Tag Archives: Colin Lane

Woodley Week: Woodley

Woodley egg

Frank Woodley burst back onto Australian television screens sans Colin Lane this year with the simply titled Woodley. Obviously Frank had been doing his solo thing for a number of years on comedy festival stages, but this was a reintroduction to a broader free to air telly audience.

Viewers were confronted with something quite different to The Adventures of Lano and Woodley but also something very charming. Something that also showed of the range of Frank Woodley, proving he was more than a mere silly slapstick man. In Woodley, he shows off his straight acting chops as well as his comedy ones. Don’t get me wrong, there are still fantastic slapstick scenes (see Frank’s drunken escapades at a golf course), but there is also a tender relationship built up with his estranged daughter through the show. There is still a definite vein of hijinks running through it all, but this is more about Woodley as an outsider, desperately trying to fit into a world that he just does not quite fit into. And that is really interesting stuff.

Woodley, flanked by the two wonderful women who help to make this show such a charm.

Woodley, flanked by the two wonderful women who help to make this show such a charm.

Whilst there is no doubt that in some ways Frank misses the brilliance of former straight man Colin Lane, he surmounts this by delivering a show that is more grounded, true to life and definitely emotive. Woodley is able to develop emotional undercurrents over the course of the 8 show season, something his previous outings did not allow. He is assisted greatly in this regard by two stellar female supporting performances. Firstly Justine Clarke as Frank’s long suffering ex-wife who has a complicated relationship with her former man, whilst trying to continue on her life. And as Frank’s daughter Ollie, Alexandra Cashmere is spectacularly good and has a real screen presence for one so very young. Just as he did for most of The Adventures of Lano and Woodley the incredibly innovative and talented musician Mal Webb provides the soundtrack. I think Webb is a vastly underrated musician and he is having a lot of over the top fun with this soundtrack. Here is just a tiny taste of his other work:

Overall, whilst perhaps not reaching the side-splitting comedic heights of Frank’s earlier TV effort, this is an incredibly charming change of pace from the helter skelter vibe of The Adventures of Lano and Woodley. As a demonstration of Frank Woodley’s range and ability, both as writer and star, Woodley is definitely worth spending some time with.

Verdict: Stubby of Reschs

Want to win a copy of Frank Woodley’s new show Bemusement Park on DVD courtesy of Madman Entertainment? Then head here for the details.

Like what you read? Then please like Not Now I’m Drinking a Beer and Watching a Movie on facebook here.

Woodley Week: The Adventures of Lano and Woodley Series 1

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.

Frank Woodley and Colin Lane

Frank Woodley and Colin Lane

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

Want to win a copy of Frank Woodley’s new show Bemusement Park on DVD courtesy of Madman Entertainment? Then head here for the details.

Like what you read? Then please like Not Now I’m Drinking a Beer and Watching a Movie on facebook here.

Woodley Week: Intro and Competition details

The great Frank Woodley

The great Frank Woodley

Frank Woodley is a name that may be unfamilar to many of my readers, especiatlly those not reading from Australia. But for me, along with many other Australinas, Woodley along with straight man Colin Lane were a formative part of my life. As Lano and Woodley they were close to the most iconic stand up act in the country for a good decade or so, success which also led to two seasons of their own show as well as guest appearances on countless other television shows. They were always my favourite comedy act, managing to be simultaneously silly and very intellighent in what they did. I recall saving up my pocket money so my sister and I could go halves in their TV show on VHS (each video only had 2 episodes and cost $20 – TV on home video has come along way). I also recall that when my parents got their first answering maching, my sister and I took it upon ourselves to record an opus of a message for them. This Lano and Woodley inspired masterpiece ran for about 5 minutes, and concluded with my line “Kath, do I have time to do a poo?” After Colin Lane left the group in 2006, Frank Woodley (the silly one) continued down the comedy path with succesful (and somewhat different) standup routines and himself having a show run on ABC earlier this year, simply titled Woodley.

Why all this chat about my beloved Frank Woodley? Well becuase his latest show Bemusement Park has just been released on DVD. And thanks to Madman Entertainment, I have a copy to give away. Entry is open to anyone who reads the site, no matter where you live (if you take the time to read my site, I’m happy to send this little mmmbaby anywhere). Even better, the DVD plays in all regions, so no worries about compatability issues.

Ok, so how do you enter. Over the next week, I will be posting five ‘Woodley Week’ posts. To earn entries, just do any of the following (including on this post and double entries on Saturday’s review of Bemusement Park):

  • ‘Like’ the post on Facebook for one entry.
  • Comment on the post on Facebook for two entries.
  • Share the post on Facebook for two entries.
  • Retweet the post on Twitter for two entries.
  • Like the post on this site for one entry.
  • Comment on the post on this site for two entries.

Any questions, please let me know. Entries will be open til midnight on Christmas Day. For now here is a little Lano and Woodley for you to enjoy.

Like what you read? Then please like Not Now I’m Drinking a Beer and Watching a Movie on facebook here.