Radio should be the perfect medium for comedy in this country. It's cheap, you can do pretty much anything on it, and Australia has a lot of people who are pretty good at saying funny stuff when they have to. Unfortunately, as far as the radio networks are concerned, letting someone be funny is a risk. Sure, you can cut back on that risk by only giving them a minute or two to speak between ads and tracks - but why take that risk at all when you can simply hire one of the following:
Kyle & Jackie O are so not funny it's not funny. But for some strange reason people seem to assume if you're talking a lot on a radio station that plays anything released after 1990 then you must be "comedy". So a surly man with a chip on his shoulder big enough to be Sydney's third runway and his giggling blonde apologist somehow count as "comedy" in this country, right? Supposedly Kyle's set to return to our televisions in 2010. Guess someone has a long-running franchise they want killed off.
But while a frankly staggering amount of Sydneysiders chose to wake up to Kyle & Jackie O, a similarly staggering amount of Melbournites voluntarily listen to Hughesy & Kate - and have done so for 10 years. It's hard for any comedy fan to understand why, there are little to no decent laughs to be had most of the time. Instead it's the standard commercial radio breakfast-time yammer-fest, made all the more annoying by the fact that Hughesy & Kate are a pair of dull screeching humourless bores. And yes, there were a few bright moments on the show in 2009: Ed Kavalee got to interject occasionally and often said something funny (which is presumably why he's not back in a bigger role in 2010), while actual decent comedian Mick Molloy filled in when Hughesy and Kate took time off to spend time with their newborn kids. Even amongst the flotsam and jetsam of commercial radio clichés - the dull personal anecdotes, the self-important whinging, the Hughesy Looses It segment - Molloy found some actual humour in the format, so clearly it's not impossible...unless you're Hughesy & Kate, of course.
Presumably there's some context where Sam Simmons' brand of idiotic comments, awkward pauses and sub-Gervais "shocking" material works. It sure isn't radio. If you want to do surrealism, first you have to have some idea of what reality is. And the reality is, if you think saying "ducks" over and over is hilarious, you're not funny