Whilst I had come across Lano and Woodley before, on the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala and other TV appearances, it was the duo’s own show The Adventures of Lano and Woodley that really sealed my love of them. My sister and I would sit down religiously every week to watch the first series of this show, hang out and laugh our arses off. This theme song was an ever-present sing-along in our house and still gets stuck in my head to this day:
The show, like many a wonderful TV comedy, is not really about anything. Rather, it sees Frank and Col bumbling their way through day to day life. From girl trouble, to flirtations with fame and psychotic video store employees, these day to day jaunts are rendered hilariously. The major strength of the show is the great rapport between stars Frank Woodley and Colin Lane. It is classic comedy stuff, Col is the straight man, Frank the really bloody silly physical comedian one who gets the huge laughs. Having said that though, the character of Col holds his own in terms of laughs. They bounce off each other so well – Woodley really is a wonderful physical comedian, the kind they do not make any more whilst Lane provides the perfect overbearing foil.
Rewatching the series, there are a couple of frustrations. Front and centre is the canned laughter – whoever came up with that invention has a lot to answer for. It achieves nothing, except frustration and distraction. Though there is a pretty good canned laughter joke in one of the episodes, perhaps playing off on this. While it has dated ever so slightly, this still has to be one of my favourite TV comedies ever. It is predominately slapstick, but the scripting is quite excellent with great delivery from both men. There are a couple of hilarious motifs or recurring jokes throughout the series, such as the two of them getting fired at the start of each episode, that just add so much flavour. One of the measures of great comedy is its ability to really make you laugh despite having seen it multiple times. Don’t worry about multiple, I’ve seen all the episodes in this first series countless times and it still got plenty of laughs out of me. All of the episodes in this first series have a whole lot to offer, with my favourites being Starquest and One Simple Task. Search them out if you can. Especially Starquest actually, which I think is just a simply brilliant piece of television.
I’m not going to lie, there may be a little nostalgia in my feelings about this show, but damn, this is my blog and I’ll be nostalgic if I want to. And the show still holds up excellently today, on occasions even brilliantly so. If you ever get the chance to catch this show, then I highly recommend you do. I love it.
Verdict: Longneck of Melbourne Bitter
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