In this Australian context, 'Off' basically means 'tastless'.
'The Off Show' was, in 1977, the latest comedy series from Graeme Bond and Rory O'Donoghue, who had been the torch bearers for great, anarchic Australian TV comedy in the early 70's.
In 1977 the Saturday evening TV guide featured a full-page promotional photo for 'The Off Show'. It showed Bond and O'Donaghue sitting in bed, gutting fish. This was promising. Unfortunately two trends coincided, reducing the Off Show to mediocrity.
One was Bond/O'Donahue's habit of either having shows rejected by the ABC, or barely getting them on air, because they were deemed too controversial. Legend has it, the ABC got cold feet about the Off-Show, and decided to pull it almost at the last minute. Eventually a more moderate and less 'Off' version was produced.
The other trend was that, after the halcyon days of their often brilliant 1972-75 series like 'The Aunty Jack Show', 'Woolongong the Brave', and even 'Flash Nick from Jindavik', Bond and O'Donohue had evidently passed their creative peak. Or at least Bond had. Any doubt of this was laid to rest by his tragically unfunny comeback/swansong series, 'News Free Zone' (1984)
'The Off Show' was mixture of sketch comedy and short serials (one was about a football player with a bionic penis, or something like that.) The trouble was, compared with their earlier stuff, none of this material was really very funny. I remember being very disappointed by The Off Show. A shame. Perhaps if they'd been given free rein things may have been different.
I don't know why I'm even writing this, since the thing will never be available on DVD or video, it's never been repeated, and there are probably about 6 people who can even remember it.
I should mention thought that 'The Of Show' (the version that eventually made it to air) featured an entire episode devoted to the singing tramps Erol and Neil (from The Aunty Jack Show). This episode, titled, I think, 'Neil and Erol vs the Black Pig of Tobruk' is sublime.
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