Do you know something I love about the interweb? I love it when you stumble across a gem from your childhood magically returned to life.
I’m not going to do a normal newspaper post today, and if you are a fan of high culture you might want to tune out now 😉 I am talking about a genuine children’s television show though, so I suspect that your interest will be sufficiently piqued to continue reading regardless….
When I was growing up one of the shows I was watching was The Aunty Jack Show. If you watched children’s television in Australia in the 70’s or early 80’s you may well be smiling in remembrance right now. If not, I am sad that you didn’t have the (evil) influence of Aunty Jack in your life. Aunty Jack was only with us for a short time in the early 70’s but got a go in the re-runs later on. Just as well, otherwise I would have missed out altogether.
Grahame Bond played the character of Aunty Jack, gravel voiced and mustachioed and clad in a huge blue dress and workboots. She wore a single gold boxing glove, rode a motorbike, and finished each episode with something more of a threat than a song.
“Goodbye me little lovelies. And remember, you’d better tune in next week to the show, cos if you don’t, I’ll come round to your house and I’ll rip yer bloody arms off. And I will too. Don’t forget it.” (Aunty Jack Farewell Song).
Aunty Jack was never one to keep her feelings to herself, usually dealing with adversity by punching it in the face.
As you can imagine she, and her cohorts; Thin Arthur, Flange Desire, Narrator Neville and Kid Eager*, weren’t as popular with authority as they were with the children who watched her. Reviewers either loved or hated her.
When I was watching this clip, a tv special which also incorporates the arrival of colour tv on the ABC in 1975, I realized that it encapsulated most of the ideas on Australian television in the 70’s too. Ridiculous acting, double entendres and dreadful sets. Ahhh… memories….
Have a look at the bit around 1.50 in this clip; “To join this colour world you’ve gotta give ’em eyes, tits and teeth.” “Where are your tits?” “They must have dropped…” “Arrrr, there they be.” *pirate (Kid Eager dressed as Flange Desire) picks up two stuffed birds from a nearby table and places them on his shoulder* “They’re a fine pair of tits, arrrrrr….”
Yep, children’s TV. If you tried to put this on these days… well… it is safe to say that the Yellow Wiggle is never going to ask Captain Feathersword where his tits are. Networks have no sense of humour. 😉
*Kid Eager was played by Garry McDonald who went on to play the character of Norman Gunston, whose first outing was on Aunty Jack. The now-famous character of Norman Gunston was another who managed to offend many people with his satirical interview style, most noticeably egotistical stars who didn’t realize he was being funny and took offense.