Feature TV

On Location: The Joy Of Sets

WARNING: Slight spoilers.

After the failed attempts at trying to take over the robotic Karl Stefanovic on the Today show, Comedians and performers Tony Martin and Ed Kavalee managed to white-ant their way into the studios of Zapruder’s Other Films to create “The Joy Of Sets“.

The comedic duo aren’t new to the game. Martin and Kavalee were once part of a highly successful (in some other industry eyes – too successful) radio show “Get This“, which ran from 2006 – 2007. With their panel operator Richard Marsland, who passed away in 2008, the trio created radio gold. Without trying to explain, and if you’re a regular reader of this site, click the Get This link in the tag area for more.

As the media release states:

The Joy Of Sets, a unique take on television – the good, the bad and the gloriously misguided – premieres Tuesday, September 20 at 9.00pm on Channel Nine.

Written and hosted by Tony Martin and Ed Kavalee, The Joy of Sets will take you to parts of the television universe you never knew existed. By the end of the series keen viewers will have learnt enough to create their own smash hit TV format – or their money back.

In the premiere episode, Tony and Ed start their tutorials at the very beginning – opening titles or, as it’s known in the trade, “selling the meat”. What’s the best way to hook an audience – sex, freaky weirdness or cheesy headshots? Joining the boys to help explain are Peter Phelps, veteran of title sequences from Sons and Daughters, Baywatch and Rescue Special Ops, and for some unknown reason Warwick Capper.

Throughout the series Tony and Ed teach the audience things about television that they probably would have already noticed if they hadn’t wasted so much of their lives watching television. How do cooking shows turn peeling potatoes into ratings gold? Why does every third cop on American TV seem to be called “Ramerez?” Who killed Warwick Capper? All these questions, and more, will be answered on The Joy Of Sets.

Having been lucky to sit in with the audience, I attended the third episode taping (which may or may not screen 4 October 2011, depending if they last longer than Ben Elton‘s ill fated Live From Planet Earth). Located in their rented studios in Redfern, Sydney, we were politely walked into the studios which also share Zapruder’s other show Can Of Worms. Having a quick look at the stage, there was many memorabilia on display.

You name it – everything was there. Kyle Mole Doll from Comedy Company, Knight Rider car, Dukes Of Hazzard car, Blankety Blanks Lemonade, TV themed boardgames, Agro doll, Simpsons merchandise… a lot of crapola that any nerd would love to hoard.

The warm-up was American comedian Tommy Dean, giving a rundown on laughter and applause. Trying to warm us up, everyone got into it, then the crowd went wild for Martin and Kavalee, who came out with top notch energy. Within minutes, the “Get This” fans yelled out a few memorable quotes, in which were responded to swiftly and with amusement. After Martin demonstrated his Ellen DeGeneres impression of running up and down the stairway in the audience with fully capable “unco” style leaps and bounds, the show was ready to roll. With the quick animated intro which confirmed that Tony Martin is in fact the character from the “For Dummies” books, we’re into this episode’s theme: Family on TV.

Each episode comprises of themes /topics. The first episode recording was of Opening Credits, and the second was of Cooking Shows. Without trying to ruin any gags, the show isn’t as in depth as The Gruen Transfer with a behind the scenes style breakdowns, but it has the elements, as well as a touch of Ed Kavalee’s failed TV Burp for scene grabs, and the humour of Get This. But purely TV based.

With a few inside jokes (watch out for Warwick Capper and his long blonde locks) the 2 hour recording session will be whittled down to a tiny 30 minutes. It’s going to be amusing on how this will happen, with so many jokes and a couple of re-takes, a thoroughly amusing experience was had. The show will feature a special guest every week as well, covering the theme of the show for that week and how they relate to it with their work. (hint: Stingers…)

While squeezed inbetween new episodes of Two And A Half Men and a Charlie Sheen Roast, and pitted up against Packed To The Rafters (wait for episode 3 for a few funny stabs), definitely try and make room with your Farmers Union Iced Coffee and Hotdog for Tuesday 20 September at 9pm on Channel 9 for this amusing 30 minutes of blue sky mining and square-eyed viewing. Hopefully it won’t cut to black at the end while Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing is playing.


Let’s go out with an unscripted classic scene from Get This, where Kavalee doesn’t read the instructions and gets zapped. This is dizzy stuff folks!



Owner and Operator of Wireless Fodder. Lover of Australian pop culture, comedy, and obscurities. Works in Australian media, enjoys a beer or three. Happily married to an American.

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