Matty Johns lands a few blows, on TV this time

Steve Kaless Roar Guru

By Steve Kaless, Steve Kaless is a Roar Guru

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    Sydney, June 25, 2004. The footy Show's Reg Reagan, the alter-ego of ex-rugby league player Matthew Johns, meets a young look-a-like during a DVD signing at Sydney's Virgin Mega Store. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

    First, some background. I’m probably a fairly unlikely candidate to review such a program. I haven’t watched its rival The Footy Show for years and normally view ‘Family Entertainment’ in the same way I view ‘Family Restaurants’. No thanks.

    But let’s face it, there is some interest.

    Here is a bloke that less than twelve months ago was being told by the court of public opinion that he’d never work again and would possibly have to move overseas. Forget forgiveness, you just want to dig and keep digging.

    So the ‘never work again’ actually becomes a promotion where you go from being a panellist to hosting your own show. You have to love the way a celebrity-obsessed culture has a collective memory of about seven seconds.

    Oh, that scandal.

    But the wagons have moved on, so what about the show itself.

    Well, I was relieved when Johns got over what appeared to be some initial nerves to use the phrase “champion bloke”. That utterance made it clear I was watching a rugby league chat show.

    Of course, the show will inevitably be compared with Nine’s Footy Show, and while it looked like Seven had opened the war chest to give the show a slicker production value, Johns and Webcke both looked nervous (Webcke proclaiming the Sea Eagles would be back on track when they in fact play in Gosford, probably illustrating it best) when compared with the hugely experienced duo of Sterling and Vautin.

    The controversy corner segment was a winner, with Willie Mason (a top guest to have first up) happy to play his role of pantomime villain and Paul Kent asking questions which varied from the usual “how good is he going” line you get on such programs.

    The current players’ involvement didn’t change much from their usual segments, although a quiz in which players help an audience member answer questions about their own home is a new low for the TV quiz format.

    John’s comic characters only left me remembering Reg Reagan, but I’m sure the school yards will be re-telling each joke tomorrow, while Jason Stevens looks to fill the role of universally derided panel member.

    Truth be told, I watched the whole thing just to see what the public at large was making of Johns’ public return. So maybe the worm would have been helpful.

    It’s unlikely I’ll be back, but that was always the case.

    The big question will be whether it can differentiate itself from Nine’s show to be a viewing alternative or whether Seven’s investment back in rugby league is setting itself up for a whole bigger ball game down the track.

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    The Crowd Says (38)

    • March 26th 2010 @ 5:42am
      Tinnie said | March 26th 2010 @ 5:42am | ! Report

      I also havent watched the Channel 9 show either for many years, that boat has long sailed. Matty did a decent job last night and it was good to see some nerves. He does have a tough gig considering:

      1) It’s on the same night as it’s Channel 9 rival.
      2) It’s shown at a more family friendly time of 7:30pm, so he’s had to tone down his comedy to an extent.
      3) I dont think he can show any footage of NRL matches on his show.

      Good guests, had a bit of a chuckle, i’ll prolly tune in for the next few episodes.

      • Roar Guru

        March 26th 2010 @ 10:45am
        Steve Kaless said | March 26th 2010 @ 10:45am | ! Report

        Yeah, I thought the same re: footage, but they did show the clip of the Morris’ brothers “biff”? Does anyone know for sure.

        • Roar Guru

          March 26th 2010 @ 10:49am
          M1tch said | March 26th 2010 @ 10:49am | ! Report

          yes they did *opps, yes they arent allowed to show footage*
          had a viewer email who said it was making light of a serious issue (fighting) to which Webby sort of agreed and Johns said the writer needed a life.

          • March 26th 2010 @ 10:55am
            Brett McKay said | March 26th 2010 @ 10:55am | ! Report

            Mitch, not sure if you remember it, but the Johnseys did exactly the same as the Morris boys in Matt’s first game for Cronulla against Newcastle…

            • Roar Guru

              March 26th 2010 @ 10:58am
              M1tch said | March 26th 2010 @ 10:58am | ! Report

              Kinda remember, but its good
              Remeber Mason and Mini back in 02 or 03 at the Showground they did the same thing and I think a actual fight had broken out just before
              good to have a bit of fun

      • March 26th 2010 @ 12:06pm
        Col the Bear said | March 26th 2010 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

        maybe he can promote the NSW cup more then, and put that on his show..and the QRL..show some footage of that if he can’t show NRL material..

    • March 26th 2010 @ 6:58am
      RickG said | March 26th 2010 @ 6:58am | ! Report

      I thought it was abit awkward, but you have to remember how rough n’ ready the ch 9 footy show was when it started out. The 7.30 timeslot makes it difficult to strike the balance between family entertainment and footy talk. I’ll have another look next week.

    • March 26th 2010 @ 7:24am
      Fivehole said | March 26th 2010 @ 7:24am | ! Report

      Didn’t fnd it funny. The Don Kirk segment was just #$^@*. Gotta improve over the next few weeks or it’ll get the hook i think.

      • Roar Guru

        March 26th 2010 @ 7:48am
        Dogs Of War said | March 26th 2010 @ 7:48am | ! Report

        I think Matty needs to focus on one or two characters max at the moment, build them up, before expanding with new characters.

        Overall the show was a little limp, though I think if it can find a groove, it does seem to have most of the right elements in place to be a success, just may take a little longer and a different timeslot to do so.

      • Roar Guru

        March 26th 2010 @ 9:40am
        AndyRoo said | March 26th 2010 @ 9:40am | ! Report

        I felt the same, that was a very unfunny segment to start off with. Considering that part was pre recorded that was a huge mistake.

        The fact he’s on at 7:30 creates a lot of pressure as I don’t think he will be given a lot of time for the show to settle before they start “experimenting” with time slots.

        Edit: I did enjoy the Mason interview though.

        • Roar Guru

          March 26th 2010 @ 11:03am
          Steve Kaless said | March 26th 2010 @ 11:03am | ! Report

          Agree with all this, can’t see how they decided to launch with that Don Kirk segment. But importantly Vautin and Sterling were fair dinkum amateur hour when it kicked off, remember the World’s Biggest Barbie?

          • Roar Guru

            March 26th 2010 @ 11:18am
            M1tch said | March 26th 2010 @ 11:18am | ! Report

            lol 1994 footy show
            I thought it was going to start out like Letterman, with a band and webby as sidekick I thought he would open with a monologue

            • Roar Guru

              March 26th 2010 @ 12:28pm
              Steve Kaless said | March 26th 2010 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

              Yeah maybe they needed Webcke on bass in the band to be the proper late show style sidekick.

              • Roar Guru

                March 26th 2010 @ 12:44pm
                M1tch said | March 26th 2010 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

                Shane Webcke and the Channel 7 Orchestra 😛

    • March 26th 2010 @ 7:31am
      sledgeross said | March 26th 2010 @ 7:31am | ! Report

      Not too much difference to the Footy Show at all. Im sure the mob at the News Limited will endorse Mattys show because they hate the channel 9 show, but it was really the same sh*t, different channel.

    • March 26th 2010 @ 7:56am
      Lu said | March 26th 2010 @ 7:56am | ! Report

      It’s a nice change to the usual footy show crap..

      Thought John’s show was much better than the other 7 produced AFL show the Bounce.. The bounce was cheesy, johns gave the NRL version more guts..

      With both AFL and NRL Footy Shows being tired and old (Channel 9 bringing back Hey, Hey.. running out of ideas), i think these Channel 7 shows will give channel 9 execs some sleepless nights in the upcoming coming months..

    • March 26th 2010 @ 8:05am
      JiMMM said | March 26th 2010 @ 8:05am | ! Report

      meh, much of a muchness for me. the only reason I would watch this instead of the channel 9 footy show is because of the timeslot. In saying that the only part of the show that I felt was any different from the channel 9 show was the controversy corner.

      All in all another variety show masqurading as a rugby league show.

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