1 9 7 7 (Australia)
10 x 25 minute episodes
The Off Show was made for the Australian Broadcasting Commission in 1977 by Aunty Jack creator, Grahame Bond. When the ABC viewed the finished product, the series was cancelled for political reasons. The show was never screened and the ABC wiped the tapes . . .
The original script had Grahame Bond and Rory O’Donoghue starring as The Brothers Off (Debbie and Elizabeth) – a pair of budgerigars!
Other cast members included Robyn Moase, John Derum, Neil Redfern and Bill Conn. Censorship classifications for the show were defined as; AO – Absolutely Off, SO – Slightly Off, and SAO – a biscuit.
Some of the material rejected by the ABC included a single-episode sitcom called Leave It To Jesus, starring Mary and Joseph Carpenter, their 12-year-old son Jesus (“a Bay City Rollers fan”) and his sheepdog Herod; The Prime Minister (Malcolm Fraser) test-driving a Ford LTD for a motor magazine (with new sound provided by The Off Show cast) and a sketch filmed in Sydney’s Centennial Park, featuring Rory O’Donoghue as a symphony orchestra conductor and Grahame Bond in a gorilla suit, which ran as follows: “conductor meets gorilla, conductor produces a violin, they play music to each other, kiss and cuddle, and off they go”.
A sanitised version of the series was re-titled The Of Show and aired on the ABC later in 1977. The new series starred Grahame Bond, Robyn Moase, John Derum, Rory O’Donoghue, John Bluthal, Jude Kuring and Neil Redfern. The show was screened weekly for 10 weeks.
The episodes were as follows;
Six Of One
The first of a two-part episode about the Six Dollar Man, recalling the fateful day when the Dapto Dogs Rugby League Club bought a bionic footballer (for $6 on Medibank) to aid them in their premiership quest. The most useless member of the team was converted into a bionic man by a local surgeon, Doc Holliday (John Bluthal).
Half A Dozen Of The Other
Continued the story of the Six Dollar Man
Sound Of Of Awards
Grahame Bond starred in a unique Australian movie which won him and the series the highest accolades the TV industry can provide. Included The $nuff $how, in which contestants tried to win a million dollars in a number of ways, each equally impossible. As the contestant failed, Bond walked over to a skull-shaped candle and snuffed it out. Hence the show’s title.
Meanwhile, Robyn Moase (as ‘Barbara’) wrestled with a boa constrictor in an attempt to get a $1 million cheque from inside the snake. In another sequence, Grahame Bond as the compere played ‘pass the pineapple’ with contestant Deborah (Val Langford). The pineapple – a live grenade – fell down her cleavage and she was disqualified. Being a good sport, Bond let her keep it.
A chess game, a cavalcade of stars, a beauty quest, a revival meeting and an apology for last week.
Neil And Errol vs. The Black Pig Of Tobruk
Neil and Errol featured in half an hour of fun, light-hearted music, word games, and a vicious rearguard action against the Black Pig Of Tobruk.
Prince Of Seduction
A wonderful warm musical fairytale about a frog who turned into a Prince, his suicidal girlfriend, and their ultimate union in a Clean Family Quiz Show.
Son Of Man
Grahame Bond, Robyn Moase and Doug Scroope asked “can men have babies?”, a Culture team played a Sports team on the football field, The Of Show got inside the spying business and Mervyn Whipple (Man Of A Thousand Faces) auditioned for a new programme.
Best Of Wollongong The Brave
Wollongong, home city of multimedia personality Norman Gunston, was revisited. Also featured were Aunty Jack, Thin Arthur, Kid Eager and the Farrelly Brothers.
The Best Of Flash Nick
Recalled the adventures of the inept bushranger previously seen in Flash Nick From Jindavick.
The Best Of Aunty Jack
With Grahame Bond, Rory O’Donoghue, Sandra MacGregor and John Derum.
Also featured in The Of Show was ‘Captain Pretty Boy’ – a talking budgie selling a Budgie Pizza mix.