Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tune That Dial To 23FM

One of the most talented and creative comedy ensembles to emerge out of Australia in the 1980s and 1990s were the D-Generation. They were a group of Melbourne University graduates, who after honing their craft in stage productions were offered their own sketch comedy series on the ABC in 1986. Their cutting edge and oft irreverent humour (not unlike Monty Python) was rewarded with a second ABC series, followed by a number of TV specials on the Seven Television Network during 1988 and 1989. At the core of the group initially were Rob Sitch, Santo Cilauro, Marg Downey, Magda Szubanski, Michael Veitch and John Harrison, and the late 80s saw the addition of Tom Gleisner, Jane Kennedy, Tony Martin, Mick Molloy and Jason Stephens to the lineup.

It was in late 1989 that the D-Generation released the comedy album ‘The Satanic Sketches’, and from that the single ‘Five In A Row’. The single was a comic take on FM commercial radio and featured Rob Sitch playing the part of a hip DJ playing a medley of popular hits, well mock versions, with a comic twist on the lyrics and delivery. Those artists songs to undergo the D-Gen ‘treatment’ were John Farnham, Jimmy Barnes, Little River Band, Kylie Minogue and James Reyne (my personal fav). The song appealed to listeners funny bones as much as their ears, reaching #12 on the singles chart.

About twelve months later a follow up ‘Five More In A Row’ was released. This time the D-Gen crew took aim at INXS, Dragon, Daryl Braithwaite, Kate Ceberano and Midnight Oil, and in the process scored their second top 40 hit (#37). Both songs were served well by hilarious promo clips - well we were dealing with the brilliantly irreverent D-Generation after all. John Farnham even made a cameo appearance as himself in the clip to 'Five In A Row', while Shirley Strachan and Daryl Braithwaite joined in the fun on the clip for 'Five More In A Row'.

Several members of the original D-Generation went on to other projects including the ‘Fast Forward’ sketch show. The D-Gen went on to write and star in two very successful series of ‘The Late Show’ on the ABC during ‘92 and ‘93. Various members went on to create the critically acclaimed series ‘Frontline’ and also ‘Funky Squad’. Martin and Molloy hosted a hugely popular syndicated radio show. Sitch, Cilauro, Gleisner and Kennedy went on to be at the heart of Working Dog Productions, and fronted ‘The Panel’ during the late 90s, not to mention writing, directing and producing the motion pictures ‘The Castle’ and ‘The Dish’. But honestly it would require a whole other blog to do justice to the career of achievements of the D-Generation and its alumni.


Anonymous said...

" five more in a row " ( the first vid ) has had a violation removal !

so here's another then -


A. FlockOfSeagulls said...

Much obliged for the new link Mickster. I check on the YouTube links from time to time for 'vid removals' but with 400+ posts I'm probably not as vigilant as I should be. Those D-Gen clips were bloody hilarious!