Mavis Bramston Show, The
1 9 6 4 – 1 9 6 8 (Australia)
A satirical sketch series from Australia’s Channel Seven, based on the UK show That Was The Week That Was (in fact, the series sometimes made use of material that originally appeared on the UK series).
In its heyday, The Mavis Bramston Show was one of Australia’s most talked about and highly rating TV shows with its satirical attacks on the establishment.
The show also established the careers of Gordon Chater, Carol Raye and Barry Creyton.
A string of actresses played Bramston during the show’s run, with the running joke being that Mavis Bramston herself actually only appeared in the opening segment of each episode and was not seen again thereafter.
The Mavis Bramston Show had a massive output, appearing weekly for around 40 weeks a year from 1964 to 1968. This placed heavy demands on the script department. As well as staff writers, they used sketches from freelance writers and unsolicited submissions from the public.
Most episodes were an hour in length, although the 1968 editions were only 30 minutes long.
The show quickly gained a reputation for daring satire and naughtiness and frequent use of ‘vulgar’ double entendres. The series also raised the ire of church groups and some viewers. All the while it enjoyed huge ratings.
The makers seemed to enjoy helping perpetuate the show’s controversial publicity and the series and its cast won multiple Logie awards.