Though it may be. Or not… I was taken back by last night’s episode of Wide Open Road to Bob Hudson’s “Newcastle Song”:
Tonight SBS starts its brand new comedy series Housos. One person on YouTube notes it is “a typical day in Wollongong” and others have filled in the blank according to their city.
Housos is the story of Shazza, Dazza, Franky and Kylie – best mates from "the block". Sure, they drink away their problems, they might even have frequent domestic disputes and the occasional altercation with their neighbours, but down on the block it’s all for one and one for all.
Housos follows the riotously funny, day-to-day adventures of the residents of a fictional housing commission block – Sunnyvale. They battle the cops, they scam Centrelink, they even have the odd threesome, but once down with the crew in the hood then it is "Sunnyvale for life".
To be a houso means that life is far from easy; ambulances avoid their suburbs because kids throw rocks at them, dad owes thousands to the local bikies and the de facto needs bail money . . . again. Much of a houso’s time is spent working hard to avoid actual work!
I like the idea of it, and have to say one doesn’t really have to look very far – even right under my nose here at The Bates Motel would do at times – to see what Fenech and company are getting at.
Negative stories about the new SBS comedy Housos on commercial current affair programs have been the best free publicity possible, says the show’s creator and star Paul Fenech.
Fenech, who also created and starred in Fat Pizza and Swift and Shift Couriers for the broadcaster, says stories by A Current Affair and Today Tonight earlier this year have created more interest in his latest comedy.
"It was great publicity so thank you to the stooges," he said. "But it’s a pity that a joke in Australia can now become a political football."
In fact Fenech, who plays Franky in the series based around a fictional housing commission block, says his latest provocative show represents a large, and mostly ignored, section of the Australian community.
"There are so many bogans in Australia a show had to be made about them," he says."It wasn’t just an idea, the total bogan movement of Australia demanded a show be made about them so I gave it to them. For me I like to root for the underdog no matter what. I’ve got more friends who are like characters in Housos than further up the chain. A lot of the actors are my friends and some of them are playing characters that are not far from themselves."
Fenech is concerned that a growing atmosphere of political correctness in Australia will destroy our local humour.
"We’re just becoming a crazy, over-regulated, over-controlled society and now that’s creeping into comedy and it’s sad," he says, offering this suggestion to anyone who thinks they may be offended by his show: "If you don’t like the show don’t watch it and don’t whinge about it…
Back in the dim distant past again: