High Profile Aussies Come Out In Support Of Axed ABC Comedy Tonightly
"One of the most shortsighted decisions the ABC has ever made."
Tonightly with Tom Ballard, the ABC's much-loved comedy show breaking down politics, is ending this week after just one year -- but it's not going out without a bang.
The network announced the decision to axe the show just last month, claiming that it needed "a fresh approach" to comedy.
But a number of high profile Australians are expressing confusion and outrage at Tonightly's cancellation, given that it's a new show managing to cut through in a highly cluttered space.
"Axing Tonightly is one of the most shortsighted decisions the ABC has ever made," tweeted SBS's Marc Fennell.
"Shows like this are incredible talent generators and precisely what the national broadcaster should invest in.
"It would've paid dividends for years if properly supported."
"I'm still confused by this decision," tweeted The Project's Peter Helliar.
"Yes," agreed Russel Crowe on Twitter.
"Needs a rethink, ABC Australia."
That's right. Oscar-winner Rusty is a fan.
Hugely successful comedian Tim Minchin said he agreed with Rusty, and added the hashtag: #SaveTonightly.
Julia Zemiro too has been frequently supportive of Tonightly. After a sketch during Canberra's week of leadership crisis urged the Australian parliament to "do your fucking job", the presenter tweeted: "Keep them in work, ABC. We are going to need them."
It can't be argued that Tonightly isn't cutting through, either. The "do your fucking jobs" sketch has been viewed more than 5 million views on Facebook alone, and a sketch the following week -- which mocked Scott Morrison's refugee policies when he claims to be a man of faith -- reached the front page of the Daily Telegraph.
The ABC didn't have a further comment on the outpouring of support, but pointed back to the original announcement.
In its final week, Tonightly is going out with an absolute bang.
Monday night it's becoming Conservatively, the conservative comedy show about how the left aren't cool anymore. Tuesday night it's set almost 50 years into the future -- the year 2068, to be exact, as if the ABC hadn't cancelled Tonightly and it was the 10,000th episode.
By Wednesday, it'll be back to normal -- or as normal as a show that performs a jazzy number about sex pests can be -- and then by Friday, it's all wound up. And we'll all be poorer for it.
Catch Tonightly's final episodes daily on ABC Comedy at 9.30pm.