A quick word with Jeremy Corbett, who teams up with his radio mate and 7 Days cohort Paul Ego for new Friday night sitcom-meets-stand-up show The Radio.
So The Radio. Where did the idea come from?
When I was working with Kim [Adamson], and Paul was our producer, on the Kim and Corbett [breakfast] show on More FM, we made a tongue-in-cheek, how to make breakfast radio educational video, which is still used in radio schools around New Zealand. But anyway, from there Paul and I decided to make a comedy festival show from it, which was basically Paul and I on air and that's pretty much the blueprint for the TV show. So Paul comes from Heavy FM, and I'm from Lite FM, and we team up on this new radio station.
The contrast between Metallica and Shania Twain works bloody well on the show actually.
That is taken directly from the stage show, and it's not a million miles from the truth either [in terms of music taste].
So are you playing yourself, or a version of yourself?
A slight version, I hope. Because I don't think I'm quite as vacuous as the person I play on the show. I think I'm a little more self-aware, but there's not a big stretch I suppose.
But, a bit like any workplace, during our radio careers we've all taken the piss out of the generic radio announcers so it's quite easy for us to tap into that. And I remember being on air on More FM and The Simpsons had two radio announcers who did that really generic commercial radio schtick, and it was like, "Man, that's pretty accurate"'.
The show is unique in that it's part stand-up and part sitcom with a live studio audience. What was that like?
We actually wanted to show a bit more of the audience. But in a way, all of us weren't quite sure what we were doing, and we were making it up as we were going along. So Paul and I were always keen on that live element but you have to be a bit careful about how you do it. It will be interesting to see how it's received because I'm so close to the tinkering of the working parts that I can't see it as a whole show. Irrespective of all that, I really want to make more [episodes] because I feel like after making six I only just have a handle on what it could be.
Jon Toogood [from Shihad] is your guest in the first episode, so will there be guests every week?
Yep, that is essentially the format every week. We have a celebrity guest come along and sit in, and Jon was first up and he set such a great benchmark, he was really really good. And every single one of the guests exceeded our expectations.
They need to be a certain type of celebrity guest though don't they?
Well yeah, they need to be able to sing the show's theme song for starters. But most of them said it was pretty simple which was a bit disappointing since Paul and I wrote it.
And Urzila Carlson as the receptionist is at her staunch, deadbeat best.
She will steal the show. It's that South African blood, eh, she's always right, even when she's wrong.
7 Days has been a huge success, so where does The Radio sit on the local TV comedy scene?
The Radio is one of the spin-offs from 7 Days. And I think there will be several spin-offs, because 7 Days has just opened that door a little bit for comedians to talk to the powers that be in television and make new shows. Although I think 7 Days and The Radio are quite different because 7 Days has a very broad appeal, whereas I'm not quite sure what The Radio's appeal will be just yet, because it certainly doesn't have anywhere near the number of jokes that 7 Days has. So I think it's just one of those great things that's happening with comedy at the moment where people are getting the opportunity to take their projects to the next level
* The Radio, Fridays, 10pm, TV3.