Comedian and writer has reflected on the failed comedy show that was Live from Planet Earth in an interview for Stellar magazine.
Nine infamously axed the Live sketch show after just three episodes after it was panned and drew low ratings.
“It was a deeply, deeply, deeply dispiriting experience,” he says. “I was outraged by what happened. Channel 9 did something extraordinary, backing a return to Australian local content. I am an Australian, I was an Australian citizen when they did it – I wasn’t some f***ing Pom who couldn’t get work elsewhere, believe me.
“But there was a feeding frenzy; it was ridiculous and wrong. If The Young Ones had been judged after two weeks, it would have been dead on its arse. It had the worst reviews. Blackadder the same; its first year was not considered very good and it nearly got cancelled.
“My advice to an Australian broadcaster is if you’re not prepared to let it go for a series, then don’t start and break everybody’s hearts.”
Live from Planet Earth featured Genevieve Morris, Paul McCarthy, Kate McClennan, Veronica Milsom, Shareena Clanton, and guests including Ruby Rose, Tim Minchin, Arj Barker, Brynne Edelsten and more.
Comedy is the most subjective of all the genres and Live from Planet Earth was bold but arguably in need of more development time. The industry often refers to the show as the first to be axed by Twitter. It was merciless at the time.
In 2011 Elton gave his only media interview on the backlash to TV Tonight.
“I think in terms of the ‘Twitterology’ of TV I really do hope that the mainstream media and indeed the more dignified new media get over analysing Twitter. There’s been Twitter forever and it was called ‘the pub.’ If you walked into a pub, you’ll always here someone saying ‘I thought that was shit,’” he said.
“In the long run most people don’t feel the need to Twitter. Frankly someone who half-way through the first section feels the need to tell everyone what they think is not really the opinion I think should be reported. It’s almost like reporting the worst opinion.
“We’re getting to a point where the loudest, bolshiest, most-trainspottering voices are the actually becoming the ones who are being heard. It’s like asking at the stage door what a show was like. The people at the Stage Door are actually, with the greatest respect, not the public. The public are the 2000 people who watch it, chat to their mates and go home.”
Language. Adult themes.