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Series / Talkin' 'bout Your Generation

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Amanda Keller, Josh Thomas, Shaun Micallef, and Charlie Pickering

Australian Panel Show hosted by Australian comedian Shaun Micallef, which premiered in May 2009 and ran for four seasons on Network Ten.

It runs for an hour, testing the pop-culture knowledge of celebrity representatives from three different cultural generations: the Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. (Although occasionally guests will represent a team but not actually be a part of that generation; guests Ian Smith and George Negus, who are actually a part of the Silent Generation, have represented the Baby Boomers).

Typically, each episode consists of six rounds with the three teams competing in various themed games with awful names. While ostensibly a point is given for each correct answer, in actuality, the points are given at Shaun's discretion. The first three rounds are the three teams pitted against each other, the fourth is each team on their own selecting a topic from "The Magic Window", the fifth is "Your Generation", wherein each team answers themed questions about their own generation (such as "Horses" or "Famous Michaels"), and the sixth round, "Endgame", involves each team having to perform some task in order to prove which generation is best (some such tasks have included "working in an office", "renovating a laundry" or "milking a cow").

Each week there are three team captains, each of them representing a generation. These three team captains are:

  • Amanda Keller (Baby Boomers): The show's token chick, which matters not one bit because she's awesome. A true Deadpan Snarker of the highest order, she's probably been on more shows across television and radio than the rest of the cast combined. Outside of the show, she's best known as the face of WSFM's morning radio show.
  • Charlie Pickering (Generation X): The show's resident smart-ass, who gets enough obscure pop trivia questions right that it makes you wonder about his priorities. Also the host of the very successful news/comedy television show The Project.
  • Josh Thomas (Generation Y): A man who is, in his own words, not very good at things, quite clumsy, not good at computer games, but quite good at talking to large groups of people about genitals. Also has his own podcast. Youngest-ever winner of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival's RAW Comedy Competition.

In 2017, it was announced that a revival series consisting of eight episodes would be produced, this time airing on Nine Network. As part of the revival, the Baby Boomers were removed and Generation Z was added. Team captains are:

  • Robyn Butler (Generation X), previous collaborator with Shaun and writer and producer of various comedy programs.
  • Andy Lee (Generation Y), the Andy half of Hamish and Andy
  • Laurence Boxhall (Generation Z), best known for his appearance in Ronny Chieng: International Student.

This show provides examples of:

  • Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable: Shaun pronounces Befuddled as Befudd-led.
  • Artistic License Geography: In one playing of As Quick As, the question "What state does CSI Miami take place in?" was asked, with Gen Y giving the answer "Miami", which Shaun ruled as correct (suggesting that the writers themselves made the mistake as he was reading off a sheet of questions and answers). After the game, Charlie confirmed that this was what was said with Shaun, and pointed out that the correct answer is actually Florida (Miami being the city the show takes place in). After some bickering between Gen X, Gen Y and Shaun, he deducted a point from the Baby Boomers.
  • Ascended Extra: Of sorts, Robyn Butler and Andy Lee had both appeared as guests in the original run and were promoted to team captains in the revival.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Shaun Micallef makes unkind remarks about the network a few times; once, he lampshaded this by miming biting his hand afterwards.
  • Blatant Lies: Shaun would often describe Trust Me as being "good, honest, wholesome fun" or something along those lines. Rarely was it so for the person strapped to The Chair.
  • Butt-Monkey: Generation Y in general, but mainly Josh.
    Josh: I never thought we had a problem, Shaun, but people keep telling me on Twitter that it's obvious you don't like me.
  • Carried by the Host: Although TAYG isn't Shaun's creation, the producers have let him have his way with the script, cast, crew and ideas for new games. It will never be TAYG without him.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Averted on numerous occasions, with the teams being directed to cheat by Shaun himself:
    • In the Endgame of Working In An Office, Gen Y had issues with their typewriter. Shaun pointed out to them that the Baby Boomers had left their original typed document in their fax machine and were not paying attention to it, so should steal it and use it themselves.
    • In the Endgame of Completing a Black Ops Mission, the Baby Boomers were having trouble getting through the "lasers" (which were just string). Shaun pulled a pair of scissors out from under his desk for them to cut the string.
  • Christmas Episode: Aired on Christmas Eve and was (what else?) Christmas-themed.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Shaun. And Josh, definitely Josh.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: A few:
    • Shaun was much more sedate in the first episode compared to all the later episodes.
    • Early playings of What's A Doodle Do had musical stings after each reveal, which were later removed.
    • Shaun's bench was visibly smaller in the first season, from the second season it had grown significantly and Shaun dubbed it his Davrosmobile.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: With some early playings of some games, there were some issues.
    • The first playing of Name That Tune involved TV Theme Songs. However, the original themes were used (not instrumentals or edited versions), which meant for several, the names of the show were in the song. It got to the point where when the team complained that they didn't know what it was, Shaun told them that if they listened, they'd hear the name of the show.
    • In It Could Be Worth, two of the items were individually over the allowed budget, meaning that it was possible to win the Sad Trombone by picking only one item.
  • Golden Snitch:
    • End-Game is always worth exactly enough points that any of the three teams could win.
    • Although subverted, though definitely not averted, in Episode 26 wherein it was worth one million points. Which was still well and truly enough that anyone could win, but there was no "exactly" about it.
  • Got Me Doing It: Shaun Micallef accidentally copies Josh's bizarre accent.
  • Halloween Episode: Two, so far.
  • I Love the Exties: The seed of the show.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun:
    • Some of the rounds have very silly names, such as "What's A Doodle Do?" (teams must identify logos), "Era Error" (teams must identify anachronistic items in a scene from the past), and so on.
    • Shaun delights in these whenever he can get away with it.
  • Little Known Facts: Shaun prepares some "interesting" "facts" to share with the teams, claiming to source all his information from Wikipedia.
    Shaun: "Cheaper [paint]brush hair is sometimes called "camel hair", although it doesn't come from camels. Apparently, it comes from tourists in India who are shaved against their will."
  • Loophole Abuse: In a playing of Watch Your Mouth, Frank was attempting (and failing at) providing an Icelandic accent. Iceland was one of the verboten words, but nothing was stopping him from saying that he was from a nice land.
  • Metaphorgotten: Shaun. So many, many, many times.
  • Nintendo Hard: The game It Could Be Worth. Played four times, but only won once.
    • A team is presented with eight items to "buy" from various years (examples included a VCR from 1987 or a litre of Milk from 2000) and a set budget to spend on these items.
    • The team chooses which items to "buy", and must guess the amount that they were worth at the time. They must buy at least one item.
    • Once the team has bought the item or items that they think will keep them under their budget, they stop playing.
    • The actual prices of the items chosen are then revealed. If the players managed to stay under budget (regardless of how far off they were with their price guesses, rendering them rather redundant) with the items selected, they get one point for every item bought. If they go over budget, they get no points, but would receive a prize in the form of a Sad Trombone.
    • In some playings, the players tried to buy every item (likely due to a confusion over the convoluted rules), which never won the game. Additionally, in the first playing, there were two items that, even if picked alone, would guarantee the team would lose because they were each over the allowed budget.
  • Only Sane Man: Often Charlie.
    Shaun: "Can anyone else do this?"
    He starts pulling at loose flesh on his neck as the rest of the panellists join in doing the same, except for Charlie.
    Charlie: "What has this show become?!"
  • Panel Show
  • The Points Mean Nothing: See Golden Snitch, but also — Shaun is extremely laissez-faire about how he awards points; Generation Y have, in the past, received 5/8s of a point for a partially-correct answer, and contestants have bartered or redistributed points at their own whims before. One episode involved Shaun giving points to himself for being polite.
    • In the Family Special in the revival, he gave a point to Gen X for honesty, but took it away a short while later because he didn't like how they were crawling up to him. Later, he gave them 20 points because both Robyn and Wayne danced for him.
    • In one Magic Window game in the revival, Shaun randomly gave Gen X double points despite it not being a rule of the game they were playing. After the commercial break, he noted that this was foolish of him as they were already in the lead by that point so they were now well ahead of everyone else.
  • Product Placement:
    • "I'd elaborate on this point further, but I have to go buy a Mitsubishi. Love that car."
    • Occasionally the show is also 'sponsored' by the fictional Trigganello Ping Pong Balls ("Mmm, they bounce!").
    • Less so with the Nine revival, although Shaun made a bizarre joke on Twitter about a barely visible tag on a teabag being product placement.
  • Retconning the Wiki: A running joke is Shaun Micallef quoting some 'facts' about the topic at hand he claims he got from Wikipedia, all of which are hilariously wrong.
  • Running Gag:
    • In season one, the trophy each week was something different. It may have been a soccer trophy, a "World's Best Lover" coffee mug, or the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, according to Shaun Micallef. Trophies from season two onwards were donated and included The One Ring and Karl Stefanovich's 2011 Silver Logie.
    • The mysterious ways in which the End Game envelope will make it to Shaun Micallef; it may involve ninjas, monks, pandas or — frequently — Shaun's pet lady-hawk Isabeau.
    • As is typical for a quiz show, the host has a phone next to him which the producers can ring him on to allow for corrections. Unlike in most, Shaun Micallef invariably hangs up the phone without answering whenever it rings. This invariably happens after Shaun has made a particularly-bad pun.
    • A sub-Running Gag that often occurs during taping is when Charlie waffles on for quite a while, mainly questioning Shaun's dismissal of his answer. Shaun will pick up the phone to ask for an opinion on Charlie's argument. "Uh huh? Yeah... Okay, I'll tell him." He puts down the phone and deadpans. "He says "Go fuck yourself." Naturally, this is always edited out before broadcast.
    • ''That means anybody could win!''
    • Enya
    • Since the second family-themed episode, references to Josh's grandmother Mona's appearance on the show, in which she was covered in sour cream.
    • Stuart the Meerkat.
    • The film Wog Boy II: Kings of Mykonos.
    • Often, when food is involved with a game that doesn't end with it being eaten, Shaun will make a comment to allay concerns that viewers may have about food waste, for example, saying that the food is already spoiled or is irradiated and shouldn't be handled without wearing a lead apron.
    • Josh pointing out that people frequently ask him on Twitter why Shaun is so mean to him.
    • People often seem to think that Shaun has an organ behind his desk that he plays the musical stings on. He will occasionally respond to such remarks by asking them to name a song for him to play, inevitably ending up with him playing the sting just played, his miming out of time.
      • In the second revival season, he actually has an organ on his desk that he ostensibly "plays", quite clearly out of time to the actual music.
    • In the revival, during End Game, Shaun would pull aside one of the panellists who were doing something unusual and ask them what on earth they were doing.
    • Also in the revival during end game, close ups of Andy's Plumber's Crack.
    • In the second revival season, Shaun seemingly has trouble opening the envelopes containing the Magic Window games, with them often not opening properly or parts of the flaps sticking to him, resulting in him resorting to using increasingly weird ways of opening them, such as using his recorder as a letter opener.
  • Schmuck Bait: Occasionally, one of the buttons in the Magic Window is for a game called "Trust Me", worth quadruple points. It always ends with one of the team members being covered with something sticky.
    • Once teams realised that picking Trust Me would inevitably end up resulting in stickiness, an Obvious Rule Patch was put in place: it was still there but hidden behind another button that fitted in with the theme of the buttons for that episode so that it couldn't be avoided as easily.
  • Silly Walk: Shaun delights in these for his walk to the desk after his opening. Amanda did a very exaggerated one when she was Shaun.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: It's a popular schtick of Shaun's: he will happily talk about Shakespeare and Pokemon in the same breath, combining erudite commentary with Buffy Speak.
  • Stock Scream: A Wilhelm scream introduces the game "Draw That Movie" and served as the wrong answer sound on Guess The Guest, as well as appearing in other games.
  • Timed Mission: The game "As Quick As", where Shaun asks rapid fire questions until something happens, usually steam coming out of a kettle or toast popping out of a toaster.
  • Unwanted Assistance: In the "Endgame" segment, Shaun takes it upon himself to loudly read out trivial and often completely incorrect facts while the contestants are rushing around trying to finish within their ridiculously limited timeframe.
  • Zonk: During the Trust Me games, usually the prize was a food item relating to the game being played (for example, Josh's Grandmother received Corn Chips for Josh's correct answers when she played Human Nacho). Sometimes, though, the "reward" for getting the question right falls into this.
    • In a season 3 playing of Human Celery Stick, Josh would receive a stick of celery for every question that Paris Wells got right, and was ratched closer to being thrown into a large tub of yoghurt whenever he got one wrong. Josh said that he didn't like celery and given the choice between eating the celery or jumping into the yoghurt, he'd rather jump into the yoghurt. Shaun quipped that he couldn't rearrange it to be that way.
    • In a Season 4 playing of Human Spider, Chris Cheney of the band Living End would receive a live spider for each question he got wrong, much to his disgruntlement due to his fear of spiders.
    • In another Season 4 playing, the game was Chuckwagon Pillory, in which the "prize" for correct answers was a cactus.
    • In the Season 6 opener, the game was Human Kimchi, for which correct answers were rewarded with chopsticks.
    • In a Season 6 playing of Human Spider, the prize for each correct answer was a single serviette.