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Watch: Silence of the Hams

Daryl Somers and Co make a TV movie for a new theme park and movie anniversary.

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L to R: Russell Gilbert as Artie Facts, Daryl Somers as Private Eye Rick Shaw. Source: Hey Hey It's Saturday - YouTube

Re-live the The Hey Hey It’s Saturday TV film from the early 90s. Or don’t.

In June 1991, Warner Brothers opened up a brand spanking new theme park based on the Gold Coast, Australia. Warner Bros Movie World was set up with attractions based on popular movies of that era, including the classic silver screen time period. A big family concept guaranteed to drain your wallet of money. So while the locals of Gold Coast and Brisbane would flock in their dozens to the rollercoaster park down the road, how else can you promote the park nationally?

Landmark Australian TV show Hey Hey It’s Saturday put their hands up.

And how else can they promote such a place? Broadcast a live show from the premises and make a TV film.

In mid 1992, while host Daryl Somers and friends presented a show of Hey Hey It’s Saturday from Movie World, they took advantage of the location to put together a movie and coincide it with the 50th anniversary of one of Warner Brothers’ iconic films – 1942’s Casablanca.

With part of the theme park dedicated to the scenery of the theme of Casablanca, the era was set.

Source: Canberra Times, 1992. Trove.nla.gov.au

Somers plays Private Eye Rick Shaw, who is on the hunt for the evil Fu Manchu (Ernie Carroll – aka Ossie Ostrich) – the antagonist who is trying to destroy the 1950s movie industry, by super-imposing himself in every iconic film imaginable, by using a special machine.

Russell Gilbert is Shaw’s assistant Artie Facts, who is extremely accident-prone, copping all the injuries from traps planted by Fu’s henchmen (Red Symons and Wilbur Wilde). While Shaw is trying to chase down Fu, he is also lusting for the Woman in Black (Rhonda Buchmore) and having run-ins with other members of the general public (played variously by John Blackman).

Written by Somers, Gilbert and Trevor Marmalade, the 40 minute length film was shown Monday June 15, 1992 at 7:30pm on Channel 9 / WIN. Crammed full of inside jokes, pop culture references of the era spliced in, and dated gimmicks which are frowned upon in today’s PC society (*cough* Black-face *cough*).

So, if you have already binge-watched everything on the internets, then enjoy this… err.. masterpiece.

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