The cast of the ABC's new sketch series, Black Comedy.
The cast of the ABC's new sketch series, Black Comedy.

Black Comedy sketches Aussie culture

POLICE bust into a suburban home, startling the indigenous couple inside. The man runs, the police chase him out the back and they tackle him.  

Inside for questioning, the officers reveal he's under investigation for not "acting black enough" - he's bought a Delta Goodrem album and he's swapped KFC for kale ("it's like cabbage, the latest trendy food on the street").  

This is Blakforce : the crack paramilitary unit responsible for policing what is and isn't black in the community, just one of the hilarious sketches in the new ABC series Black Comedy.   

One of the stars of the show, Aaron Fa'aoso hoped the six-part series, created by and starring indigenous talents, would be welcomed by Aussie audiences.  

"It's fresh, it's new, it's entertaining - I think you'll get a few laughs," Fa'aoso said.  

The series has been described as a fast-paced and entertaining look at Aussie culture through the comedic prism of our first people and promises "no area is off limits".  

Along with Fa'aoso, who's appeared on shows like City Homicide, Sea Patrol and East West 101, the show stars Steven Oliver, Jon Bell, Nakkiah Lui, Elizabeth Wymarra and Bjorn Stewart.  

The show also features cameos from Aussie actors like Matt Day, Jeff McMullen, Deborah Mailman, Sacha Horler, Brooke Satchwell, Brendan Cowell and Anita Hegh.  

"They just embraced the whole process," Fa'aoso said of his guest stars.  

"They all said, 'this is so timely, it's about time (we had a show made and starring indigenous people) - it's 2014, why has it taken so long?"   ABC executive producer and head of indigenous, Sally Riley put together a comedy workshop back in 2012 for indigenous performers, created some sketches for a show reel and the scripts were written.   

Once the ABC execs jumped on board, the project was on and after seven weeks of shooting and more of production, the six-part series was made, which Fa'aoso said was "a lot of fun".  

"I've been absolutely blessed with this opportunity and I think it was so much fun. We just laughed all the time - we had to say 'are we actually working here?'," he laughed.  

"It was a refreshing break from the heavy drama I've been accustomed to. I've played some very serious and dramatic characters and roles, so to actually be involved with the first comedy sketch series in about 40 years, and an indigenous comedy series at that, it was an opportunity I couldn't go past."  

As for Blakforce, followed right across the six episodes, Fa'aoso suggests it's one Aussie audiences may just fall in love with.  

"It could be a series on its own; we could go right around the country hunting down blackfellas who aren't black enough." Fa'aoso said the show was a stepping stone for talented indigenous performers and writers, which would hopefully be groundbreaking in the Australian television industry.  

"We're naturally very funny and humorous people. I mean, our humour is what got us through some really tough stuff," he said.  

"As soon as Australian television moves towards colour blindly casting roles, the better it will be for everybody, so we can start actually seeing the reflection of what's out there in society.  

"For us actors and performers and creators and so forth, the journey is still a long way for us I believe - times are changing though, we're moving slowly.  

"The show is a bit of cheek back at our own mob, so I thought it was great. It's ridiculous but it's funny. What a concept, I loved it."  

Black Comedy premieres Wednesday, November 5, at 9.30pm, on the ABC.

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