Lately I've been watching a tonne of Moon TV, Leigh Hart's brilliant, now dormant comedy series, and trying to figure out why it isn't celebrated as a New Zealand icon on the same level as, say, Braindead or Sir Edmund Hillary.
For those crawling towards their graves unaware of this wonderful creation, Moon TV is a fictional TV channel, with short sections each pretending to be a different show.
Each one features some combination of Hart, Jason Hoyte and Matai Johnson, with a larger crew of less prominent characters. They create a schedule of nightly programming which loosely aligns with what we saw on our screens through the mid-'00s, when it was created.
There's Speedo Cops, a deliriously incompetent Police 10:7 - except in swimwear. Naan Doctors is Shortland Street set in a functioning Indian restaurant. The Hamsterman from Amsterdam takes a stupid rhyming pun and creates moments viciously funny and somehow achingly sad.
There is also Late Night Big Breakfast, a brilliantly crude and messy Good Morning, only set in a Dominion Rd furniture store during opening hours. It's a talkshow of blazing idiocy, and for some unfathomable reason John Key, then leader of the Opposition, appears in several episodes from season five, watching amiably as Hart and co blunder through their often profoundly offensive topics.
It was expanded to become a full half-hour last year on TVNZ, a kinetic, chaotic comedy which was the best local production in a good while. TVNZ, naturally, cancelled it immediately. Fans mourned and seethed but TVNZ was unmoved. Moving, to be fair, is not a strength of the state broadcaster - but that's probably preferable to the self-immolation happening at the other network.
Now, though, Late Night Big Breakfast's coffin lid creaks open on WatchMe.co.nz, a new digital platform set up by Matt Heath and Jeremy Wells - who appeared on the TVNZ-era LNBB - and owned by NZME, the publishers of the Herald ...