Saturday, April 28, 2007


What is Funky Squad?

Funky Squad are a team of four young cops who take on a variety of cases from drug rings and diamond robbery to murder, while tazzing around in a red Ford Mustang convertible, wearing cool threads and being hip to the scene.

OK, now for the more sensible answer.

For the benefit of those who had better things to do at 8 o'clock on Monday nights in 1995 than watch ABC TV, Funky Squad was a seven-episode comedy series from the same generation of Aussie comics that brought us Frontline and The Late Show.

It was basically a pastiche of every 70s cliche you can imagine, rolled up into a cop show; tough-talking Chief in a poo-brown suit, sinister baddies with zee moscht outrrrrageoush ackshonts, sedate car chases with much tyre screeching dubbed on, and much leaping into piles of cardboard boxes. It was set in the 70s, made in the 90s, and apparently the costumes all came from op-shops, because the budget was in the order of $1000 per episode. To which I say Melbourne must have better op-shops than we do up here.

The writing team included some familiar names: Santo Cilauro, Rob Sitch, Jane Kennedy and Tom Gleisner. It started life as a radio show on Triple M, and when this place is finished - if it ever is - you'll find information on the radio version of Funky Squad in the archives, after the television episodes. Rob Sitch was in the radio version, but study committments kept him out of the TV show, with Allstar Tim Ferguson brought in to reprise his role.

And here he is, in character as Grant, the 'so cool you could use him if the fridge broke down' leader of the Squad.

So, if that's Tim under that ever-so-subtle hairpiece, and the character's name is Grant, who's Blair Steele?

In keeping with the parody, the front-end credits for the show used fake 'real names' for the actors, to reflect the kind of dodgy names actors had in 70s cop shows.

Here we are, another Funky Squaddie, another wig. Santo's under that afro somewhere.

Cassie, as played by Verity, I mean Jane Kennedy.

Tom Gleisner demonstrates his understanding of The Harpo Principle - playing a mute character means you get lots of physical business and no lines to learn. We find out in the first episode (and in every subsequent episode as well) that Poncho doesn't talk because he got shot in the tongue.

And here they all are together:

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

See you next time with information on Episode 1: A Degree In Death.


lee said...

Yay !!!! This is GREAT!!!!!!

Te@pot said...

I remember this show being on the ABC, and I remember it being on triple M too. I'm a big fan of the D-Generation stuff.:)