Lawrence Mooney hoping for late night comeback
While he's waiting for execs to green light a late night show, Lawrence Mooney dishes out the punchlines on Behave Yourself.
If Lawrence Mooney has his way he’ll be winging onto our screens with a late night show on Seven, 7TWO, 7mate or even 7flix.
The former Dirty Laundry Live host got his big break on TV with Seven in 1998 on Denise Drysdale’s midday show, Denise. But the network is still showing the love. Late last year he recorded a pilot he hopes will still get the thumbs up from execs.
“I have a long history at Seven,” he recalls. “I was a sidekick to Australia’s most famous sidekick!
“I think there is space on Australian television for a late night show. There have been a few people mentioned in connection to a few different shows on all of the networks, so we will see how it all pans out.
“But I’m feeling the love, definitely. I’ve been welcomed back to the network.
“I’ve worked with (Seven Head of Production) Brad Lyons quite a lot. I think he likes the cut of my jib.”
“At the end of season 2 the ABC2 budget was cut”
Dirty Laundry Live ran for 3 seasons at ABC, ending in 2015 despite having established a cult audience.
“The reason was lack of funds. At the end of Season 2 the ABC2 budget was cut. The only thing they were going to have was repeats of what they had already produced and imports. So they weren’t going to produce anything,” he explains.
“It was because the federal government put in place $254m worth of cuts over 5 years and actively wanted to try and kill the ABC.
“One of the great things about DLL is that we were including people from the comedy world who weren’t known to the audience. The last 2 Barry Award winners from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Zoe Coombs-Marr & Sam Simmons were regulars on our show, Ronny Chieng in the first season, Luke McGregor.”
In 2016 his Moonman sitcom was part of ABC’s Comedy Showroom initiative. While it wasn’t picked up for a full series, Mooney remains a big fan of the Comedy Showroom concept.
“I thought it was a great idea and I would have liked to have seen it go again. Six different and quite diverse acts given a chance to make a Pilot, and one goes through to being commissioned. I think it’s a terrific idea. Moonman is now the property of the team who produced it. We might still shop it around and hopefully somebody might pick it up.”
Meanwhile he is back on Seven screens as the only regular panelist on Behave Yourself, a panel show hosted by Darren McMullen. Produced by Eureka Productions, the original format sees celebrities tested on the findings from the best-selling novel ‘Irrational Behaviour’ by New York based Dan Ariely.
“It’s based on human behaviour and behavioural science”
“It’s based on human behaviour and behavioural science, what motivates us to do particular things? So it’s anything from the mating game to why we are attracted to particular people. There are games that have include pheromones, there are advertising-based tricks, a lot of questions and answers,” Mooney continues.
Mooney is paired with celebs including Gina Liano, Sam Frost, Emily Taheny & Kerri-Anne Kennerley. But while there are quizzes and challenges, don’t mention the idea of parlour games.
“Parlour games is a bad expression. They’re games. Parlour games makes it sound like you’re doing tiddlywinks in the 19th Century. Who says parlour anymore?” he asks.
“It’s anything from seeing how your heart rises when someone is firing eggs out of an air-compressed cannon to rewards and what motivates us.
“It’s a lot of fun and carry-on.”
Behave Yourself premieres tonight at 9pm on Seven and continues 7:30pm Tuesdays.