these boys are well-placed to bring some to the table.

For a first effort the show met the brief, but at the moment it feels like a late night show squeezed into a primetime slot. Is it possible to succeed at 8:30 with a 10:30 tone? We’ll know soon enough. I’m prepared to watch and find out.

Hamish and Andy’s Gap Year airs 8:30pm Thursdays on Nine.

64 Responses

  1. stop bagging on hamish and andy! they are amazing nothing was boring about the show me and my family all sat down to watch it and it did not dissapiont us!!…ill admit i agree with the sound problems….i know that most of these people are proably adults…and im…younger,but that dosent matter anyway piont is,, why cant people see the genius that hamish and andy are?? they are the most brilliant kind of comedy for annnyone to enjoy and you know what?? if you are one of these people that were dissapionted last time they had their own show ..and you dont like their radio show… and you didnt like them on rove…why would you watch it anyways.. thats i what i dont understand.
    so i hope different …i hope channel 9 sees sense and notes that they are amazing as i think they are:)

  2. This ”Gap Year” show had such great advertising for the upcoming show.
    It was setting the scene for a laugh-out-loud show.
    Unfortunately their advertisements prior to the actual show were Far better than the show itself.
    I give it a minimum a month before Hamish and Andy receive the Axe… yet again.

    Such a pitty.

    Good Luck for a better future en-devour.

  3. Wow -lighten up Australia. Get a sense of humour. If you don’t want to be force fed american and UK sit coms 24/7 stop tearing down all our home-grown comedy before it has a chance. H and A are talented and I’d give their first show a 7/10 with a big thumbs up for potential.

  4. That’s a very kind story for them David probably the best review they got.To me this was never going to work these guys have had there very own show before and was a huge failure.And posted up at the time that this will happen.I’m always right lol.What they did on Rove was perfect for them,get them behind a desk,and you see just how ordinary they are.Will they last 10 weeks probably not.What were the ratings i have no idea i will go and check it out,but we all know they will continue to drop from here

  5. I was so excited for their first show and promised my husband and children a really good funny show, so we all were watching. All I can say is that after 20 minutes of really trying hard to like it, I had to give in and change the channel to watch anything but this. It sounded very rehearsed and was painful to watch them trying so hard – they need a drastic change to make it work

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