Tom Gleeson: The Disruptor

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.


  1. The Logies have been irrelevant for years. I’m not sure how many copies TV Week sell, but I would suggest that it is probably less than the amount of people who visit this site daily for their dose of television news and information. I agree that many of the awards handed out in the course of industry back-patting should be peer voted. How such brilliant performances like those by Pamela Rabe, Kat Stewart, Damon Herriman and Ryan Corr, Jackie Weaver etc get second rate recognition compared to popularist junk like Alf Stewart and The Project shows exactly how The Logies are just like the New Idea of television culture

  2. The Logies survived Norman Gunston blowing up the awards by lobbying for Gold and winning in 1976. They’ll survive Tom Gleeson’s copy cat attempt to disrupt them. If they want the awards to be taken seriously, they need to make the majority of awards peer voted with just a few popular awards to keep the viewers happy and engaged. It’s the only way to restore credibility.

  3. LOL, I can’t believe how seriously some people are taking this. I’ll go one further – I think Tom should host the Logies. Now that’d be a fun watch. I’d be stunned if that ever happened though. They’d be too afraid of what he might say. Australia lacks the courage of the US where upstarts like Gervais have been allowed to host award shows while at the same time take the Mickey out of the whole spectacle. Dave Hughes wasn’t bad though.

  4. TV Week has a big problem.

    If Gleeson wins Gold, then whatever integrity the Gold logie has, is at stake.

    And if Gleeson has the most votes (which means he will have to get gold), they will have to go into overdrive to reduce damage control and persuade people that the system cannot be rigged.

    It’s one thing to buy heaps of TV Weeks to fill out coupons as in the olden days. At least no one knew which participant/ agent were trying to increase their winning odds.

    It’s a completely different thing when Gleeson not only does it so openly, but also brags about it.

    Ironically from the tenor of Gleeson in your interview, he is trying to backpedal with Trumpian style excuses,

    “Campaigning is just another form of being entertaining”

    If Gleeson loses on Sunday, after a few days the industry will forget (at least publicly) and treat him as naughty but lovable.


    • How can it be rigged if he is openly campaigning? That’s not rigging an election result that’s just asking people to vote for you. Rigging implies there is some secret manipulation of results happening, which there is not.

  5. I’ve always liked Tom, but he has become arrogant with this Logie business and sounds of desperation ring loud. ( Reminds me of Peter Helliar going on and on after Waleed’s Gold win.) However and why ever Grant won, Grant is a hard working entertainer and good luck to him. Not all attributed to Tom. So yes, I agree, be gracious Mr Gleeson.

  6. I have found him to be insufferable since he burst onto the scene in skitHOUSE (at least that’s when he had first come to my attention) and he has done nothing to change that perception over the ensuing 15 or so years, and this piece has only served to verify his unendearing conceit.

    What a stark contrast to the graceful humility of Eve Morey, whose surprise nominations have been received with poise and dignity, without a trace of pretension; a far cry from the infantile
    bottle-slamming effrontery of Gleeson. I would describe him in even less flattering terms, but I shall only concede at the risk of having my comment declined. I wish all of the other nominees the absolute best of fortune with their careers.

    I hope the higher-ups at the ABC and the viewing public make an example of Gleeson for his insolence. He is hardly the hot property that he perceives himself to be.

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