Glass House

Following a change of management in 2001, the ABC was looking for new programs & commissioned us to create a stop-gap weekly half-hour in the spirit of Good News Week.  (This little stop-gap ended up running for over five years.)   But, instead of some kind of mutant game show, we decided to make it looser.    We still wanted to deal with the news, but this time, there’d be no teams or games. It’d be more like a talk show, with three regulars & two guests chatting about a range of issues, from the front page to the smallest, strangest stories we could find.  In the first few episodes, we even had everyone sitting in armchairs, giving The Glass House a different, more informal feel.  (Sadly, the armchairs were deemed too radical for Australian television, so everyone ended up behind a big desk. It was a nice desk, but still…)

For our stars, we knew who we wanted straight away. Wil Anderson & Corinne Grant had been two of our favourites on GNW, & Dave Hughes had brilliantly stolen the show at a recent comedy debate.  Happily, they were all keen, because we really didn’t have any second choices.

For our guests, we again cast the net as wide as we could.  One week, you might see Kerri-Anne Kennerley with Ross Noble, sex therapist Dr. Janet Hall with Kav from Eskimo Joe, or Barnaby Joyce with Anthony Bourdain.  (We still talk about the legendary Molly Meldrum / Andrew Denton episode.)  We also created the “Eksalince Awards”, hour-long, end-of-year shows where we honoured the greatest movers & shakers in a range of fields. 

The Glass House ran for more than 200 episodes, made annual visits to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, produced a book & a DVD, & won AFI & Writers’ Guild awards in 2005.  It finished in controversial circumstances in 2006, which is a whole other story.  Suffice to say, anytime the Prime Minister of the day is forced to deny putting pressure on the ABC to axe your show, it’s one hell of a way to bow out.  As Wil said on the final episode, “In the words of our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ, fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke.”