Housos film set for the big screen
Exclusive: Paul Fenech isn't waiting around for a 2nd season of Housos, he's funding his own film with more scams, AVOs, Chopper Read and Barry Crocker.
EXCLUSIVE: As previously tipped by TV Tonight, SBS comedy Housos is set for the big screen, with the prolific Paul Fenech currently shooting a film in Sydney.
With his trademark rambunctious manner the man behind Swift & Shift Couriers and Pizza wasn’t about to apologise for his comic style. The film will be jam-packed with more outrageous gags, set to offend everyone in equal measure.
“More scams, more tattoos, more silicone, more de factos, more AVOs. It’s all about Shazza Jones, the de facto of Dazza, and she wants to sprinkle her mum’s ashes on top of Uluru and the authorities get in the way. So it’s the Housos versus the authorities,” he explained.
“The fans wanted something sooner rather than later. SBS haven’t made a decision about what they were going to do, so I said ‘Stuff it! We’ll just have to give them a movie. That’s it.’
“This film is the quickest thing I’ve ever gotten organised. I’m fast, I’m like the Muhammed Ali of television. I can make something while the others are still thinking about it.”
Fenech is nothing if not energetic. He serves as writer, producer, actor and director on his projects, as well as raising the finance.
“And I do my own stunts and sometimes write my own songs as well,” he said.
“I put some of my own cash in and there are a couple of other partners. But I’ve put my money where my mouth is for the Housos fans. It sounds corny but they really got behind it.
“They’ve pumped it up and made the success what it is so I’m just going to go hard for them.”
But not everybody is a fan of his work. He’s been the subject of current affairs TV and tabloid headlines, criticising him for stereotypes, offending humour and low-grade gags. Yet he has managed to find a loyal fanbase for his knockabout comedy.
“If you’re a little hoity-toity and live in a good area and got a lot of money you’ll hate my shows. But if you’re the vast population of Australia who does it tough then you’ll love them.
“Even though we have stereotypes we get real people to play the roles. I’m not like Chris Lilley who goes out and plays an Islander. We represent our own thing and bring our own humour. A lot of people who are supposedly offended actually love it because they see detail in the comedy that’s relative to them.”
He also draws upon a parade of character actors, well-known faces and first-time actors, most of whom will reappear in the feature film. Sadly, the late Ian Turpie will be there in spirit this time round.
“Amanda Keller couldn’t do it because of contractual and scheduling (reasons). But pretty much everyone else is there with some cameos from Chopper Read, Warwick Capper, David Gleeson, Barry Crocker, Russell Gilbert and a bunch of others,” he said.
“These days people are so media savvy that you have to make the comedy really dense.
“I like satire, slapstick, black humour –it’s like a smorgasboard of humour on my shows. Whatever works I’ll throw it in. I don’t care. I don’t have one particular strand of humour that I like. I like them all, so I try and jam them all in.”
Indeed, this time he has added in a disabled fan he met when performing Housos live in Sydney, who appears with friends in scenes at an ice skating rink …..which may well raise more eyebrows.
“I put in a couple of scenes in the film where he and his mates can ‘cripple drift’ on the ice. That’s how they describe it. They call it ‘cripple drifting!’ It’s like drifting in your car, but they do it on the ice in their wheelchairs.”
But Fenech has copped all the criticism before. He knows the kind of humour his audience wants and he plans to deliver.
“What I find with a lot of our stuff is that ‘the truth is out there’ and that’s where a lot of our humour is. I just find something that I think is true and funny and I just put it on.
“The sort of things they accuse me of I reckon they would have been having a go at Shakespeare or Chaucer.
“Despite my philistine appearance I do know my literary history and the history of Comedy. I think ultimately, I’ll be Australia’s Chaucer.”
The upcoming film will be released in November by Transmission Films.