I tell ya, the guy's an absolute nutter or far too intelligent for his own good. Naagh, let's take the former. He doesn't deserve the latter. But given the above, I'll also state here that it remains entirely up to you, the reader, to decide what Fergie the foolish actually uttered and what he didn't. But in the end it's all so stupifyingly insane, it doesn't matter anyway.
On the good-better-best blower from Port Macqurie just the other minute, Time off caught up with Fergie half way through the Allstars Good and Evil tour, the lads' latest controversial conquest, this time a full-frontal attack on Islam in Western civilization, morality, promiscuity and the like- all stuff just begging for the DAAS treatment, which usually means ICBM targeting... Tim, the reaction to the show so far?
"Oh, fine. It's the usual scum and spittle and shouting and bile and angst and there's no concession given at all," he blurbed. "And as far as the audiences go, we attract smart people and dumb people (nice guy). We do therefore try to have various layers within the show to cater for this because, quite frankly, when you're touring around Australia, they're all stupid when you go to places like Broome, etc. Here you're talking total slack-jaw, beer swilling morons. So a certain amount goes over their heads- like if you behave like a religious fanatic, you ARE a religious fanatic to them. See, we're talking troglodytes!"
God, just like the bio says Tim, you ARE a bastard! But then there's the other end of the polarity. "We can make dummies laugh as much as the intellectual student wankers but the audience that stays away is our favourite audience... the people who believe we're childish. it's terrifying when people follow us from town to town."
Ok, we're all beneath you. Comments such as these were to be expected. But now it's time to get on to some of the Good/evil specifics- morals, religions, God. Fergie, do ya reckon "Good" and "Evil " can be so easily polarized? "Absolutely not and we've always tried to trivialize the greatest things in the world and make a big deal of the little things. We try to point out a social blank there. And someone like Alister Crowley (infamous British Satanist and so-called influence over the great James Page of Zep fame) said it's only when you're so evil you can START to become good!" Hmmm, flabbergasting Timothy.
"But I thought Alister Crowley was pathetic anyway and I think he was a big fuckin' woose. I think Satanists just fuck and suck and kill- just like a tiger in the jungle! So I think Satanists and their "evil" is totally overblown and it means if you believe in Satan that you must believe in God, so you'd have to go with the winner (ie. God."
"So Satanists are highly fuckin' stupid and can chop people up and burn 'em and eat 'em but I defy a Satanist to do something any tiger in the jungle can't do!" Well, the challenge has been laid out evil ones. Go for it.
Ok, time for some short quotes on a coupla LARGE topics, just so we can cover the greatest ground here: Do you believe in 'God' ? "I think if there is a God it would be a far more elusive being than the one we've created. We can't even imagine something of that power. If I were God, I'd be very pissed off that people even had the utter hide to give me a name, let alone such a short one- and one that spells 'dog' backwards. And I think it's a being that wouldn't believe killing and fucking were bad things. See, nature hates a vacuum cleaner and so does God. The whole idea of murder and sex would please God because it means change and creation."
On Mohammed, the man himself: "I think he was one of the great prophets because he haggled. He haggled with God about praying and got God down from 15 prayers a day to three- and that's more than you can say about Moses."
To sate the Allstars have conquered home and England, with the US on the agenda at and appropriate stage. The rose to fame with Britain's Friday night live, wowed 'em here on the Big Gig, have completed two science fiction odyssey's (DAAS Kapital due for release in march), have released a novel, another is on the way, and have the irreverent LP Icon also behind them. Next up is world tour number six, the Young and Gutless, finishing in the UK, where the guys'll be staying for at least two years, with another BBC series, DAAS boat. There are also spots in Batman 2 scheduled for February at Pinewood studios.
Those irreverent bad boys of comedy, the Doug Anthony All Stars are returning to TV with a new sci-fi sitcom, DAAS Kapital. Tim Ferguson, Paul McDermott and Richard Fidler have included special animation in their seven-part ABC series, starting on July 15, at 9:30 pm, and promise to "stretch the boundaries of television".
Richard explains: "The series is set in the future. Because of past wars the world has become very poor and non-conflicting and we have been sent in a giant submarine to the bottom of the ocean to save what's left." Tim says: "It's a cross between Land of Giants, Marine Boy and Jacques Cousteau on speed."
Richard adds: "We hope to offend people but, then, everything we do tends to offend people, And people who like us now might not like us when they see the show." Tim says: "Sometimes, the people who like us worry me. Every once in a while people with pointy heads come up in the street and say 'Hey I think you guys are great!' But I don't care what people think- as long as they watch the show. Often people watch things they hate, like Derryn Hinch. Our aim is to be rich and famous and you can only achieve that by being on TV and being interviewed by TV WEEK."
Richard says: "We'll combine animation with real-life figures in high drams situations and stuff like that. Also it's going to be the first Aussie show to use full-blooded pornography, which is our legal right, in the 9:30 pm timeslot. You can't say the word... but you can act it out. We'll be dealing with issues that make people cringe- hatred, racism and drug abuse."
Tim adds: "The ABC have pretty much given us a free hand. We've seen chances how many tits and bums commercial stations are prepared to show. We'll be providing dirty bits. The ABC's charter is to reach all sections of the community, especially the perverted.
Regular guests in DAAS Kapital's "filth, violence and high art" are Flacco (Paul Livingston) and Bob Downe (Mark Trevorrow).
My mother had warned me many times, even from her room in the asylum where they'd sent her after she tried to blow up the ABC's Melbourne studio. I can still hear her voice. "He will be funny and try to make you laugh but be strong- always remember his mission is to destroy the one thing you have that can save you- Street Cred," she had whispered.
So, he was coming to Brisbane. I knew I would have to flee the country. Safely booked on my plane, I felt I would have to confront him one final time to feel truly safe. Nothing my mother had said could have prepared me for what he would say. A lifetime of fear and distrust was to become a meaningless sham as I faced my nemesis: Paul McDermott- the comedian. I asked him the most obvious of questions- why? Why did he feel compelled to perform, to ridicule and belittle, what was he really trying to do?
"I think too often in our lives we go looking for great meanings and really the simplest, most opaque of all meaning is standing right before us. Because it's not transparent, not easily understood we, all find it hard to see, but most of the time it's staring us in the face." I tried to take it all in, the kind words, the sage-like advice but I could not understand what it was he was talking about (you're not the only one -ed)
"See how elusive it is Jess?" was all he would disclose. "You have all these people giving off to India to find themselves but they very rarely do. You don't even have to get existential about it- Just tell them to grow up!"
Was he warning me? Did he know I was leaving? Was he trying to tell me he would track me down- that no matter where I was he would follow and destroy the street cred I had so long protected? "We'll be in Edinburgh in August, seeing as we've become like regulars over the last five years, and we're going to Ireland, Dublin, Belfast for festivals- it's like a cultural exchange. Ha ha!"
Why was he laughing? -my God he knew where I would be- it all became clear- he was going to do this on foreign ground where I would be more vulnerable to attack and the embarrassment quotient was higher! I tried to remind him of all the good things at home, beautiful Melbourne weather, his Mecano set, giant Godzilla, his insect collection and the new DAAS Kapital series on the ABC.
"It's fantastic, though I'm not sure it's everyone's cup of tea, we certainly enjoyed doing it. There an amazing sense of power playing with fire, gunpowder and guns and to think that the people of Australia are actually financing this one for us doubled our joy," he laughed.
The comedian suggested a new way of looking at the world; not through rose-coloured glasses but rather a rolled up piece of black cardboard. I suggested that roaming the streets of London with tunnel vision could prove embarrassing if not fatal.
"Be yourself Jess, be proud you have a piece of paper rolled up to your eye. If you block off your vision you see amazing things, though strange and interesting eye." Yep, he'd lost it. I could feel my fear slipping off like old snakeskin. I guessed that the years of pursuit had worn down his mechanics, his programming was shot- and I could hear Van Morrison playing in the background of his room.
There would be no more running. it was no longer the time of the Comedian, this was to be the era of c2- a shell of his former self but still an amazing guy shelling out pearls of wisdom and the odd joke. Hasta la vista McDermott.
Three of Australia's more outrageous comic geniuses have landed their biggest parts in the short but already spectacular career. The Doug Anthony All Stars have been signed to appear in Batman 2. The Doug Anthony All Stars who made their mark on the ABC's Big Gig were hand-picked by producers Peter Guber and Jon Peters from a worldwide choice of 100 top Comics. And the All Stars will be featured as The Penguin's henchmen.
"It was totally unexpected", said a still-shocked Tim Ferguson. "They (Guber and Peters) must have seen us perform at the Edinburgh festival earlier this year. We're all extremely excited."
For Tim, it is his second brush with the Batman magic: "I first met Kim Bassinger at a Los Angeles party. We were both very drunk and I touched her breast! She's very beautiful and quite dumb, but I think that's what makes her so sexy. I almost couldn't control myself", he said. Talk of the two celebrities having an affair, though, is just that according to Tim, who doesn't like to confirm or deny anything if possible.
"Always keep them guessing- that's my motto". Batman director Tim Burton (Beetlejuice) is anxious to meet the comedians when rehearsals start at the end of the year. Filming will start in 1991 at Pinewood studios outside London and the producers expect shooting will take four months.
Returning to their roles of millionaire Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman, and reporter Vicki Vale are Michael Keaton and Kim Bassinger, and rumor has it that Michael J Fox will co-star as Robin in the Boy Wonder, with Danny DeVito as the Penguin.
The Warner Bros extravaganza will have the biggest budget of any film in that company's 75 year history, although details of the production and its expected cost are being kept highly secret. What little is known is that the film will be shot on a closed set on the world's largest sound stage at Pinewood. The eye-popping Gotham City backdrop, stretching more than five blocks in the first film will be incorporated into the second picture, along with a gigantic architect-designed underground labyrinth, to cost $10 Million.
"We couldn't believe it- we ended up giving this guy a difficult time," Ferguson said. "And after our performances, people often say to us, 'Boy you guys must be on something good'. There are no cigarettes, no drugs and just a little bit of alcohol in DAAS. Drugs are the last vestige of an artist with no talent. Drugs are deadly and dangerous.
It was the ABC's Big Gig which catapulted DAAS into the public spotlight and popularized their acid tongues. And it will be their own series DAAS Kapital, which screens in July, that should keep them in there. The controversial foursome refer to themselves as the Salman Rushdies of Australian humor, Commie bastards and scum.
They have made many enemy through their clever jokes and musical sledging of celebrities or organizations. "We've had windows smashed, tyres let down, threatening notes and letters," Ferguson said. "We don't set out to offend people, we set out to make people laugh. But as soon as you speak your mind, you trod on someone's toes. And if you start worrying about the effect you cease to function as an artist." The troupe was expecting a backlash from a recent performance where the target of their jokes was the Church of Scientology.
"It's a vindictive religion and its members always retaliate to any criticism," Ferguson said. "We found it easy to write about this because we've had the lives of close friends ruined by it." Later this year, DAAS will embark on another project when they start work on the latest Batman film. Ferguson, Fidler and McDermott have been signed to play the Joker's henchmen.
"Some guy saw us somewhere and thought we would be perfect," Ferguson said. "He was looking for three cockney boys to play the henchmen- at that stage he thought we were English. So now we are working on our Cockney accents. We're doing it for fun- we have no great Hollywood aspirations."
In the meantime, Tim Ferguson is back in the political arena but this time he is after a seat in the Western Australian Senate. Doug Anthony Allstars and American comedian 'Bob' (Michael Petroni) will perform on Wednesday at the Rialto Theatre, Thursday at Griffith university and Friday at the University of Queensland.