The Sage of Edmonton has been listening to the cricket, and has stumbled on Australia’s dirty little secret:
The Australian networks are picking up the BBC feed, so the network observes a strict one-Brit one-Aussie rule at all times in the booth. This leads to a lot of barbed, culturally volatile exchanges covered by a transparent shellac of collegiality. The English are generally poor at hiding their commingled fascination and horror at the gusto and glowing health of the Australians. The Aussies, for their part, maintain a suitable Zarathustran superciliousness–but it sure seems like homo australis is awfully vulnerable to the verbal stiletto that every Englishman above the age of four carries in his boot. Every time the various English broadcasters start to wax acerbic, their Australian colleagues become flustered and try changing the subject to the events on the field (as well they might, since their squad is making England’s cricketers look more like Scotland’s). Has any attention been paid to the Australian sense of humour, or absence thereof? They seem to mostly export soap and pop stars to the wider world while their British and Canadian brethren airlift comedians. It’s not a good sign when your most sophisticated national ironist is Dame Edna Everage.
Most Australians will deny it, but Colby Cosh is right on the money. In my own case, I never had a chance; not only am I Australian, but I am descended from Germans. I could not tell a funny joke to win the Ashes.
This is not to say that Australians do not have a sense of humour. Comedy is a big thing here, but Australian humour does not translate well, being full of allusions that only the locals understand. And I sadly suspect, the quality is not that good either.
Why is it so? Or is it obvious, and, me being Australian, I missed the punchline?