ABC comedy rises for the early, early, early show

Chatting with Kate McLennan (pictured above, right) & Kate McCartney (pictured, left) it can be hard to keep up.

The two writer / performers are so evenly matched that they practically finish each others’ sentences, which means as interviewer all you can really do is fire off the questions and sit back, hoping your best for a follow-up.

Their new ABC series Get Krack!n is a successor to their hit web series The Katering Show (iview’s biggest ever series). The show is a parody of a Live morning TV show even though it takes place at 3am overnight. Due to screen into the USA as well as ABC, the concept raises an interesting quandary.

Kate McCartney: It’s an early early morning show in the same way that you have a late late show.

Kate McLennan: So it’s a late late late show.

Kate McCartney: Or is it any early early early show?

Kate McLennan: We went to America last year and pitched it, but we had to figure out how to make the Americans feel like they were involved. So it’s shot at 3am Australian time in order to hit America mid-morning, the day before. It’s a very long-winded conceit.

Kate McCartney: Which takes it into a different territory and texture. Because it’s nighttime you get to play around with what happens.

Both felt like two seasons of The Katering Show had exhausted food comedy but were keen to create a new vehicle that allowed comment on what was happening in the world. The series was largely written during the US Election campaign & Trump win (they swear the anxiety is evident in the script).

Kate McLennan: At the time we hadn’t even really watched morning television, so it has turned into this weird hybrid. It’s not Sunrise but it has that mid-morning American talk-show vibe about it. It’s kind of written in a global-way so there are not a lot of local references in it. We’ve written it to be accessible to Australians and the US.

Kate McCartney: It nods to a few different continents and countries and their formats, in terms of light entertainment and daytime.

Kate McLennan: There are lots of different segments that allow us to tackle fashion, health, medical, beauty… We almost worked backwards to figure out what we wanted to tackle and devise what kind of segment it would slot into.

The show was due to screen in the US on streaming comedy platform Seeso, but given recent news of closure, is now looking for a new US home. Both Kates cite a good experience with Seeso management, with few editorial requests made of them.

Kate McCartney: Someone once handed me something and I said ‘Ta.’ They said ‘We’re really sorry to mention this but we just don’t know what ‘Ta’ is. Can you say ‘Thanks?’

Kate McLennan: They sort of trusted us implicitly, which is really nice.

There are occasional US correspondents, and various guests played by the likes of Anne Edmonds, Adam Briggs, Emily Taheny, Nazeem Hussain, Rove McManus, Greg Larsen, Trevor Ashley, Aunty Donna, Kat Stewart and Sam Neill.

Kate McLennan: There are very strange advertorials.

Kate McCartney: That adds to our desperation, and the people who are watching are in that weird nether-world of themselves.

Kate McLennan: All the guests are a bit off. We don’t ever reference a producer but I feel like they scramble to get people. We just drag people in and get them to purport to be an expert.

But a word of warning from the girls also behind the comedy pilot Bleak. Their comedy is fast and furious and may offend. And that’s just how they like it.

Kate McLennan: We still don’t know when we’re crossing the line.

Kate McCartney: We need to work with people who understand it and will tell us where we’ve gone wrong.

Get Krack!n airs 9:30pm Wednesdays on ABC.


  1. Excruciating, nauseating, woeful fare. These two characters (who apparently wrote the script) have been lauded by our local critics/reviewers in their usual gushing style. One even compared them ” with the great comedic characters of the past”. I sometimes feel as if i want to get on the first flight to Mars!

  2. Secret Squïrrel

    Again, you’re presumably interviewing the creators but occasionally it’s their characters who seem to be speaking (I know that’s part of their routine). I still don’t know which bits about them pandering to US audiences is because of their deal with Seeso and which is simply a conceit of their show within a show.

    Hopefully watching their show will be a little less confusing.

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