Thank God You're Here: articles

Tom Gleisner and Shane Bourne

Tom Gleisner and Shane Bourne

Thank God they're back

AFTER one of the best first seasons in television history, Thank God You're Here's second series has a lot to live up to - but host Shane Bourne isn't worried.

Because it's a simple idea and that notion is its strength, the comedian says. "I think that kind of takes the pressure off."

The hour-long improvisation show was 2006s most successful new program, attracting an average viewing audience of 1.76 million and 2.13 million for the finale.

While trying to gain these figures a second time would make most people nervous, Bourne's simply thriving on having already recorded a few episodes.

"It's so good to be back because it's just a hoot to do and you kind of miss the therapy of the endorphins," he says.

"There's something in the nature of this thing, because it is spontaneous, that kind of affects you on a cellular level.

"You could see it 10 times and it still has the same kind of impact, which you can't say about all sorts of comedy."

In fact, the former Hey, Hey, It's Saturday star says the network is so happy with the show it won't be changing a thing for the second series.

"I don't think we want to bigger and better it if it ain't broke," he says.

"The only thing that will be different this time round will be some of the guests."

While old favourites like Frank Woodley and Shaun Micallef will return, a new lot of terrified stars will be thrown into the unknown, testing their wit, skill and comedic genius as they fight not to flop in front of a live audience.

And it is this concept, Bourne says, that makes the show great.

"It's about performers performing and being given the opportunity, as it turns out, to perform at their best," he says.

"Because they're in a kind of survival mode, they don't get a chance to think so you're seeing their naked comedy spirit at work."

Taking to the set in the shows first episode of the season will be Vietnamese comedian and star of the movie Footy Legends, Anh Do, New Zealand stand-up girl Cal Wilson, and the legendary Tony Martin.

Despite his obvious bias, Bourne says its an episode with everything and couldn't speak highly enough of newcomer Do.

"He was spectacular he was just glorious, he gushed.

"He just had some vulnerability about him and he was funny at the same time."

The host says radio man Martin was also at his best but, it was returning favourite Hamish Blake who had him in stitches.

"He's a great talent and he's just made to do this show," he exclaims.

"It's like he's at home, he's in his lounge room or something."

With a relaxed attitude to the new series, Bourne says his greatest challenge is simply stopping himself from joining in on all the fun and games on set.

"In series one I thought it would be good fun and then a few seconds later I thought no it wouldn't," he laughs.

"I'm really enjoying being there and putting them through the door and just seeing every scene go past."

Thank God You're Here returns Wednesday at 7.30pm on Ten.

By Anooska Tucker-Evans
September 03, 2006
The Sunday Mail