Play

00:00

/

00:00

Full screen
Video quality

Low 0 MB

High 0 MB

HD 0 MB

Captions
Volume
Volume
Hero image for McPhail and Gadsby - First Episode

McPhail and Gadsby - First Episode

Television (Full Length) – 1980

The debut episode of McPhail and Gadsby plunged into religion as the object of satire, and the result spawned death threats and annoyed letters to the editor. The pair dress up as angels, devils, monks, nuns, priests and Moses, and also make the first of many appearances as the smug Denny (McPhail) and not so clever Ron (Gadsby). McPhail argued later that a simple sketch involving an Anglican vicar dispensing communion unexpectedly caused the most offence. The thematic approach was soon abandoned in favour of shorter episodes, and a more familiar style of topical satire. 

...there was a nationwide outcry from every religious group, apart from the Catholics ... it became very unpleasant.
– Jon Gadsby on reaction to the Religion episode, in his ScreenTalk interview for NZ On Screen

Acknowledgements

Made with funding from NZ On Air

Categories

If you liked this, you might also like...

Thumbnail image for McPhail and Gadsby
Series

McPhail and Gadsby

After turning "Jeez Wayne" into a national catchphrase...

Thumbnail image for Letter to Blanchy - Unofficial Channels

Letter to Blanchy - Unofficial Channels

Also starring David McPhail and Jon Gadsby

Thumbnail image for More Issues - A Compilation

More Issues - A Compilation

More satirical Kiwi comedy

Thumbnail image for A Week of It - First Episode

A Week of It - First Episode

David McPhail and Jon Gadsby's first show together

Thumbnail image for Pete and Pio - Series One compilation

Pete and Pio - Series One compilation

Another comedy duo

Thumbnail image for Great New Zealand River Journeys: The Clutha River

Great New Zealand River Journeys: The Clutha River

Jon Gadsby plays travel host

Thumbnail image for Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby - Period One: The Appalling Mr Gormsby

Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby - Period One: The Appalling Mr Gormsby

Another comedy series showcasing David McPhail

Thumbnail image for A Week of It - Series One, Episode Three

A Week of It - Series One, Episode Three

Another classic featuring David McPhail and Jon Gadsby

Thumbnail image for Public Eye - First Episode

Public Eye - First Episode

A satirical political comedy

Thumbnail image for Intrepid Journeys - Myanmar (Jon Gadsby)

Intrepid Journeys - Myanmar (Jon Gadsby)

Jon Gadsby features in this episode

Thumbnail image for Letter to Blanchy - A Serious Undertaking

Letter to Blanchy - A Serious Undertaking

More Blanchy escapades

Thumbnail image for Beyond a Joke!

Beyond a Joke!

Documentary on NZ humour - featuring McPhail and Gadsby

Thumbnail image for A Week of It - Series Two, Episode 15

A Week of It - Series Two, Episode 15

Another classic featuring David McPhail and Jon Gadsby

Thumbnail image for Billy T Live

Billy T Live

Another classic Kiwi comedy

Thumbnail image for The Amazing Extraordinary Friends (episode)

The Amazing Extraordinary Friends (episode)

Features David McPhail

Thumbnail image for The Unauthorised History of New Zealand - Sex (Episode Two)

The Unauthorised History of New Zealand - Sex (Episode Two)

A comic view of NZ history

Thumbnail image for The Unauthorised History of New Zealand - Visitors (Episode One)

The Unauthorised History of New Zealand - Visitors (Episode One)

A comic view of NZ history

Thumbnail image for In Bligh's Wake

In Bligh's Wake

Jon Gadsby features briefly as a cast member of Mutiny on...

Thumbnail image for Network New Zealand

Network New Zealand

Includes behind-the-scenes footage of McPhail and Gadsby

Thumbnail image for The Last Western Heretic

The Last Western Heretic

The more serious side of religion

Thumbnail image for Away Laughing - First Episode

Away Laughing - First Episode

A later TV sketch comedy series

Thumbnail image for Danny Down Under

Danny Down Under

More McPhail and Gadsby

Thumbnail image for 50 Years of New Zealand Television: 3 - Let Us Entertain You

50 Years of New Zealand Television: 3 - Let Us Entertain You

This episode is discussed in this documentary

Thumbnail image for The Pretender - Series Two, Episode One

The Pretender - Series Two, Episode One

Later political satire

Thumbnail image for Something to Look Forward to - Excerpts

Something to Look Forward to - Excerpts

David McPhail's first TV version of Robert Muldoon