Logies jokes Shaun Micallef had to ditch
IT'S been more than 15 years since Shaun Micallef hosted the Logies and the comedian still remembers the two jokes he was "encouraged" to drop from his monologue.
Micallef was the MC for TV's night of nights back in 2001 and at the time was (and still is) considered one of the most talented writers and performers in the industry.
But not every joke he wrote for his Logies hosting role got over the line.
"We had two gags that were suggested to us we not do them," he told news.com.au ahead of this year's Logies which will be held on July 1.
The first joke was going to feature Micallef stepping into an elevator at Crown Casino [where the Logies where held that year] and running into anti-gambling campaigner, Tim Costello.
"That was the joke, that I said to him, 'Hi, how did you go?'" Micallef recalled.
"I think he was up for it but given Channel 9's relationship with Crown Casino, it was a little awkward, so I was gently persuaded to perhaps not pursue that one."
The second joke was one where Micallef was going to recreate a famous scene from 1987 gangster movie, The Untouchables, which starred Robert DeNiro as Al Capone.
"I don't know what I was thinking, this was a really stupid idea," Micallef told news.com.au.
"I was going to wander around this table of TV executives with a baseball bat like DeNiro in the The Untouchables ... and then smash the s**t out of a watermelon with the baseball bat, just some mannequin's body with a watermelon head with a face drawn on it.
"That's what I was going to do right up until the last rehearsal on the Sunday ... and then the executive producer said, 'I reckon we could do without that, we probably need to cut a bit of time.'"
Looking back on it, Micallef's glad the joke never made it to air.
"They really saved me from myself because firstly I think that would have been atrocious. I don't think it would have been funny, it just would have been weird and strange. And it might well have been the end of my career."
Even though hosting the Logies is considered the poisoned chalice of the Australia TV industry, Micallef received positive reviews for his performance back in 2001.
"I was actually lined up to do it the next year," Micallef revealed.
"I figured doing one only makes you kind of look like it might not have worked. So I was actually lined up to do it the next year and then Channel 9, god bless them, just changed their mind and said, 'Actually, we don't need you to do it.' I was doing it for two weeks notionally and then suddenly they got someone else, so there you go." (Wendy Harmer hosted the Logies in 2002.)
So would Micallef consider making a comeback as host if asked?
"I reckon I got away with it once, I don't think I'd do it again," he said.
"It'd be a bit weird coming back and doing it now. Also, it feels like a thankless gig."
This year's Logies will be held on the Gold Coast and Micallef is fairly certain he won't have to attend.
"To be honest I haven't watched it for a long time and I don't go very often," he said.
"I have been to a few before and I kind of know how they work and I much prefer sitting at home and not watching it on television."
Shaun Micallef currently stars in Mad As Hell on the ABC and will soon be soon on Channel 9 hosting a rebooted version of Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation.