For many, Tom Gleeson is the man whose comedy is mocking / hijacking / killing the Logie Awards.
But as the Gold nominee tells TV Tonight, he has a bigger claim to the prize than many are acknowledging.
“You say I’m a disruptor but I also have a legitimate claim to the prize because out of all the Gold nominees I’m pretty sure Hard Quiz rates the most,” he observes.
“So I’m in this weird situation where I’ve got to get the Gold Logie to restore the prestige of the Logies and get them to actually go to someone who is on air and popular! And the only way I can do that is to get people to vote.
“So I’m trying to encourage fans of the show to vote and make sure the show is confirmed as a popular show. It’s very confusing.”
To be accurate, Hard Quiz tends to rate 650,000-700,000 which beats Sunrise, Gardening Australia, The Project, The Living Room, and frequently Doctor Doctor, which is around 600,000 – 650,000 in 5 city metro.
Gleeson also has a second show in The Weekly (as does Amanda Keller).
None of this was enough to ensure glory, so Gleeson fooled everybody when he announced the axing of Hard Quiz. But he later backtracked, holding the show’s future to ransom.
“ABC didn’t want me to axe my own show, but I reminded them I can if I want to. I host the show and I’m one of the producers. So they forgot,” he said.
“They said ‘We don’t really think it’s a good idea. I said ‘I know you don’t think it’s a good idea but I can just do it, if I want to.’
“I’ll bring it back if I win the Gold, but that’s the thing. ABC viewers are very complacent so I have to force them into voting.”
What if he doesn’t win? Gleeson may borrow an idea from Hannah Gadsby who said in Nanette she was quitting comedy.
“I’ll go on Jimmy Fallon and say that I’ve made a mistake,” he quips.
“But it means I will never be able to quit anything again because I’ll be the boy who cried wolf.
“I’ll have to work for the ABC until I die, purely because I will never be able to announce that I’m leaving.”
There are just three more days for social media begging and at this late stage all bets appear to be off. But Gleeson is unapologetic.
“People keep complaining about the campaigning, but I just figure you’re allowed to convince people to vote for you. Campaigning is just another form of being entertaining. People complain about social media, but it’s still media. So being entertaining in the media is fine with me,” he continues.
“I enjoy it. But people forget, even if you’re acting in a drama, every time you’re on screen you’re campaigning for people to watch your show via your performance.
“Every time you turn up to work, to some degree, you’re campaigning.
“If I win the Gold Logie then next year I will write Rodger Corser’s speeches for him. And then he will shine.
“No matter what happens it will be fun.”
1. How important is winning a Logie?
TG: It’s very important, because I want to highlight all that’s great about the Australian television industry. It’s important for all Australians to see just how good we are at TV.
2. What was the highlight of your TV year?
TG: Going on the Today show and spending the whole interview asking where Karl Stefanovic has gone. That was probably the best thing I’ve done this year. I thought ‘There are 2 words they don’t want me to say: Where’s Karl?’
3. Aside from yourself, who is your tip to win and why?
TG: Amanda Keller because of her body of work. She’s been so good for so long. I can’t recommend people vote for her because she hosts a lifestyle program and a tired format called Dancing with the Stars which didn’t need to come back. If she does win it will be for all of her career not what she’s been doing lately, which I cannot approve of.
4. If you win, where will you put your Gold Logie?
TG: At the moment I’m thinking I’m going to use it as a towbar on my Monaro.
5. Why should viewers vote for you?
TG: If you don’t vote for me I’m going to axe Hard Quiz permanently. So if you like the show you have to vote. (Ed: Hard!)
Voting in the 2019 Logie Awards is open until 7:30pm AEST Sunday June 30.