Comedian delivers virus-free laughs for COVID-weary viewers
THE coronavirus pandemic has permeated nearly every aspect of daily life, but it's a subject Troy Kinne wanted to steer clear of in the new season of his sketch show.
The comedian returns on Monday night in season two of Kinne Tonight, his successful Pilot Week pitch which Channel 10 picked up for a full season last year.
"I made a conscious decision to pretend it doesn't exist," he says.
"I'd been seeing big shows like Jimmy Fallon with a lot of interviews on Skype, and as soon as you use it you're just reminded they have to do it like this. I wanted to get back to the old nostalgia of entertaining - let's let people have a break for half an hour from the craziness that's going on. There are a couple of bits where we've addressed it but we haven't made jokes of it. It's not a funny thing really. We tried to avoid that vibe of we have to film this way because of the pandemic."
That's not to say COVID-19 didn't have a significant impact on production.
Kinne and his team - including regular cast members Christie Whelan-Browne, Dave Thornton and Nicolette Minster - were two thirds of the way through filming when lockdown measures came into effect.
"We had two weeks done and then got shut down with a week to go," Kinne says.
"But it's credit to the producers they predicted it and we front loaded everything that seemed important to finish off.
"We were supposed to have Andy Lee in for a couple of days, but when we realised we were going to shut down we said 'Do you mind coming Monday and we'll just do everything'. That poor bugger had to learn about 50 pages of dialogue the night before. I did too but I was in the groove. He had to come in cold and do five sketches in a row, but we did it and it was fun.
"We did have to get creative. You could complain that there were two or three sketches we didn't get to film, but if we'd been stopped a week earlier we woudln't have a show. I feel guilty complaining."
Kinne Tonight premieres Monday at 9.30pm on Ten/WIN.