Saturday, 25 July 2015

#60. Johnny Revolver, P.I.


Theme song written, performed and recorded by Matt Neal and Jade McLaren.
Additional music written, performed and recorded by Matt Neal.
Episodes recorded, produced and mixed by Harry Fahey and Matt Neal at Burndog Studios, Warrnambool, and Kellie’s Swamp, Warrnambool.
Written and recorded 2004-2005?
Originally broadcast on 3WAY FM.



And now for something completely different….

As much as I love writing and recording music, I think I love writing and recording comedy radio plays even more. Unfortunately, there’s even less call for the comedy radio plays I’ve worked on than the music I’ve helped make. Maybe that’s because the radio plays I’ve worked on just aren’t very funny. Or maybe they are. Who knows? Comedy, eh?

Me and an electric typewriter in The Love Shed, circa 2000. PIC: Brendan Hoffmann.

Johnny Revolver, P.I. is the second of three radio plays I’ve co-written over the years. The first – Intergalactic Organ Transplant Delivery Unit & Taxi Service – ran for about 50 episodes in 1999 and 2000 and was recorded live to air on the “hit” 3WAY FM show The Soul Mass Transit System.

Nathan Pye and myself working on an episode of Intergalactic,
which was typically written in the three or four hours
just prior to our show going to air. PIC: Brendan Hoffmann.

We were on air every Friday night from 10pm to midnight, and at 11pm (when the kiddies and old folks were asleep) we would let loose with Intergalactic, which began as a vaguely profane rip-off of Futurama and deteriorated into an incredibly profane, ultra-violent and disturbing mind-fuck of idiotic proportions. We – myself, Dion Barker, Nathan Pye and Brendan Hoffmann, plus special guests – were very drunk and young at the time. Thankfully, only a handful of episodes were ever recorded, although I still have copies of most of the scripts. They have not aged well. We were eventually (and quite rightly) kicked off air.

Hoffa reads through an Intergalactic script in the 3WAY studio. PIC: Matt Neal

When they finally forgave us and let us back on air, we took things more seriously. Dion Barker, Harry Fahey and myself hosted a show (which I think was called The Bomb) and during that stint we wrote, recorded and aired Johnny Revolver, P.I..

This new series took the lessons learnt from Intergalactic and two years of screenwriting classes, and combined those things with the skills we’d picked up recording music. We also adopted a slightly more mature (and less profane) approach to things. We recorded 14 episodes before running out of steam (I believe we had another couple of episodes written but they were never recorded).

Dion Barker, circa 2000-ish. PIC: Matt Neal.

Johnny Revolver, P.I. is an affectionately idiotic tribute to Warrnambool, framed through the clich├ęd “dumb detective” genre. What I love about it is how we portrayed Warrnambool as being far more multi-cultural than it is, inadvertently creating this kind of Bizarro Warrnambool in the process.

I’m not sure if it’s still funny, or if it was ever funny, but listening back to the 14 episodes I laughed quite a bit. Kudos goes to Dion for his performance as Johnny Revolver, which mostly holds the show together, and the guest bits from Jade McLaren, whose over-acting put the rest of us to shame. Harry’s production of the first season was also great (I think I took over those duties when Harry got jack of it after episode 10) as was his increasingly endearing performances as Johnny’s put-upon sidekick Squirmy Lewis.

Harry Fahey, who is nothing like Squirmy Lewis. PIC: Matt Neal.

Sadly it didn’t run it’s full course (there was a good sub-plot that was going to come to fruition in episode 20), but it did pave the way for Jade McLaren and I to do the many and varied incarnations of The Doctor & The Colonel. More on that in a future blog.

PIC: Glen Watson.

Johnny Revolver, P.I. is a weird mess of juvenile humour, silly voices, bad acting, stolen jokes, a handful of zingers, and a couple of surprisingly good running gags, but if you get through all 14 episodes I’ll buy you a beer. Admittedly it starts slowly, but trust me; it gets slightly better.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy the comedy stylings of Johnny Revolver, P.I.

Full credits

Season 1 – Episode 1
The Case Of The Silver Ball

Written by Dion Barker, Harry Fahey, Jade McLaren and Matt Neal.

Starring
Dion Barker as Johnny Revolver, P.I.
Harry Fahey as Squirmy Lewis/bingo player
Matt Neal as Doug
Jade McLaren as Balls McFlaherty
Matt Wearne as Grand Pubar



Season 1 – Episode 2
The Case Of The Missing Butcher

Written by Dion Barker, Harry Fahey, Jade McLaren and Matt Neal.

Dion Barker as Johnny Revolver, P.I.
Harry Fahey as Squirmy Lewis
Matt Neal as Doug
Matt Wearne as Italian butcher
Jade McLaren as hostel manager/Michelle the Friendly Butcher



Season 1 – Episode 3
The Case Of The Secret Hamburger Recipe Robbery

Written by Harry Fahey, Jade McLaren, Kyle McLaren and Matt Neal.

Dion Barker as Johnny Revolver, P.I.
Harry Fahey as Squirmy Lewis
Matt Neal as Doug/Hamburglar
Jade McLaren as Henry Hermond/Sally
Matt Wearne as Ronald McDonald/Grandpappy Hermond



Season 1 – Episode 4
The Case Of The Murdered Co-Star

Written by Harry Fahey, Jade McLaren, Kyle McLaren, Matt Neal, Matt Wearne, Dion Barker and Brendan Hoffmann.

Dion Barker as Johnny Revolver, P.I.
Harry Fahey as Squirmy Lewis
Matt Neal as Doug/The Stalker
Matt Wearne as The Assistant Director
Jade McLaren as Tom Selleck



Season 1 – Episode 5
The Case Of The Diabolical Dunny

Written by Harry Fahey, Jade McLaren, Matt Neal and Brendan Hoffmann.

Dion Barker as Johnny Revolver, P.I.
Harry Fahey as Squirmy Lewis/Phyllis Glenpot
Matt Neal as Doug
Harry’s computer as CRAP 3000
Matt Wearne as CRAP prisoner



Season 1 – Episode 6
The Case Of The Race

Written by Harry Fahey, Jade McLaren and Matt Neal

Dion Barker as Johnny Revolver, P.I.
Harry Fahey as Squirmy Lewis/Barman
Matt Neal as Doug/Horse trainer/Stupid horse/Race Caller
Matt Wearne as Bookie/Sheik Djibouti

Season 1 – Episode 7
The Case Of The Pirated Music

Written by Harry Fahey, Matt Neal, Matt Wearne and Jade McLaren.

Dion Barker as Johnny Revolver, P.I.
Harry Fahey as Squirmy Lewis/Mrs Silver the Parrot/Bearded Clementine
Matt Neal as Doug/Barry Pegbeard
Matt Wearne as Blackbeard Silver



Season 1 – Episode 8
The Case Of The Coffee Cup

Written by Matt Neal, Harry Fahey and Matt Wearne.


Dion Barker as Johnny Revolver, P.I.
Harry Fahey as Squirmy Lewis
Matt Neal as Doug
Matt Wearne as Big Brad Coffee
Jade McLaren as Coach Coles/Coach Fukinawa



Season 1 – Episode 9
The Case Of The Mahogany Ship Replica

Written by Matt Neal, Harry Fahey, Matt Wearne, Dion Baker and Jade McLaren.


Dion Barker as Johnny Revolver, P.I.
Harry Fahey as Squirmy Lewis/Jimmy Colt, P.I.
Matt Neal as Doug/Lord Marseilles Chowder III/Snappy Thomson/Narrator
Matt Wearne as Lord Devonshire Chowder III
Corey Grapentin as David



Season 1 – Episode 10
The Case Of The Mahogany Ship Replica Part II

Written by Harry Fahey, Jade McLaren, Dion Barker, Matt Wearne and Matt Neal.


Dion Barker as Johnny Revolver, P.I.
Harry Fahey as Squirmy Lewis/Jimmy Colt, P.I.
Matt Neal as Doug/Narrator/Lord Marseilles Chowder III
Matt Wearne as Harvey the Butler/Lord Devonshire Chowder III


Season 2 – Episode 1
The Case Of The Missing Parking Meters

Possibly written by Harry Fahey, Jade McLaren, Dion Barker and Matt Neal.

Dion Barker as Johnny Revolver, P.I.
Harry Fahey as Squirmy Lewis/Phyllis Glenpot
Matt Neal as Doug
Jade McLaren as The Coin Collector



Season 2 – Episode 2
The Case Of The Mafia Valentine

Possibly written by Harry Fahey, Jade McLaren, Dion Barker and Matt Neal.

Dion Barker as Johnny Revolver, P.I.
Harry Fahey as Squirmy Lewis
Matt Neal as Doug/Tony Pepperoni
Kellie Johns as Capricossa Pepperoni
Matt Wearne as Gangster #1
Jade McLaren as Vito




Season 2 – Episode 3
The Case Of The Whereabouts Of The Roundabouts

Possibly written by Harry Fahey, Jade McLaren, Dion Barker and Matt Neal.

Dion Barker as Johnny Revolver, P.I.
Harry Fahey as Squirmy Lewis
Matt Neal as Doug/K-Dog, King Of The Lappers/Ted/Master
Matt Wearne as Industrial Worker
Jade McLaren as The Foreman/Bill/Henchman



Season 2 – Episode 4
The Case Of The Death Puppies

Possibly written by Harry Fahey, Jade McLaren, Dion Barker and Matt Neal.

Dion Barker as Johnny Revolver, P.I.
Harry Fahey as Squirmy Lewis/Phyllis Glenpot/Gruffnut
Matt Neal as Doug/Mudbones
Matt Wearne as Massive Mal

Jade McLaren as Sickboy

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