Whatever is in the energy drinks of Superwog‘s Theodore and Nathan Saidden should be bottled and resold, with strict warning labels.
These two young comedians arrive as a knockabout duo following in the footsteps of irreverent Australian ethnic humour. With years of YouTube clip success behind them, their on-screen chemistry is evident even when they are whacking one another across the head with shovels (do not attempt at home).
Thirty years ago our TV wogs were from Italy, Greece & Spain, but these brothers have Greek-Egyptian heritage. And like Kath & Kim one has to overlook the age similarities between the two leads, in order to believe they are father & son. To their credit, they make it work.
Superwog (Theodore Saidden) is a spirited, argumentative and under-achieving teen who loves Scarface movies, Tupac, fast cars / food / girls. Appearing to be an only child, he lives at home in a suburban 3 bedroom brick veneer with his Wog Mum (also Theodore Saidden) and Wog Dad (Nathan Saidden).
Wog Dad talks with his fists, knocking down doors (literally), blowing his fuse and berating his son for his constant failings. Wog Mum, who is torn between the two men in her life, is focussed on fashion, shopping and upgrading to business class holidays.
The fourth key character is Johnny (also Nathan Saidden), Superwog‘s loyal best mate who makes his first appearance in the second episode.
The anarchic comedy begins after short-tempered Wog Dad, in attempting to get keep Superwog in line insists “I am your father. I made you with my penis, I can destroy you with my penis!” Never to be outdone, Superwog confides of child abuse to his private school teachers, who soon place him with a perfectly conservative Australian family (Carla Bonner, Andrew Blackman).
But Superwog proves to be a bad influence on their young son (Declan Barker), when he isn’t leering at his hot new mum.
Meanwhile Wog Dad and Wog Mum are getting a grilling from community services much of which involves Wog Dad smashing up an interrogation room.
Throughout it all there are class observations, taking pot shots at a broad Australian lifestyle, from Home and Away to fairy bread and more, with the supporting cast all acting as ‘straight men’ for the Saidden’s larger-than-life performances. And large they are.
Both Saiddens crank it up to 11 in this series, with anarchic, uncompromising performance style. There are lashings of physical comedy, and the second episode detours into a comedy of errors that was breakneck bliss. At their best, some of their moments are funnier than some of the big boy comedy on ABC’s primary channel.
While comedy is subjective (and Superwog will surely appeal to young males more than others), it’s hard to ignore the creativity of this duo. Not only have they written and starred in this series, but Theodore Saidden is also director, with Princess Pictures on board as producers.
I found it distracting trying to work out why Melbourne locations were all doubling as Sydney, when neither city seemed fundamental to the story. I suspect it was a compromise by the Melbourne producers to fit with a long line of Sydney scenes on their hit YouTube channel.
Overall, this is a promising start by a ‘new’ comedy team. Stick around for the credits at the end too, the outtakes are some of the funniest things in Superwog and demonstrate how much these two are taking the piss the whole time.
Superwog airs 9:30pm Tuesdays on ABC Comedy.