The Comedy Channel's COMEDY SLAPDOWN is where comic improvisation meets Wrestlemania. Hosted by H.G. Nelson, five teams compete in a totally unscripted round-robin style tournament set between the ropes in the Slapdown wrestling arena!






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Series cast summary:
Greig Pickhaver ...
 H.G. Nelson - Host (8 episodes, 2008)
Matt Parkinson ...
 Himself - Judge (8 episodes, 2008)
Aneeta Mooi ...
 Miss Wing Ding (8 episodes, 2008)
Eddie Baroo ...
 The Duke (8 episodes, 2008)
John Thorn ...
 Himself - Keyboards (6 episodes, 2008)
Rebecca De Unamuno ...
 Herself (4 episodes, 2008)
Russell Fletcher ...
 Himself (4 episodes, 2008)
Tom Gleeson ...
 Himself (4 episodes, 2008)
Lliam Amor ...
 Himself (3 episodes, 2008)
Rik Brown ...
 Himself (3 episodes, 2008)
Damian Callinan ...
 Himself (3 episodes, 2008)
Natalie Garonzi ...
 Herself (3 episodes, 2008)
Corinne Grant ...
 Herself (3 episodes, 2008)
 Himself (3 episodes, 2008)
 Himself (3 episodes, 2008)
 Himself (3 episodes, 2008)
Emily Taheny ...
 Herself (3 episodes, 2008)
Matt Tilley ...
 Himself (3 episodes, 2008)
Steven Gates ...
 Himself (2 episodes, 2008)
Julia Morris ...
 Herself (2 episodes, 2008)


The Comedy Channel's COMEDY SLAPDOWN is where comic improvisation meets Wrestlemania. Hosted by H.G. Nelson, five teams compete in a totally unscripted round-robin style tournament set between the ropes in the Slapdown wrestling arena!

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Release Date:

8 November 2008 (Australia)  »

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User Reviews

An hour's worth of show, fifteen minutes' worth of comedy.
21 August 2009 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

I know I shouldn't expect too much from the Comedy Channel, whose forte doesn't lie so much in producing quality television as it does in buying it from America and the UK, but Comedy Slapdown just annoys the crap out of me. It frustrates me so much, because I do enjoy a lot of the comedians who frequent it (including Julia Morris, Julia Zemiro and Corinne Grant) and I actually really like the idea of an Australian Whose Line Is It Anyway?-inspired show. Unfortunately, Comedy Slapdown takes the Whose Line formula, rolls it in all sorts of ridiculous pomp and ceremony and stretches it out to an excruciating hour of predominantly rubbish.

Now, Whose Line demonstrates very well how a show doesn't need to be overly-hyped or complex to succeed: The main draw is the theatresports and that is where the focus lies. Not so with Comedy Slapdown, which is burdened by a ridiculous Wrestlemania set-up. The two teams of improvisers get pitted against one another in a wrestling ring, in a battle for a completely meaningless prize and the hand of the ever-grating Miss Wingding, some sort of trashy Thai prostitute whose only role, as far as I can see, is to make the celebrity guest incredibly uncomfortable with suggestive comments and who comprises the most useless portion of the entire show (which is really saying something).

Meanwhile, a tuxedo-clad HG Nelson plays the role of the overly-eager host. I've never had any problem with HG in the past - the few times I've seen him on GNW and other comedy shows, he's been quite entertaining - but in Comedy Slapdown he dives headfirst into annoying buffoon mode, leaping around the stage and cosying up alongside usually awkward-looking audience members for their take on the proceedings. He pumps up the introduction to each new game (I'm sorry, "round") with ridiculous fanfare, giving the impression of an attention-starved host who would really feel more comfortable on the performing stage (forgive me, "wrestling ring").

Despite the prize having no meaning at all, an exorbitant amount of time gets dedicated to the judging panel and the awarding of points. The panel itself consists of three members: The principle judge, a randomly-selected audience member and whatever D-grade celebrity guest the Comedy Channel has managed to snare in that particular week. The result is that at least a cumulative ten minutes of the show are wasted on utterly pointless waffle. Now, I know a lot of people complain about Tom Gleisner's comments between sketches on Thank God You're Here, but let's give him some credit - the man knows what he's talking about, doesn't tend to rabbit on and usually has some clever little scripted one-liners to throw in there. By contrast, the assessments of the Comedy Slapdown guest judges drag on interminably, although the content of their remarks is generally something along the lines of "I am voting for the blue team because they made me LOL."

Unfortunately, the judges' boring waffle isn't restricted to the panel, as the celebrity guest invariably ends up being dragged into the "ring" to take part in various games. Because when you've got a cast of six people who are funny for a living, what you really need is Molly Meldrum to get out there and let his comedic prowess shine. The awkwardness skyrockets while the funny plummets.

To top it off, the show's hour-long run-time (forty minutes minus commercials) makes it exhausting to watch, especially as, of the forty minutes of content, only around fifteen could be described as actual comedy. In other words, it's a half-hour show masquerading - poorly - as an hour-long spectacular.

I would love to see a show, like Whose Line or TGYH, that showcases Australian comedians and improvisers. Unfortunately, barring a dramatic overhaul of its entire format and some sorely-needed casting cuts, Comedy Slapdown is not going to be that show. Do yourself a favour: Give this one a miss.

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