Serious Sochi is a comedic goldmine
IT HAS been great to see Rampaging Roy Slaven and HG Nelson back on the telly over the last week, giving us their daily light-hearted take on thrills and spills and calamities of the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Roy and HG have been around so long now that watching them almost makes me feel like an old pensioner going to Twin Towns to watch a Neil Diamond concert.
There's a certain comfort in putting the feet up late in the evening and tuning in to this pair - even if they may be a little bit past their best - because even if they are only sometimes side-splittingly funny, they still at least give you something to laugh at.
After hearing a serious Olympics commentator say of Australia snow-boarder Torah Bright earlier this week: "Can she shine bright like a diamond?" without the slightest hint of irony in his voice, I was in need of some comic relief.
That's not to say the commentary has been all that bad so far, but I much prefer Roy and HG's blunt analysis of some of the more elegant Winter Olympic sports.
As much as they are taking the mickey, there is a certain honesty to the way they avoid the technical jargon of some of those subjectively judged events and simply give their own very human interpretation of what is going on.
Who could forget terms such as "Dutch Wink", "Battered Sav" and "Hello Boys" from the coverage of the 2000 Olympics in Sydney?
I also like that tendency they have to re-name every nook and cranny of each track, course or venue (complete with graphic demonstration), using a combination of popular Russian cultural references and toilet humour.
This is a technique they have used to great effect over and over again in their various performances over the years - perhaps their way of poking fun at the way sports venues have been pulled apart and sold off, bit by bit, to sponsors.
They have mastered a way of bagging and slagging off our Olympic heroes in order to make us laugh, but not in a way where they are going to cause offence.
Ditto to the way Roy Slaven has spent the majority of this week trying to convince us that "Snell" is the most popular surname in New Zealand.
There is something quintessentially Aussie about being able to be really serious about sport but then being able to have a bit of a laugh about it as well.
Despite taking a ribbing from Roy, sportspeople from all backgrounds seem to have taken pleasure in appearing on Roy and HG's television shows over the years, which I think backs this point up.
It is just sport after all and let's face it - those of us sitting on the sidelines watch it as much for the stuff-ups as we do for the glory of victory. I'd bet that even those food freaks that have been watching MKR would rather see Manu take one bite of a meal and run off for a violent heave into the porcelain, than comment on how good the sauce is before scoring a 10.