Tom Gleeson Logie win: “One of the greatest gags that’s ever been created”

When Tom Gleeson won the 2019 Gold Logie his speech divided the room, but Virginia Trioli calls it a homage to Norman Gunston.

As TV pranks go, Tom Gleeson’s 2019 Logie win will go down as one of the most controversial of them all.

His impromptu speech polarised the industry room, and his Hard Quiz campaign to win was seen by many as mocking the annual award.

Virginia Trioli, who talks seriously to the funnyman about his craft for her series Creative Types, is a fan.

“I think he’s the author of one of the greatest gags that’s ever been created here in this country, and that’s his Gold Logie campaign. It’s a homage to his great inspiration, the Great Aussie Bleeder, Mr. Norman Gunston.”

Gunston was not only the last ABC Gold Logie win, over 40 years earlier, but he remains the only ‘character’ to win the top award.

“For me it’s up there with the great Norman Gunston moments. I love celebrating that and actually digging into the creation of that particular moment in Australian television and comedic history. It’s a landmark.”

When Gleeson won and referred to the Logie as a joke (“I’m a comedian. I love jokes” he added), and suggested TV was a dying industry he drew sharp criticism from the likes of Tracy Grimshaw and Amanda Keller. In the room the reaction turned from awkward laughs to gasps.

“We replay that famous speech of his and I said to him, ‘I can see there’s a look on your face that says ‘I think I have just screwed my career.’ And he said, ‘I was absolutely thinking that! I might have a Gold Logie, but it might just be my absolute last hurrah!'” Trioli explains.

Creative Types will also delve into Gleeson’s style and early failures, which leaves Trioli in little doubt of his work ethic.

“He’s simply one of the most intelligent people you’ll ever meet. It tells a story of Australian comedy, which is a really phenomenal thing. We punch above our weight when it comes to stand-up comedians and the comedic shows that we produce and export, and the names that are known here and around the world. It tells us story of the evolution of Australian comedy right through his life. He began at university and he’d never had any other job, but being a comedian. That was it,” she explains.

“Tom Gleeson works at a joke. We’ve got really early footage of him giving it a go on Recovery and failing, and then another version on another TV show, and then another until he nails it. It’s a great sort of exemplar of what Australian comedians do, where they just work and work those stages.”

The episode screening next week also promises to see Gleeson unmasked, not just giving punchline answers to questions but allowing Trioli into his performance mindset.

“I’m pretty well known in Arts circles in Australia now. I’ve been at this for a really long time. Everyone that I contacted personally, I’ve either interviewed before, or they know of me. So they trusted me. So when we sat down to talk, there was a great amount of trust in the room and I could ask them what I wanted to ask them and I got absolutely straight answers.”

Creative Types with Viriginia Trioli: Tom Gleeson 9pm Tuesday on ABC.

7 Responses

  1. I want the Gold Logie renamed to Most Popular Talent on Australian Television. It might make viewers and voters think more about what talent is, rather than personality. I don’t think people should be rewarded at awards shows for personality. It should be about talent, which does encompass personality…and more. Tom Gleeson is talented but I’ve lost interest and the the ‘act’ doesn’t appeal to me anymore. The Logies win was probably his peak and it’s all been downhill from there but I hope the character can take on a new challenge or step outside the box to reawaken interest.

  2. The good old days when we were able to vote for the nominees. Now, they are chosen for us. And then commercial networks go “hard” for us to vote for the chosen noms to win.

    This Creative Types does look quite interesting, so i’ll be giving it a go.

  3. Virginia Trioli has won, amongst other things, 2 Walkley Awards.

    And she would have thought it a great “gag” if someone had sabotaged the voting and won it for themselves instead?

      1. Plus let’s not forget that the year before Gleeson campaigned for *Grant Denyer after Family Feud was axed and people didn’t really believe it was due to what he did to point out how the Logies where tainted by Social Media. So said up front he was going to the same for himself that year he won, which also meant people had an equal chance to stop it happening, however not many believed it could be manipulated (for want of a better word), like that.

        *As Gleeson said about that: https://tvtonight.com.au/2018/07/tom-gleeson-you-dont-blame-me-you-thank-me.html

        “You don’t blame me, you thank me. If Denyer wins the Gold you say ‘Thanks Tom for shining a light on a talent that wasn’t being appreciated enough.’”

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