17th July 1982
Our show is not shocking, claim writers.
Kingswood Country has been “getting away with murder” for two years because, the writers believe most people are basically bigoted and racist.
Viewers, it seems, don’t take offence at the outrageous Seven Network situation comedy – they proved that by voting it the most popular comedy at this years TV Week Logie Awards.
And the Seven Network recently commissioned a sixth series of Kingswood Country, taking production through until September this year.
Humour is probably the toughest TV territory in Australia but the Kingswood team, led by writers Gary Reilly and Tony Sattler or RS Productions, has well and truly staked its claim.
The constant flow of gags has kept viewers entertained since January 1980 and surpassed even the success of the team’s previous show, The Naked Vicar.
But Gary and Tony don’t agree with critics’ claims that Kingswood “offends” or “Shocks”.
“It’s a total fallacy to say that Kingswood shocks people with its reference to ‘wogs’ Catholics, nuns and so forth,” said Gary.
“No producer in the world can make a show that offends people and be successful. Something that is offensive will die because viewers will just switch off.”
Tony Sattler said: “The criteria for offending is flexible with changes in society.
“A few years ago if you wrote some racist line you’d sort of cringe and say ‘Oh, I don’t think we should say that’.
“But if we have to live with minority and pressure groups and can’t joke about them, then things are pretty bad.
“People get too damn sensitive about everything.
“It’s time we said some racist things or some bigoted things because basically people are bigoted and people are racist.”
There are certain topics, though, that Gary and Tony recognise might offend and they adhere to self-imposed guidelines.
“With sex and stuff you’re pretty right because people’s attitudes are quite liberal,” said Gary.
“But you’ve got to be very careful with religion.
“You can send up institutionalised religion – the Pope, the church – but what you can’t do is satirise anyone’s personal religious beliefs.
“People should be respected for their views and that’s the line you’ve got to draw.”
Gary and Tony believe Kingswood Country has made people more aware of prejudice in society and even taken some of the sting out of racist tags.
Gary said: “Lex Marinos (Ted Bullpitt’s son-in-law, Bruno) was recently asked by the Ethnic Community Affairs to lecture to children – about being a ‘wog’, I suppose.
“That is a sign that the show is working in those terms – we get lots of letters from people who identify with Lex.
“It’s also taking a lot of the nastiness out of the word ‘wog’ – the more it’s used the less effect it has.
“We’ve always mad sure Bruno was sensible, which just showed up Ted’s prejudices.”
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