The Framing Device was of a Variety Show hosted by an extremely smarmy host named Shaun Micallef. The show played on the banality of middle-of-the-road Variety Shows, with Obligatory Game Show Segments featuring increasingly bizarre games and contestants, interviews Shaun would ruin with his inflated ego, and a constant stream of incomprehensible three-second variety acts.
In-between all of these segments were various sketches which employed a great deal of surreal, observational humour- often played completely straight- that subverted, even deconstructed various expectations and media genres. The amount of surreal humour greatly increased with each season, to the point where Series 3 bears little resemblance to reality.
The show was renamed The Micallef Programme for its second series in response to a number of viewer complaints that they were spelling "program" incorrectly ("Certainly don't get that level of pedantry from viewers of commercial television.") For the third series, they changed the name again to The Micallef Pogram, which is arguably far more offensive.
It would end after its third season, but later received a Spiritual Successor in Micallef Tonight, a prime-time talk show that took aim at... well, prime-time talk shows in the mould of The Tonight Show or The Late Show With David Letterman.
This show contains examples of
- Bad "Bad Acting": Especially in the David McGahan segments.
- Claymation: One of the recurring skits, Attention! Il Est Myron!, a bizarre parody of European children's shows.
- Product Placement: Parodied
- Running Gag: In the first episode of The Micallef Pogram, someone mistakes a pregnant woman for one who is merely fat (or perhaps the other way around), and in a sequence taking a minute or two runs down several flights of stairs into a basement, and stands facing the wall away from the camera. As a running gag in each of the next episodes, another person makes a similar faux pas and likewise runs down the stairs into the basement of shame, joining the growing crowd facing the wall. Having the characters all facing the wall made it possible for there to be far more people in the basement than there were members of the show's regular cast. By the end of the series, there were a dozen or so people down there.
- Stylistic Suck: Roger Explosion: Secret Agent, David Mc Ghan's notorious failed TV show (complete with Bad "Bad Acting", Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud and Special Effect Failure, all served up with a Retraux topping)
- Those Wacky Nazis: "Once again, a Nazi has survived a 312 kilometre fall in a fibreglass water craft. How do they do it? They truly are a superior race."
- With Lyrics: Francis makes up some for the theme tune to the 7:30 Report in a season 3 segment.