Series / All Aussie Adventures
Russell Coight's All Aussie Adventures
was an Australian mockumentary
TV Series, a parody of the travel-adventure genre, created by Working Dog Productions
. It ran on Network Ten
for thirteen episodes over two series, from August 2001 to September 2002. A telemovie, Russell Coight's Celebrity Challenge
, followed in 2004.
Russell Coight (a technically uncredited Glenn Robbins) is a self-proclaimed "outback man" who travels the outback in a four-wheel drive, sometimes transporting tourists or helping out mates, and always causing some kind of disaster in the process.
After being off the air for almost 13 years, the show will be returning for a third season in 2017.
This series contains examples of:
- Alter-Ego Acting: Robbins has appeared in character as Russell Coight a number of times on talk shows, including one in which Robbins himself was a regular panelist.
- Ascended Fanboy: Aiden in "Rogue Croc".
- Blatant Lies: Russell's narration frequently contradicts what we just saw, most commonly in the roadside assistance bits: "Problem solved."
- The Blind Leading the Blind: Aside from a few episodes where Russell tries to instruct tourists or other traveling companions, there are scenes where Russell tries to get advice on-camera from a guest who seems to be as clueless as Russell. In one case, he talks to an indigenous local about bush tucker who tells him the outback is full of wild bananas (completely out of season at the time).
- Don't Try This at Home: Shows up several times in the credits - while this would normally be to make the point that the host is a qualified professional, it instead makes the point that even the producers think Russell is dangerously incompetent. For example: "The use of diesel fuel to start a campfire is not recommended unless you want a really big campfire." In one case, it shows up during the actual episode, during Russell's botched demonstration of applying a pressure bandage after a snake bite.
- Epic Fail: A few of Russell's screw-ups qualify, in particular when he tries to unlock a car door and somehow pulls the whole door off.
- Finagle's Law: Anytime you can see a potential disaster, it will happen.
- The Ghost: Russell's sister Meredith Coight, who gets a wide variety of credits, such as crocodile tamer and stunt coordinator.
- Groin Attack: Russell will usually wind up whacking himself in the groin multiple times over the course of an episode, while attempting various pieces of bushcraft.
- How Did That Get in There?: When Russell tries to show us some handy websites for outback explorers, he accidentally shows us porn sites on another window.
- I Meant to Do That: In the first episode of the "Explorers" two-parter, there's a gag where Russell mixes up his diesel fuel tank and his water tank, leading to disaster with the fire he was trying to put out. In the Previously On bit in the next episode, Russell claims that he showed us how to start a fire without matches.
- I'm Standing Right Here: Happens a number of times when Russell, on camera, starts making fun of the city slickers he's trying to help with their cars, when they're clearly within earshot.
- An Insert: A Running Gag: whenever Russell shakes someone's hand, cut to a closeup of two obviously different hands shaking.
- Iron Butt Monkey: Russell, most of his injuries being self-inflicted.
- Mistaken Age: In "Rogue Croc", Russell responds to a fan-letter and invites the fan in question, Aidan, to join him on his trip that week, clearly expecting a teenager. It turns out to be Aidan Fennessy.
- Naked People Are Funny: Happens to Russell a couple of times. In one case, he tries to demonstrate his portable showerhead that he can mount to his car, only for the car to roll away from him. In another, he gives the audience some unusually solid advice about how you're better off being naked than wearing soaking wet clothing, only to be interrupted by another group of campers in the background.
- Namesake Gag: The Mitchell Track, which Russell Coight tells us is named for the explorer who first opened up the area, Mitchell Track (as opposed to Major Thomas Mitchell). Other examples are Fry's Hut being named for its builder Fred Hut, and Mt. Disappointment being named for its discoverer's wife.
- No Animals Were Harmed: Subverted in a Running Gag, since Russell invariably does kill something. The credits will later tell us that no animal was intentionally hurt in the making of the program, or something equally un-reassuring. The DVD box even informs us that, "No more than six animals were injured in the making of this program." In universe, this is definitely an understatement.
- No Longer with Us: Russell describes his ex-wife as such, immediately clarifying that she left him for another man.
- Noodle Incident:
- Once an Episode: Russell stops to help out tourists with their car, usually making it worse.
- Our Lawyers Advised This Trope: A number of times in the credits:
This program is in no way endorsed by the Alice Springs Tourism Authority.
Russell Coight's School Wildlife Visiting Program is no way endorsed by the Education Department and is currently the subject of police investigations.
The makers of this program in no way endorse the shooting of sheep or crushing of native bandicoots. They also have some reservations about handling loaded guns to minors.
- Rhetorical Question Blunder: This gem from the "Celebrity Challenge" movie (though not technically a question):
Russell: Look, we all know why we're here. (To raise money for the Bush Nurses.)
Craig: Yeah, because you can't read a map.
- Sadly Mythtaken: Russell tells a tour group a supposed Aboriginal dreamtime story, that somehow includes a fox (not native to Australia) and a three-eyed snake. His tourists point out the holes in it.
- Shaped Like Itself: A Running Gag: "Australia: a land as ancient as it is old."
- Stock Footage Failure: Invoked for laughs. Aside from the handshake running gag, there are numerous driving shots that were obviously filmed in the wrong state to the rest of the episode.
- The Stoner:
- Justin from the "High Country" two-parter. In one scene, Russell confiscates his joint, and we cut to him giggling by the campfire, before getting the munchies and walking back to the tents to ask the kids if they have any snacks.
- Two tourists in the episode "Rare Roo", with pot biscuits. Russell again ends up high by the end of the scene, but he does somehow fix their car for once.
- Stylistic Suck: The show often tries to give the impression that the people behind the camera are at least as incompetent as Russell. Sometimes it's with obvious jokes like the handshake running gag or stock photo mix-ups, but other times it's with easily-missed filming or editing "mistakes", such as when the camera operator starts to pan away from Russell to the campfire twice before realising he's not finished talking.
- Unreliable Narrator: Russell, both with regard to his own adventures (see Blatant Lies above) and to his numerous stories of Australian history (though he's not helped by whoever's choosing the accompanying photographs).
- Walking Disaster Area: Russell causes a lot of property damage (especially to his own), injuries to himself and others and gets a lot of animals killed.