Between Two Forms: Comedy Online and on TV

Between Two Forms: Comedy Online and on TV

Explore the idioms of the idiot box with host Adam Zwar and guests including The Katering Show’s Kate McCartney and Two Refugees and a Blonde’s Osamah Sami.

Comedy on screen – like the rest of TV – has been split across a wide variety of creative and commercial contexts. The contemporary humorist can be found anywhere between webisodes and episodes, sitcoms and skitcoms, sketches and stand-up videos – or in writers’ rooms and editing suites. Couch potato comedy fans have never had it better.

With the door wide open to DIY filmmakers – and a now-familiar path from YouTube to network TV (or online video giants like Netflix) – we investigate what distinguishes online comedy from its more mature ancestors. What are the rules, who’s in control and how are stars – and cash – made?


Portrait of Adam Zwar

Adam Zwar

Adam Zwar is a multi award-winning actor, writer and producer. He is best known for co-creating and starring in the Australian comedy series Lowdown (ABC, BBC4) and Wilfred (SBS), which was formatted in Russia and the US. More recently, Adam created the popular Agony series (ABC) – which is currently in its 5th season. Selected acting credits include Party Tricks, Rake, Howzat, as well as feature films The Wedding Party and Rats and Cats.

Portrait of Osamah Sami

Osamah Sami

Osamah Sami is a failed cricketer and a struggling Muslim. As a writer, he has completed two feature films (Ali’s Wedding – a Muslim romantic comedy based on his book Good Muslim Boy, and Be Less Beautiful, filming in 2016). He has also written a vague number of plays; co‐created a developed eight episode sitcom Baghdad to the Burbs; co‐created the web series 2 Refugees & a Blonde and keeps an unpopular blog, Halal Aussie Daily.

On stage he has performed for Belvoir St Theatre, Big West, La Mamma, Melbourne Theatre Company, Theatre@Risk and over two dozen other independent shows. Osamah also played the title role in Saddam the Musical, which got him deported from the US – having been mistaken for a terrorist. In fairness, he does barrack for the Essendon Bombers.

Portrait of Kate McCartney

Kate McCartney

Kate McCartney is a writer/director, illustrator, animator and performer.

Portrait of Julie Eckersley

Julie Eckersley

Julie is a creative producer with over 20 years experience in the industry. She originally trained as an actress and has worked nationally and internationally on stage and screen, winning numerous awards.

Julie currently works as a producer at Matchbox Pictures. She has produced documentary series Anatomy 4, The Turning – Cockleshell, animation series ZuZu & the SuperNuffs, The Real Housewives of Melbourne (Associate Producer) and Maximum Choppage - Australia’s first kung fu comedy. She was the Associate Producer on the supernatural drama – Glitch and has just produced a new SBS comedy The Family Law, based on the memoir of Benjamin Law. 

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