ABC Friday Night Crack-Up tickles the funny bone

men4Congratulations to ABC for bringing back Live TV variety with its very enjoyable Friday Night Crack Up.

The Live 2 hour special raised more than $300,000 last night -which goes towards its weekly total of more than $962,000 for Mental Health research.

The TV special was the nearest we’ve come to a Comic Relief in a long time as cross-network stars gathered for comedy, music and public messages about mental health.

Host Eddie Perfect showed why he is one of the most diverse talents on the screen, linking segments with ease and singing up a storm.


He was ably joined by the likes of Shane Jacobsen, Ed Kavalee and Michala Banas -who freely admitted she has dealt with her own depression, at times. Talking about it openly, she said, helps breaks down the stigma.

The opening sketch was a hoot. Where else would you see  the likes of Matt Preston, Brian Mannix, Chrissie Swan, Father Bob Maguire, Cosentino, Noni Hazlehurst, Leigh Sales, Alan Fletcher enjoying a yum cha together? And can we please request Leigh Sales to repeat her under-arm sound effects on 7:30 next time a politician is avoiding the questions?



men6Comedian Luke McGregor brought us his failed appearances on Hot Seat, Family Feud and The X Factor.

Even Mike Moore came out of retirement for a good cause, broadcasting from his Asia-Pacific chat show out of Auckland, Less is Moore.



TV themes with ‘new’ lyrics were sung by Virginia Gay, Lucy Durack and Ben Mingay, under the baton of Mr. John Foreman. There were also songs from Tim Minchin, Ricki-Lee, The Sunnyboys, Tripod and Missy Higgins plus Home and Away‘s Bonnie Sveen, Alec Snow, Nicholas Westaway.

Also appearing were Peter Helliar, Rob Mills, Emma Alberici, Hamish & Andy, Shaun Micallef, Francis Greenaway, Madden Bros, Clarke and Dawe, Cal Wilson and more.


Even ABC boss Mark Scott was fleetingly spotted with Peppa Pig.

As a Live TV event, it was miles in front of ABC’s New Year’s Eve broadcast this year (sorry, it had to be said).

One minor beef… because the show was coded separately into 2 x 1hr due to classification issues, my IQ only recorded the first hour. I had to watch part 2 on iview (it will be repeated tonight on ABC2 if the same thing happened to you).

One last request: how do we get the Friday Night Crack-Up every Friday?

You can donate here.


  1. Really enjoyed this.
    A really lovely quirky, jubilant spirit running through the whole show.
    Great the see The Sunnyboys and Jeremy in such fine form and the hearfelt applause afterwards.

  2. There was some very funny stuff. I really liked the TV themes with ‘new’ lyrics sung by Virginia Gay, Lucy Durack and Ben Mingay. They should get them to do that on the Logies next year with just the Aussie ones and a few more.

  3. Watched it last night and loved it. Obviously the show was a one off for a good cause, but I too would love to have regular live variety shows back on TV. We used to do them so well.
    Rutzie the idea of adding lyrics to TV show themes goes back even further than the Emmy’s. Shaun Micallef did it on the Micallef Program years ago with Francis Greenslade singing the 730 Report theme

  4. They obviously took the TV themes with new lyrics idea from the Emmy’s where Weird Al Yankovic did the exact same thing. Ben Mingay singing to I think the ‘Four Corners’ theme was awesome.

  5. I was in the audience… It was super funny and insightful. I also recorded it but I got it all on my iq.
    I wld love to see it every Friday.. I miss those kind of shows like rove n good news week.

  6. I don’t know about every Friday, however possibly once a month as having a focus on Mental Health made it what it was. Take away that focus on a particular cause and it could wear thin if an every week show.

    Though it did make me think what would have Talkin’ Bout Your Generation been like if it were put to air live. So perhaps this would work weekly if it was a hybrid of that, Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush, Almost Anything Goes/It’s A Knockout and The Big Gig (with maybe a bit of RocKwiz thrown in).

  7. We switched over in the beginning thinking we’d give it a little look for half an hour or so, but ended up watching the whole thing.

    I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety many years ago, and it’s something I still wake up with everyday.
    I can tell you that only a couple of people in my life actually know about it because I hide it out of embarrassment.
    People still believe it’s just used as an excuse or a crutch… or that you should just be able to “snap out of it”.
    Imagine breaking your leg and having people tell you to just get on with it and walk on it already. I can assure you that mental issues are just as real as a broken leg and just as impossible to ignore.

    This show managed to be a whole lot of fun while talking about something not-so-fun that no one likes to talk about.
    Eddie Perfect was a great choice as host.

  8. I’ve recorded both hours as separate recoroding a, now I know why it was split like that. I’d only seen the first 15mins so far but will catch up over the weekend.
    I also enjoyed Agony of the Mind which I watched last night.
    Well done to ABC for their efforts this week and highlighting awareness of mental illness and raising funds.

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