Being an undecided voter I thought I'd best school up before heading to the polling booth later today.
Yes, yes, I know, I should have cast my vote by now. I'd like to say the reason I haven't is because I've been vigorously and enthusiastically poring over the myriad policies put forward by our competing parties. But that would be a lie.
As a professional writer accustomed to dealing with constant and never-ending deadline pressure I've naturally put this off to the last possible minute. But cometh the hour, cometh the man and now this man cometh to vote. Right after I decide who to vote for.
Look, it might be an easy decision for you party drones and kool-aid drinking sheeples. But me? I'm a free thinker, man. A maverick, an ideas man, a political lone wolf baying at the full moon, a... well, you get the idea.
A vote is a big responsibility. There's so much on the line. Especially this year. 2020 has been filled with more waste than a festival port-a-loo, so it's crucially important to get it right. Ironically the people least qualified to make this decision are tasked with making it. And yes, friends, that's you and I.
Do you know where each party stands on the issues beyond their snappy sound bites? Have you done your research? Well, I have. Yesterday I clicked through the Herald's interactive policy quiz and last night I watched The Late Night Big Breakfast Election Special on TVNZ OnDemand.
This may sound like madness but I'd tried to watch the leaders' debate that John Campbell hosted but found it fairly unpleasant viewing so turned it off. Thinking things might be more chill when Paddy Gower took a hosting crack I tuned in but quickly tuned back out again when it wasn't.
These weren't for me. Instead I wanted to see how the two major political leaders handled real pressure. Comedy.
The Late Night Big Breakfast hosts, Jason Hoyte and Leigh Hart, are masters of deadpan chaos and calamity. You're always wondering what they'll say or do next. The answer very well could be a mock infomercial for an "explosive diarrhoea" cure called Faecal Storm 5000. Or a gardener's testicles drooping out of his Stubbies. Or maybe something completely preposterous like Simon Bridges being introduced as "the Leader of the Opposition".
True, not every gag is a slam dunk but with the two hosts constantly shooting at the hoop you don't have time to not laugh at one joke before they lob another. Their perfectly honed schtick is one of confident incompetence and dry bamboozlement as the show, which is shot in an operating furniture store, threatens to fall apart around them.
But what I really enjoyed was their terrific wordplay. When Jacinda Ardern took up position on the couch as shoppers breezed around behind her, Hoyte posed his first question.
"Many people are calling this the Covid election but it's so much more than that. Is it?"
Then he quickly added, "Or isn't it?" before saying, "Or is it so much more than that?"
"Is it?" Hart interrupted, as Ardern tried to answer.
"It's more than that," Ardern managed to get out before another feedback loop began. But she was sadly mistaken if she thought she was out of the woods.
Referencing polls that reckoned Labour could govern alone Hoyte asked, "If you have the chance why not? If not, why not? If so, why so?"
She began a politician's answer but was interrupted again by Hart leaping up to go off and interview former All Black Kieran Read.
"Any thoughts on what we've been discussing politically?" he asked.
"Not really, no," Read replied.
Later, Judith Collins was up. She was asked if she thought she was in a better position to deal with a looming financial crisis.
"Amazingly, yes," she replied. Blow me down, I agreed with her. It was indeed amazing that she would think that.
She also said she liked music, specifically the blues, and that's good because I predict that's what she'll be singing tomorrow night.
But Collins was a good sport. As were Bridges and Ardern. It's great that we have politicians that cannot only take a joke but also get in on one. And it's even better that we have a show as wild and funny as this one that can pull it off so expertly. I now feel informed, clued up, decided.
Surrounded by bright signs for "Super deals" and "Daylight Savings specials" they asked people to vote as the worst singer I've ever heard butchered Love Me Tender to close the show. But before he did Hart mused, "The ratings for this show aren't great, but the sales numbers are sensational."
I'm glad they're making an honest living but those numbers really need to be swapped around.