Yes, he's as bamboozled as you are.
"Shaun Micallef's Mad As Hell" (2012 - Present) is something of an Australian version of
, it features many hilarious and bizarre characters who help him dissect the news and current events of the week.
- Awesome McCoolname: Almost every single character has one of these, although they're perhaps more straight-up bizarre than awesome.
- Ian Orbspider is a great example.
- Bait-and-Switch Comparison: A variant: Shaun brings up a report stating that Tony Abbott has been speaking 100 words a minute slower than before the last election, and comparing his speech to that of a puppet.
Shaun: Is our nation's leader really like a slow talking marionette? Let's have a comparison.
Shaun: Well, that footage was from before the election, and I do have to say that Mr. Abbott was a little difficult to understand, even back then.
- Catch-22 Dilemma: Rosemary Kipflers states that the government won't open an investigation into the allegations that asylum seekers were injured by navy servicemen because the claims are unsubstantiated (no matter how many of them there are), and that for them to be substantiated there would need to be an investigation.
- Corpsing: Occasionally Shaun appears to be having trouble holding back laughter at his jokes. The clip under Bait And Switch Comparison above is a great example.
- Early Installment Weirdness: In the first couple of episodes, there were legitimate interviews, one with Masha Gessen about her book on Vladimir Putin, the other with Rachel Perkins on the ABC telemovie Mabo. Since then, the show has only had satirical content.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Nearly once an episode in the third season, usually involving Shaun doing something strange or otherwise something utterly irrelevant.
- Genre Savvy: In the second season finale, "Ordinary-Australians-2-The-Max" Dianne and Brian escaped a Piano Drop, pointing out as such... only to be run over by a train that happened to be passing through the studio.
- Hurricane of Puns: An interview with Vice Rear Cabin Boy Bobo Gargle about Crimean military dolphins. Highlights include Gargle comparing a combat dolphin to a NAVY SEAL, claiming that the Russians might be worried about the anti-seccessionist protestors making molotov cocktails out of the more bottlenosed dolphins, and stating that the ADF would never use dolphins for military porpoises.
Shaun: (pointing at a diagram of a dolphin with knives attached to the fins and tail) Wouldn't you call that a fluke?
Gargle: No, just good planning.
- Implausible Deniability: Played with when Bobo Gargle refuses to confirm or deny that he's currently speaking with Shaun, for reasons of operational security.
Shaun: Vice Rear Admiral, thanks for your time, if in fact you did give it to us.
Bobo: It may or may not have been my pleasure Shaun.
- Literal-Minded: Mick Onk, who Shaun interviews to try and figure out the symbolism of carrying a puppet of Tony Abbott wearing a blindfold at a protest of Abbott's climate change policy (or lack thereof).
Shaun: I'm interested in the message behind your protest, namely, if Mr. Abbott is, as you portray him, a puppet, who is controlling him?
Mick: Me and Dirk.
Shaun: No, symbolically, though, who is controlling Mr. Abbott?
Mick: Oh. Big business?
Shaun: Okay, and so, is it big business that's put the blindfold on him?
Mick: Nah, me and Dirk.
- Metaphorgotten/Mixed Metaphor: Shaun tends to jump on these, especailly when they contain malapropisms, often consulting Ian Orbspider about them. One standout example is from Senator Jackie Lambie: "Clive Palmer can no longer sit on the fence [...] I'm not going to stand around and watch Clive Palmer backflipping."
Shaun: Can you backflip from a seated position on a fence?
Dolly: ...What, now?
- Overly Long Gag: After commenting on Tony Abbott's repetitive, stuttering speech pattern, Shaun cuts to Alan Parsons, who argues that what you say is more important than how long it takes - which takes him over two minutes to get out, thanks to him imitating Abbott's speech. "Mr. Parsons, thanks for our time."
- Running Gag: Something the show runs on. Aside from the aforementioned "Thank you, Verity," there are:
- Frequent Piano Drops.
- Vice-Rear Cabin Boy Bobo Gargle releasing the Kraken - a man in a green octopus outfit who jumps out of a cupboard accompanied by Toni Basil's "Mickey" and generally wants to ask about some other ABC show. Occasionally the Kraken shows up by mistake, in response to vaguely similar sounding words (or just the word "release").
- Shaun regularly insults Adelaide... even though its his home town.
- When a guest leaves the studio, the camera will follow them out into the street, all the way home, and often beyond, for several minutes.
- Shaun regularly mocks breakfast television shows, such as Seven's Sunrise (which, let's face it, are truly awful), often while mocking his own show.
Shaun: Here's the Prime Minister on rival news parody Wake Up defending the secrecy on Operation Sovereign Borders.
Shaun: Well, this news desk is normally devoted to the fair and balanced reporting of the week's events. I don't sit in it to push my views down your throat. That sort of pig-headed editorializing sickens me, and if you want that you should tune into Larry Emdur on The Morning Show.
- Andrew Bolt is sometimes mentioned, usually with a snarky quip about Adelaide or Bolt's show being akin to a bad joke being thrown in (Bolt and Micallef both having attended The University of Adelaide).
Now, Andrew's a good friend. We were both "educated" at Adelaide University, we both work for the ABC and Channel Ten
, and we both host pretend news and current affairs shows.
- Any time Shaun brings up a politician or other public figure, an image of a vaguely similar looking fictional character will appear next to him. For example, Prime Minister Tony Abbott as Voldemort◊ or Opposition Leader Bill Shorten as an Oompa Loompa◊. Usually Shaun will Double Take and call to someone to fix it, but sometimes (such as The Hood as John Howard), he doesn't seem to notice.
- Christopher Pyne's infamous soundbite, "This is a Conski, not a Gonski."
- Using "Olympic-size Swimming Pool" as a unit of measurement (and not just for liquid capacity).
- Darius Horsham, spokesman of Australia's finance minister Matthias Cormann, referencing Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, and frequently calling Shaun an "economic girlie-man".
- Ian Orbspider being struck by lightning and Stripped to the Bone.
- Shaun beating up Flornoy Quimbie after he claims credit for a particularly annoying advertising campaign.
- Satire: The entire show.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: In every episode while at the news desk, Shaun has worn the same three piece suit, shirt and tie. For the first few episodes, he also wore glasses, arguably adding to his sharp outfit.
- Shaggy Dog Story: In one episode, Shaun interviews the Chief Scientographer from Fortescue Metals. Words cannot begin to describe it.
- Shout-Out: Mainly to other Micallef works:
- The Panda from Talkin' 'bout Your Generation makes occasional appearances.
- The line "Have you got some identification?", verbatim from The Micallef Program.
- As of the third season, the Micallef Tonight logo is now a set piece and the Micallef Tonight theme music closed out the first three episodes.
- The fourth episode of season 3 had a couple to non-Micallef works:
- A quick screen grab from Newstopia made an appearance at one point.
- A reporter in the background played by Francis Greenslade reacts when Shaun mentions "winners and losers", calling it a very popular show.
- Take That: A lot.
- Oddly, it's mainly towards other ABC programs - fake ABC advertisements are shown during the program, poking fun at numerous other programs on the network.
- They Killed Kenny Again: Ian Orbspider is struck by lightning (and thus Stripped to the Bone) most episodes. Initially this happens at the end of his scenes, with Orbspider Tempting Fate in one way or another, but in later series, the skeleton continues carrying on the interview.
- Unfortunate Names: A few of the guest characters have these.
- Vomitoria Catchment, the 'political Bloggista', is a perfect example.
- Unishment: Played for laughs when Heinrich Mc Ng explains why Jackie Lambie was banned from attending meetings that she hadn't been coming to anyway.
Shaun: In retrospect, do you think it was wise not only to demote Ms. Lambie but suspend her from attending any Palmer United meetings?
Heinrich: We had no choice, Shaun. She hadn't attended the last three party meetings.
Shaun: Yes, but do you think preventing her from coming to the meetings she wasn't coming to was the most effective form of punishment?
Heinrich: If she wasn't going to come to the meetings we weren't going to let her stand by and not come to them.
Dolly: She wasn't coming to them, just 'cause, she wasn't coming to them. Not 'cause you told her not to.
Heinrich: No she wasn't!
Dolly: Yes she was! Not! Coming to them! Idiot!
Heinrich: No, she wasn't not coming to them because she wasn't coming to them, she wasn't coming toh them because we said she couldn't.
Dolly: You can't stop her coming if she's not coming! What are you stopping?
Heinrich: ...Well we did! And you're an idiot!