By DANNY BUTTLER
ABC2, 9.30pm, Thursdays
LIKE most ABC panel shows, Dirty Laundry should stink.
Instead, it’s one of the funniest and most refreshing programs to hit local screens in many a year.
Comedian Lawrence Mooney (pictured with Brooke Satchwell) hosts a panel of four “celebrities” who pick over the bones of pop culture both in Australia and overseas.
Last week’s panel consisted of comedian Matt Okine, radio personality Marty Sheargold, dj/pop starlet Havana Brown and Satchwell, a medium-grade celeb who has had her own brushes with the paparazzi.
The low-wattage panel is fairly irrelevant, as Mooney not only steals the show, but also fences it and manages to launder the proceeds through a legitimate Cayman Islands shelf company.
Mooney is quick, rude, politically incorrect and very funny – everything Rove McManus could never quite be.
Unlike Rove, however, he is far from the slick performer demanded by TV.
What little structure the show has seems to bend with the strength of jokes and the flow of conversation. The one prepared segment, which features a deliberately awkward man with red hair posing as an entertainment reporter, manages to fall on its face.
But with at least 10 belly laughs to be had within the half-hour show – an average of a good laugh every three minutes, for those not so good at maths – the low moments simply don’t matter.
The extended conversation about a spat between Biggest Loser arch-enemies Michelle Bridges and Ajay Rochester was a typical example of how the show can turn the most soul-sapping moments of our celebrity culture into comedy gold.
The Bridges/Rochester scandal unleashed a wave of sex and fat jokes which felt like a cool breeze of comedy blowing through the stuffy halls of television.
With its poor timeslot, obscure channel and dubious taste, this show probably won’t last long, so do yourself a favour and get down and dirty with Lawrence and his gang of low-grade celebrities before they are all hung out to dry.
– Danny Buttler