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Legendary NZ TV Moments

By NZ On Screen team
15th March 2012

 Legendary NZ TV Moments

Legendary NZ TV Moments

 NZ On Screen team

By NZ On Screen team


It's moments like these ...

This collection celebrates the legendary moments that New Zealanders — huddled around the telly — gawked at, chortled with, and choked on our Choysa over as they played out on our screens. "There's a generation who remember where they were when JFK was shot", but as Paul Casserly asks in his collection primer, "where were you when Thingee's eye popped out?"


Legendary NZ TV Moments

 The Son of a Gunn Show - Thingee's Eye Pop

"It really is a gem and some consider it to be the moment that this country truly became a nation. No offence to Gallipoli." Paul Casserly sums up the impact of the ocular incident that occurred during the filming of a kids' TV show; and he breaks the news that alien Thingee was originally avian.

 Police Ten 7 (always blow on the pie)

It was the food safety advice heard around the world. The night footage of a policeman interrogating a suspected car thief on TVNZ's long-running crime series was routine until the officer's deadpan response regarding a microwaved pie. From left-field it became a global 'odd spot' sensation.

 Heartland - Wainuiomata

This show was possibly the most controversial edition of the Heartland series. Amidst the league clubs and Tupperware parties Gary meets Wainui-o-Martian Chloe Reeves who, with her squeaking voice, romantic dreams, and tiger slippers, proved to be unforgettable, and became a national figure.

 6.30PM News - Leeza Gibbons

In 1988 Entertainment This Week's host Leeza Gibbons and Coronation Street's Christopher Quinten found love while taking part in a New Zealand Telethon. Viewers — like the couple — were agape. This news segment re-caps the romance and follows the duo to Arrowtown. Warning: includes a deep pash.

 Wheel of Fortune - Celebrity Episode (10 Oct 1992)

Barcelona Olympic bronze medalist boxer (and future World Heavyweight title challenger) David Tua's letter request became instant folklore on the 10 Oct 1992 celebrity edition of the game show. Casserly: the collection "is O for Awesome, and wouldn't be complete without that famous moment".

 Eyewitness News - Bob Jones punches reporter Rod Vaughan

In July 1985 TVNZ went searching for forthright New Zealand Party leader Bob Jones to interview, and after chartering a helicopter, found him fishing near Turangi. Jones was not amused. He bopped reporter Rod Vaughan, whose bloody face became, as Casserly says, "etched onto our collective cathode".

 3 News - 'Corngate' interview with Helen Clark

In July 2002, John Campbell confronted PM Helen Clark over the suspected release of GE corn seed. Upset at the ambush, Clark reacted tersely (she later labelled Campbell, a "sanctimonious little creep"). With an election looming the encounter was immortalised as 'Corngate'.

 Eyewitness News - Snap Election Setup

In 1984 PM Rob Muldoon, his majority in tatters, called a snap election. Facing the media scrum it was suggested that he was drunk — or believed his own invincibility — but it was the start of the end. Casserly: "the so-called 'schnapps election' clip is unrivaled as a piece of political archive".

 Holmes - The First Episode

In this very first Holmes show, the titular host asks US yachtsman Dennis Conner to apologise for cheating in the America's Cup. Conner storms out, making headlines and giving the new show a ratings boost. Despite accusations that it was a set-up, the moment kicked off the style that made Holmes famous.

 Face to Face with Kim Hill - John Pilger

"This interview frankly is a disgrace." This is an excerpt from Kim Hill's infamous 2003 interview with John Pilger, award-winning journalist, and film-maker. Casserly: "To watch this clip is to enter an alternative universe where Kim Hill is guilty of 'not reading enough'. Both lose their rags and Kim throws a book. Magic."

 Shortland Street - First Episode

This iconic serial drama is based around the births, deaths and marriages of the staff and patients of Shortland Street Hospital. Characters and lines from Shortland Street have entered the culture, most famously "you're not in Guatemala now, Dr Ropata!", which features in this first episode.

 The Listener Gofta Awards 1987

One of NZ TV's more notorious episodes, the 1987 Gofta Awards have gone down in history as an awards show train-wreck, as silver-suited presenters Leeza (Entertainment This Week) Gibbons and Nic Nolan struggle to wrangle an underfed, over-watered and increasingly restless media industry audience.

 Goodnight Kiwi

Goodnight Kiwi was a beloved animation that bade viewers goodnight once the day's broadcasting ended. For a generation of kids it became a symbol of staying up well past your bedtime. Viewers never questioned why our nocturnal national icon was going to bed at night, or sharing a bed with a cat.

 Tonight - Robert Muldoon interview

This battle of wills between interviewer Simon Walker and Robert Muldoon sees the Orwellian Prime Minister become bullish about being asked questions (about Soviet presence in the Pacific) that are not on his sheet: "I will not have some smart alec interviewer changing the rules half way through."

 6.30PM News - Grahame Thorne's Perm

With stints as an All Black, Springbok triallist, sports presenter, National MP, and celebrity chef, Grahame Thorne has experienced his share of fame. But perhaps his hottest 15 minutes came after he dared to present the sports news in 1983 with a magnificent spiral shaped mane aka ... a perm.

 Gallery - Post Office Go Slow

In this apt-for-2012 studio interview Brian Edwards turns conciliator in a long-running industrial dispute. With the clock ticking, Edwards forced an agreement between the Postmaster General and union rep to stop action and return to mediation. Novices (Sainsbury, Campbell et al) take note.

 Melody Rules - Going, Going ... Goner (Episode One)

'Going, Going, Goner ...' was the ominous title for the opening episode of the much-unloved sitcom that has become legendary for all the wrong reasons. With her mother on an archaeological dig in Malaysia, Melody (Belinda Todd) is babysitting and ... but no one remembers the details of the plot.

Thingee’s Eye and other delicacies

Thingee’s Eye and other delicacies

Paul Casserly eats media lunch and chews through the legendary moments in the collection primer. Read ›

Legendary Moments: Part Two

Legendary Moments: Part Two

Nine more gems: from NSFW Angela D'Audney and turkeys in gumboots, to folk heroes Colin McKenzie and the Ingham twins. Read more ›

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