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Tom and his jokesters are back to grab your attention

Sam Pang, Tom Gleisner and Ed Kavalee star in Have You Been Paying Attention?
Sam Pang, Tom Gleisner and Ed Kavalee star in Have You Been Paying Attention? Channel 10

THE stars of Have You Been Paying Attention? have two shiny new Logies under their belts as they return for a fifth season.

Once a quiet achiever for Channel 10, the news quiz show has gained a loyal following as reflected in its Most Outstanding Entertainment Program and Best Entertainment Program gongs.

"We were nominated for the very same awards at last year's Logies and we didn't read either, so we weren't overly hopeful," host Tom Gleisner tells The Guide.

"Walking into the the room (this year) we were at table 52, which is a long way from the stage, so we thought 'Oh well'."

The cast of 'Have You Been Paying Attention', (l_R) Sam Pang, Tom Gleisner and Ed Kavalee accept the Most Outstanding Entertainment Program Silver Logie during the 2017 Logie Awards.
The cast of 'Have You Been Paying Attention', (l_R) Sam Pang, Tom Gleisner and Ed Kavalee accept the Most Outstanding Entertainment Program Silver Logie during the 2017 Logie Awards. TRACEY NEARMY

Gleisner, who co-wrote the iconic Aussie comedy The Castle and the TV series The Hollowmen and Utopia as part of the Working Dog production team, puts the quiz show's success down to its broad appeal.

"People say they sit and watch the show with their teenage kids, which is a pretty rare feature these days," he says.

"We all tend to be off on our own individual screens. This is a show that still has that communal viewing experience."

Each week regulars Sam Pang and Ed Kavalee are joined by three intrepid guest contestants who answer Gleisner's questions about celebrity, politics, sport, current affairs, pop culture and international affairs.

There will be a few new faces this year thanks to the recent Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

"We were quite busy during the comedy festival going out and seeing a lot of acts," Gleisner says.

"I don't want to name them, but we have three or four people we've never seen before that we're in the process of convincing to come on the show."

Who is Gleisner's dream guest?

"It's complete pie in the sky, but I know Jerry Seinfeld is coming out to Australia this year," he says.

"Will he be returning our calls? Does he need our help selling tickets to his tour? I don't think so. International comedians give us a different perspective, so we just see who's drifting through town."

There's plenty of fodder for the new season between US politics and the new slate of reality TV shows.

"There's a new American president - that happened since we last left the screen," Gleisner says.

"I'm sure there will be an entire segment on US politics that will keep us busy.

" I'm a bit disappointed there hasn't been a member of the (British) royal family behaving badly for a long time. I'm hoping one of them does something to give us some ammunition. You can't make the news; you can only ask questions about it."

Even though he's sometimes the butt of the joke, Gleisner loves the quick wit of his co-stars.

"One of the real pleasures I have is never really being sure of what's going to be said," he says.

"Last year the Ku Klux Klan were in the news for some reason - they endorsed Trump or something - and I asked 'What is the name of the KKK's newspaper?' Ed barely paused and said 'the White Pages?' It was a good joke on about seven different levels. I could have stared at that question for a week and I wouldn't have come up with that."

Have You Been Paying Attention? returns on Monday at 8.30pm on Channel 10.

Topics:  channel 10 have you been paying attention? television


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