Risky business for Josh Thomas
HIS role as Gen Y poster boy on Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation was a career breakthrough for comedian Josh Thomas, but it was also a big risk.
The Brisbane funny man says the show was a big punt for all involved – Network Ten, host Shaun Micallef, himself and his fellow team captains Amanda Keller (Baby Boomers) and Charlie Pickering (Gen X).
“I so thought no one was going to watch it,” he said.
“We filmed like five episodes before episode one went to air. We just had like no idea what the show even was, me and Amanda and Charlie. Everything was kept secret from us. They gave us a job, nothing happened and then we showed up to film the first episode.
“It was the biggest career thing I’d ever done. I had no idea what was going to happen. I had met Shaun two or three times and then, bam, we’re on air to 1.7 million people. I don’t think we were expecting that.”
At just 17, Thomas was the youngest winner of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s RAW competition in 2005. His irreverent, almost flippant sense of humour makes him the perfect Gen Y representative. But as the baby of the TBYG cast and crew, he does cop a lot of flack.
“They pick on me heaps. I think they’re pretending (to hate me),” he deadpans.
“And we pick on Charlie, what a nerd (laughs).”
The premiere of the third season of the hit family game show featured an elaborate “end game” full of fire, gun shots and explosions. It was followed last week by a 1950s, Mad Men-themed episode with a more subdued end game – shoe polishing.
“After last week’s big loud explosions, and then when Shaun revealed the task and I saw the big pile of dirty shoes in front of me, I remember thinking to myself ‘this isn’t entertainment, I’m going to move to channel ELEVEN’.”
This season includes another family episode, where the team captains are joined by a family member instead of a celebrity.
Thomas says he enjoyed having his older brother Drew on last year and looks forward to competing alongside another relative.
“It’s fun just generally having someone on there that I know, you know?” he said.
A fourth series of TBYG has yet to be confirmed by Network Ten, and Thomas says the future of the series is up in the air with him and Micallef working on other TV projects.
“I would come back, but I would say this is probably the last one,” said Thomas.
“I think Sean wants to go do other shows and stuff, but that might be totally wrong. I’m always the last one to know. It would be sad to see it go, but it’s good when TV shows end when they’re still good.”