If you thought Russell Coight left our screens permanently in 2004, you are in for a surprise, because he is back. It is not clear whether he has returned by popular demand or simply because his creator and alter ego Glenn Robbins thought 14 years between shows was long enough.
The old saying that laughter is the best medicine is something we would do well to remember as we are surrounded by the doom and gloom reported in our nightly news bulletins. And that’s where comedy shows like Russell Coight’s All Aussie Adventures have an uplifting presence in our television viewing schedule.
If you have never seen this Aussie larrikin at work, he may remind you of the 1970s outback documentary series Ask the Leyland Brothers, where explorers Mike and Mal toured the Aussie bush educating and informing viewers across the land about this vast country. For some perhaps he brings back memories of the late Steve Irwin.
But where Mike, Mal and Steve were serious and well-researched, Russell Coight is a mockumentary, with our central character taking himself very seriously. However, in reality he is a bumbling misadventurer rather than the conquering hero of the bush he thinks he is.
There is something very Australian about this kind of gentle satire which has Russell captivatingly caught up in all kinds of scrapes.
Perhaps one of the funniest and most dramatic episodes is where he airily claims he can fix a friend’s problem of pesky rabbits eating everything. His solution of filling the rabbit burrows with flammable chemicals and triggering explosions not only gets rid of the rabbit harems but also, as an added bonus, takes out the windows and door frames of his friend’s house.
Which means that, instead of Russell and the property owners celebrating his success with eagerly anticipated tea and cake, he has to hastily jump into his trusty four-wheel drive and decamp in a rush. It’s all in a day’s fun where Russell’s misguided bush knowledge results in mismanaged projects.
Then there is the wonderful new invention he wants to share with us—the add-on tent to the back of his vehicle. A truly innovative idea, until we find that Russell has forgotten to put the handbrake on. As he relaxes in the tent, the car starts rolling forward with hilarious results. Just another ‘happy’ disaster in Russell’s repertoire of misadventures.
There’s never anything malicious in his tales, and it’s all so ridiculous that it feels right to laugh. It’s a program that will appeal to the whole family, even including some harmless adolescent humour for the young ones in your brood.
Russell Coight’s Aussie Adventures humorously showcases our humanness. Warcry aims to showcase how God reaches into our humanness with love, compassion and renewal.