Graham Kennedy


Graham Kennedy : biography

15 February 1934 – 25 May 2005

The Graham Kennedy Show resumed in March 1975, and was Kennedy’s first series in colour.

Memorable, and controversial, moments, included the "crow call" controversy where, on 5 March 1975, Kennedy imitated a crow call ("faaaaaark") highly reminiscent of the word "fuck". This incident led the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal to ban Kennedy from live television, forcing him to pre-record the show on videotape.

Another notable moment was from 17 April 1975, when Kennedy attacked Senator Doug McClelland, the then Minister for the Media, over local content issues. His comments were edited, and a voiceover recorded by the general manager was inserted saying that Kennedy had made a "cowardly attack on a Labor Minister who was unable to defend himself."

Following the McClelland incident, Kennedy parted company with the Nine Network, but later returned.

Power Without Glory

Kennedy appeared as Clive Parker in an episode of the 26-part ABC drama Power Without Glory, which began on 21 June 1976.

Blankety Blanks

He returned to television in 1977 for what is now Network Ten to host a comedy game show, Blankety Blanks. It dominated early evening television over two seasons, between 7 February 1977 and 15 September 1978. The show featured friends from his earlier days including Noeline Brown, Barry Creyton, Noel Ferrier, Ugly Dave Gray, Carol Raye and Stuart Wagstaff.

In 1979, "The King" became King of Moomba complete with his famous motorised desk, the second Melbourne-born recipient after Newton.Craig Bellamy, Gordon Chisholm, Hilary Eriksen (17 February 2006). : pp. 17–22

The Blainey View

In 1982 Kennedy provided the voice-over narration for a ten-episode ABC historical documentary The Blainey View.Blundell (2003), p. 356

Eleven AM

Kennedy appeared as the host of Channel Seven’s morning news program Eleven AM in 1983 and again – for eight weeks – in 1984.. Retrieved 29 June 2008.

Graham Kennedy’s News Show

Nearly 60, Kennedy accepted an offer from the Nine Network’s managing director Sam Chisholm to present Graham Kennedy’s News Show from Sydney, to air five nights a week at 10:30 pm against Clive Robertson’s Newsworld on the Seven Network.Blundell (2003), pp. 369–372 Five trial programmes were recorded but never broadcast.Blundell (2003), p. 373

Kennedy’s writers, who worked from a production cottage at the corner of Scott Street and Artarmon Road included Jim Pike, Tim Evans, Larry Burns, and Ken Stirling. Blundell records:

They worked in the back room shooting out gags over typewriters and word processors, united in their hatred of the ‘The Little Guy’ as they also called him."Blundell (2003), p. 382

The writers also referred to Kennedy as "the little buggle-eyed bastard",.Blundell (2003), p. 383 However, they admired his talent. Jim Pike said, ".. I hate him, but he is the best there is".

Kennedy defied convention with remarks which were tasteless, and yet hilarious. Pointing out the irony of how a news show gets good ratings he said it would be helpful for his show’s ratings if the Pope’s aircraft were to fly into a mountain while it was full of orphans. He also remarked that Queen Elizabeth II "didn’t have bad breasts … for a woman of her age" and mocked 17 October 1989, San Francisco Loma Prieta earthquake with a re-creation on the set.

After a slightly heavy woman was caught for streaking at a cricket match, Graham explained on air that they would run the footage but had to cover certain offending parts of her body with black. The clip he played was all black, except for a single spot that revealed her pubic hair.

He also reprised the "Chum Song" from Melbourne radio days, saying that it originated in a 1920s children’s newspaper column in Scotland. In Nancy Lee’s book Being a Chum Was Fun she writes:Lee, Nancy (1979). Op Cit, p.67