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Series / Thank God You're Here

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Thank God You're Here is as an Australian TV show from Working Dog Productions, in which several famous actors have to improvise their way through a random situation. Hosted by veteran Aussie actor Shane Bourne, each episode of the Australian original features four prominent members of the Australian entertainment business thrown into bizarre scenes. The performer is dressed in an appropriate costume, sent through a blue door into a small set where they are greeted with the words "Thank God you're here" and expected to completely make up their names, answers to questions, songs, speeches, ideas etc., often with hilarious results.

They are then judged by Tom Gleisner, who always manages to give everyone a high score.

Once every performer has done his or her situation, the entire cast is thrown in to one last scene together for the All-In Group Challenge. The cast usually end up playing idiots or Jerkasses, or frequently both, just for the humour in watching them justify it. Occasionally, the performer will never try to justify any horrible thing their character did, and will just be even worse. It's always hilarious.

Good performers often create ridiculous lines like, "My grandfather actually lost a leg in the war. It wasn't his, he was a medic." or in an All-In Group Challenge where they were Vikings:

Ken the Conqueror: It slices, it dices. But wait there's more. It also works as a — Ken?
Ken Who Tried to Conquer Some Stuff But It Didn't Work Out: Killing thing.
Ken the Conqueror: So when you're attacking by the enemy, don't stab him, slice him and dice him, pop him in the freezer and have him a bit later on.

The fourth season ran on a different network after a year-long break on the part of the producers. The show has been sold to 13 different countries, with results varying wildly.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Adventurer's Club: In the third episode of the American version, Harland Williams won as an adventurer returning to his club after an expedition.
  • Affectionate Parody: 90% of sketches, covering everything from Star Trek to The Twilight Saga.
  • Ass Pull: As stated above, the whole point of the show.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Once it became clear that some cast members (like Nicola) were up for it, a lot of the guests tried to get a kiss into their piece. Sometimes this was blatantly encouraged by the cast, and a planned part of a skit.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Several contestants have tried this: on one occasion, Frank Woodley ran off the set while playing a ships captain in the middle of a crisis. He received a Dishonourable Mention from Tom for this one.
    • Bob Franklin does it better, though, when he comments on his and others performances without really breaking character.
    • Shaun Micallef once mentioned having "a wall taken out and all these people put in" while gesturing at the audience.
      • And that was after starting the same scene trying to pull Shane Bourne on stage through the door. And before trying to leave the stage through the wall (Nicola stopped him, of course).
  • Brick Joke: Josh Lawson claiming to speak Tasmanian.
    • A quite blatantly set up one where Fifi Box is asked a question involving a trip to Dubbo funded by her magazine. She replies with a joke from another player earlier, "Because they make good pies!"
    • Rebal Wilson's use of the phrase "bush-pig".
  • Car Meets Third Storey Flat: "Thank God you're alive!"
  • Catholic School Girls Rule: Shane Bourne was, shall we say, very appreciative of Julia Zemiro in a schoolgirl outfit.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Sometimes, a performer can dig themselves into a pit. Frank Woodley, in particular, runs on it.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Two comedic examples
    • For the guests (in all but a few cases): Leaving the scenario prematurely — they are always dragged back in by the co-performers
    • For the producers: Creating scenarios for Josh Lawson which don't give him the slightest opportunity to fondle and hit on female co-performers.
  • For Science!:
    Tom Gleisner: "I'm afraid though that I'm going to have to take points off for heavy breathing on one of our models."
    Hamish Blake: "It was for science."
  • Genre Savvy: The producers show this when they lock the cages of the puppies and kittens during a Frank Woodley sketch, if they hadn't he admitted he would have taken them out and juggled them.
    • Tony Martin guessed fairly early on in his superhero sketch that the joke would be that his superhero was kind of a nebbish and decided to just roll with it, culminating in him joking that his female sidekick was getting on a bit but good at making the tea, shortly before said sidekick was revealed to be in her seventies.
  • Golden Snitch: For some inexplicable reason, Tom Gleisner would always say that it was too close to call and he wouldn't be able to decide on a winner until after the All-In Challenge.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Featuring Angus Sampson as an Egomaniac Hunter (and romance novelist).
  • Incoming Ham: Defied on principle as the lack of a script means the guests should have no clue how to get started - unless they figured out out from their costumes. The US version notably has Bryan Cranston decked out like a rock star, and getting the ball rolling with an English accent thrown in, basically morphing into Russel Brand. And kissing everyone on the mouth at least once!
  • Jerkass: Frequently the character the performers end up playing.
  • Larynx Dissonance: Used brilliantly by Colin Lane. Colin, a male, was dressed up as a heavily pregnant woman. As soon as he was forced to say something, he effected the deepest voice he could, eventually culminating in this exchange (paraphrased due to a faulty memory).
    Merrick Watts as an Obstetrician: Obviously you don't want to give birth as a male.
    Colin: You wanna start something, mate?
  • Lovable Rogue: Bob Franklin's philandering golfer in one episode, who managed to be surprisingly charming and surprisingly caddish at the same time, probably due to his English accent.
    (when asked about his sex life) I think it's brilliant, personally. Shame my wife isn't involved.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Josh Lawson. Some of the other guests could fall into this too, just not as consistently.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Sometimes performers are introduced as having an accent. Sometimes they put one on. They usually screw up at some point.
    • The most memorable would have to be, again, Frank Woodley, who in one sketch set in colonial era Australia had his accent go on a drunken tour of the English-speaking world, probably averaging out at Irish.
    • Another Frank Woodley one had him pretending to me a Shaolin monk-esque figure, who alternated between a mock Chinese accent to an Indian and then and a German one.
  • Plumber's Crack: When he's playing a medieval physician, Shaun Micallef's pantaloons begin to slip down. His response to this? To apologise to the king by saying "Excuse my unworthy crack". This even earned him an honourable mention from Tom at the end of the episode.
  • The Points Mean Nothing: Though no mention is ever made of this fact.
  • Pretentious Latin Motto: Regularly used in sketches involving educational institutions, whether the actor was a student (Julia Zemiro) or a teacher (Tahir Bilgic). Generally they end up translated as something bizarre.
  • Railroading: Sometimes the ensemble cast ends up having to do this rather obviously, in order to keep the skit going in the direction they meant.
    • At least twice Bob Franklin has praised them for doing so, in-character and in the middle of the scene. "Well played, sir. Back on track."
  • Revolutionaries Who Don't Do Anything: In one sketch, Bob Franklin found himself thrust into the role of a revolutionary leader. While his followers where certainly ready to act, Bob himself kept sidetracking the uprising with all sorts of irrelevancies and general reluctance to do anything.
  • Running Gag:
    • Josh Lawson trying to leave before the skit is over, as well as hitting on and touching the female co-performers.
    • A few guests also take advantage of genuine food and drink used as props. The co-performers catch on but the guests keep trying.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: In the very first episode, no less. In the group sketch that closes out the show, the performers are depicted as an entertainment group for children. When they are asked if they've obtained police checks Frank Woodley throws away his prop and walks right out of the scene. No one is able to stop him (since the co-performers are too far away), he doesn't return, and he wins the episode.
    • Frank also does this in the finale of Series 2; he plays the captain of a British naval ship, and when things start to turn south for the crew, he jumps off the boat and runs away.
  • Shout-Out: To all kinds of things (Ross Noble, as a fantasy hero, found himself deluged in Warhammer references, for example).
  • Sophisticated as Hell: About the highest level of class it generally reaches. Tahir Bilgic, for example, translated a school's Pretentious Latin Motto as "Pay your debts or die".
    Police Officer: Psychiatric analysis suggests he may be suffering from Copenhagen syndrome - what's that mean?
    Angus Sampson: (as a police negotiator) You boys down the precinct probably know that one as (makes "he's crazy" gestures beside head) 'a bit spakko'..."
  • Squick: Tom Gleisner occasionally does an exaggerated display of this in response to comments about, say, John Howard chafing.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Also what performers end up playing.
  • Title Drop: When the performer enters the scene, someone else will say to them "Thank God you're here!"
    • Subverted in the US edition once, where George Takei (the guest performer) enters and says "Thank God I'm here!"
    • Also subverted by Josh Lawson in the Australian edition: he knocked at the blue door before entering, and when it was opened, said "Thank God you're here, I was knocking for hours!"
    • The 'Car Meets Third Storey Flat' sketch starts with Hamish Blake crawling out the door of a wrecked car embedded in a lounge room wall to be greeted with "Thank God you're alive!"


Video Example(s):


Thank God You're Here: s02e10

In which Frank Woodley and Ed Kavalee get very close.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

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Main / HelloSailor

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