“Funnier than filling out a census form”
Debuting on Census night, Andy Lee promises more fun with his brand of questions.
For all Australians, Tuesday night is Census night.
But for Andy Lee it is the premiere of his own stats show, The Hundred on Nine.
While Aussies are filling out reams of questions, Lee will be conducting his own polling and hoping audiences are ready for a laugh.
“I don’t know whether it’s a good idea or bad idea! Maybe people will be bored of stats but I can tell you ours is a lot funnier. That’s not a huge headline is it? “Funnier than filling out a census form!” he tells TV Tonight.
The 8 part Screentime show sees Lee as anchor, joined by celebrity guests and a 27-square metre screen of 100 Australians answering questions on a range of topics.
“There’s three comedians or performers and their job is to try and guess what Australia thinks on a range of different topics. The question might be “5% of Australians don’t know how to..” and the answer might be “Swim.” So they have to give their answers and there’s room for jokes throughout that. Then the results are revealed.
“It’s all about the stories behind the stats”
“If someone puts their hand up, we get their backstory, it’s all about the stories behind the stats.
“It’s probably the closest to radio I’ve ever felt on television. You can go to anyone and the surprises have been extraordinary. That’s my favourite thing about doing the podcast and radio… anyone who wants to weigh in on a topic can. That was always where the best laughs and surprises came from.”
The surveys are conducted by Roy Morgan, but also various brands and government data. The 100 participants are also selected to represent a cross section of the community in ages, locations, genders, sexuality, relationships, religion, heritage, households and more.
Comedian Mike Goldstein is a series regular, joined in Episode 1 by Sophie Monk & Sam Campbell with Blue Wiggle Anthony Field as guest. Across the series, filmed in Sydney, will be Tom Gleeson, Hamish Blake, Becky Lucas, Rhys Nicholson, Nikki Britton, Aaron Chen and more.
“Mike’s an American fellow who’s been out here for 14 years. He started off in Perth and moved to Melbourne. He knows Australia well but brings a different perspective,” he explains.
“For the most part, it’s 100 of us ganging up on him!
“It’s actually more inclusive”
“We’ll cover off how people feel about the Olympics or lockdowns, so there’s an opportunity to grab a topic and then immediately see how Australia feels about it.
“That can sound divisive, but the show is not meant to be that. It’s actually more inclusive.
“We asked ‘Who is anti-vaxxer?’ and there were a few in out hundred but it didn’t cause any rifts. They’re in the community and (we can) try to understand that a bit better. It’s certainly not my opinion.
“So the show recognises big topics, but also smaller ones: do you sleep in the nude, do you check the toilet before you flush? All the other important things!”
“I thought we could turn this into a studio based show”
While Lee denies the show is a new Family Feud, he had a hand in its development.
“Screentime reached out to me about a stats show. It looked like a kind of 20 to One type show, all pre recorded. But I thought we could turn this into a studio based show and it kind of grew from there. Through developing it with them this idea of The Hundred came up, where we have a huge screen, with people from all across Australia, beamed Live into the studio. We can interact with them and also poll them live to find out what they think about a range of different topics,” he explains.
So it’s a giant zoom show?
“It’s far from that. To be honest, if I got to sit in a zoom this funny I’d be getting one all the time. Generally, my zooms involve someone trying to find a background that they think is hilarious, waiting for everybody to react as soon as they jump on.
“If you had a zoom every day with 3 comedians in your lounge room, taking the piss out of it, I think you’d like it!”
The Hundred with Andy Lee premieres 8:45pm Tuesday on Nine.