Forget the US vs. Iran. Forget Miliband vs. Miliband. Forget man-pants vs. mankinis.
The question that is dividing the nation at the moment (like a wire-thin mankini in fact) is what is your all time favourite sit-com?
Bizarrely two distinct contenders have stepped forth out of the smoke and rubble of snarling opinion. In the red corner we have The Office – currently flopping about in Heather’s boxing glove like a rogue horse-shoe – and in the blue corner we have Kath & Kim swishing about like an illegal nunchaku in a Japanese tea-house as toted by London City Mum.
This is the moment when I jump into the debate and, much as I love The Office, I am going to nail my boxing shorts to the blue corner. For those of you that have been reading this blog a while, this patronage should come as no surprise as I’ve previously written about my love of Kath & Kim before – right here in fact – see I was on this particular bandwagon before it was even a bandwagon! That’s how cool I am.
Now I freely admit Kath & Kim aren’t to everybody’s taste. The ‘yoomer’ is distinctly Australian and rooted (if you’re Australian, you’ll find that word funny) in the heart of Australian suburban life. It is, to quote one Australian TV presenter whose name I don’t know, Australia laughing at itself.
So to get the yoomer I guess you need to have some kind of affinity with all things Oz. This does not mean you have to like Neighbours or Home & Away. In fact if you don’t like them Kath & Kim will probably tickle your fancy even more.
For me though, the biggest selling point of Kath & Kim is the incredible dialogue. This is where the yoomer resides. Yes, occasionally they do slapstick and physical humour, but for the large part the funnies are in the language and in particular how it is (Joe) mangled. Words are misplaced, transposed, wrongly emphasized and spliced in ways that are both cringe-making and ingenious. For me it’s what makes the whole show one of the most joyously quotable on the market.
For instance when Kath Day-Knight nee Day thought she’d committed bigamy with the love of her life Kel: “you know, Kel, I think I might just ask the pope for an annulment and be damned.”
Or when Kim lays into her poor beleaguered husband Brett: “Oi’ve made your favourite tonight, Brett – rack off lamb” (think about it).
The characters are incredibly endearing too. You can’t help but love Kath even with her eighties fashion sense and her frizzy perm (“the fro is the way to go – Kel loves my frizzy hair, no matter where on my body it is” and “Kel, loves my hair, he says it’s my clowning glory”) and even though Kim is the most horribly obnoxious, high maintenance be-actch in the entire world you can’t help liking the ol’ hornbag. And as for Kim’s “second best friend” Sharon Strzelecki – there is something about her morbid obesity combined with her rabid devotion to sport that is both tragic and richly funny.
I could go on. I know humour is a personal thing but my vote goes to Kath & Kim because, if nothing else, it is a Ricky Gervais free zone.
Now that has got to be the killer argument.
If you want to join the debate then feel free to dive in! The troops are assembling. People are arming themselves. Do you really want to be the one left in no-man’s land with only a copy of It Ain't Half Hot, Mum to protect yourself?