Another year, another screamingly tragic TV Week Logie Awards are around the corner. Beginning in 1959, Australian television program guide TV Week developed The TV Week Awards to reward the hard working efforts of the 3 year old broadcasting technology in Australia. In 1960, the highly popular ‘King of Australian television’ personality Graham Kennedy renamed the television awards to The Logies after Scottish inventor John Logie Baird, who created the first ever televisual broadcast in the early 1920s.
Throughout the years, the Logie Awards was the big thing – millions of viewers would tune in to the live broadcast which would range from 2 hours to sometimes blowing out to 5 hours. Over the 53 years (2012 is the 54th year) popular television personality Bert Newton has been one of the most popular hosts, along with Don Lane and others. But as the years go on, the public has been more verbally critical (bless the internet!) and attitudes and opinions towards the ceremony have been remarkably negative. This happens for various reasons, such as an unpopular host, terrible jokes, technical errors, overseas guests who have no idea what a ‘Logie‘ is, tasteless promotions, and just a general loss in public interest.
So, how can you go from plain boring and crap, to entertaining? Promote it as a ‘so bad, that it’s good!’ point of view. Some funny highlights have been spontaneous swearing on live television, drunken award winners on stage, overseas guests taking the piss out of a trophy that looks like a dildo (hello, Joan Rivers!)… it goes on. But how do you keep the attention of the audience of what will be a very long awards night? Make the opening sequence at least mildly entertaining.
Here’s a few ‘entertaining’ opening sequences over the years. Buckle yourself in, you’re in for bumpy ride. Quick note: they’ve dated terribly, to much amusement.
1989 – Golden Girls
In the mid eighties, US sitcom The Golden Girls rated through the roof. So why not get previous female winners of the Gold Logie to do a song and dance? Make sure they rhyme their winning year(s) with reference on how they won it.
1988 – Stuck With You
Ahhh… Australia’s Bicentennial year. A two minute montage of personalities on their studio sets, with Doug Parkinson singing the 1986 Huey Lewis classic Stuck With You. Odd – as the song is all about giving up, but just struggling to be ‘stuck with you’. No one forced you to watch. There’s plenty of VHS tapes to rent at your local video store.
1991 – Light Entertainment
The top rating medical dramas G.P. and A Country Practice still graced the screens. Make a quick sketch intro with a few cast members from those shows, plus some from Home & Away and Neighbours, make it a joke about how much of a disarray Australian TV is (it predicted the future!) then make it all about “the light” – the light being Hey Hey It’s Saturday host Daryl Somers as the ‘super saviour’. Co-dance with Debbie Byrne and you have yourself a tap-dancing performance.
1994 – The Heat Is On
The third installment to the Hollywood baby talking series Look Who’s Talking Now! was released a few months earlier, so why not take that idea and put a bunch of babies in the control room? Once you’ve done that red carpet highlight, switch to a Star Trek joke of the 1960s TV show picking up Australian TV broadcasts. After the quick montage, where do you go from there? Choreography with a sci-fi theme dance routine and singing Glenn Frey – The Heat Is On, but reword it to The TV’s On. Makes sense.
1977 – Montage
A much simpler format. Montages of all the channels shown on a big screen in front of the audience, then straight to Bert Newton having a chat. Not really embarrassing, but just showing how simple it used to be.
1987 – It’s Good To Be Here
The creme de la creme. With a variety of singing personalities Don Lane, Daryl Somers, Denise Drysdale, Kerri-Anne Kennerley and host Don Lane – this was a disaster from the start. After a noble introduction my Don, he misses his cue to go into song, followed by the legs of Denise about to sing but getting cut off by Daryl. Then a far distance shot of a barely viewable Kerri-Anne, then back to Don. Live television = gold.
Honourable Mention: 2001 – Shaun Micallef
The best opener and host has to be Shaun Micallef. With his hilarious wit and performances, if you don’t understand his humour, you wouldn’t understand how tongue-in-cheek it was. Many people say Andrew Denton was the best host in 1999, but Micallef wins by a wheel spin.
Check your guides for when the 54th Annual TV Week Logie Awards are on.. Channel 9… some time after easter.