Blankety Blanks - ideas for improvement
Graham Kennedy, talking into a cassette recorder, relays his suggestions for improving Blankety Blanks to select production personnel. This recording, dating from early 1977, has never been previously heard in public.
Graham was known for his perfectionism and attention to detail. His command, not only of his role as host but also his interest in understanding the many technical roles undertaken by production staff, became a hallmark of his success. 'He knows every facet of the business - production, programming, promotion - I've never met anyone with a broader knowledge of TV', In Melbourne Tonight and Graham Kennedy Show director Peter Faiman told the TV Times in 1979.
At the time of this recording, only ten episodes of Blankety Blanks had been produced and, though enjoying solid ratings, Kennedy felt that the show was yet to find its groove. A discussion in the following weeks with co-star 'Ugly' Dave Gray saw a shift towards greater comedic interplay with the guest panellists, at the expense of the actual game. Kennedy's intervention was a turning point in the program becoming the most popular locally-made show in the country.
'Writers have asked me, “how do you do that? How do you appear to be having so much fun?” The answer is that we are having fun. There is a real party mood during the recordings and it affects everybody. Laughter is literally in the air, and we all imbibe the atmosphere. There's nothing phoney about my antics. I'm having a good laugh and enjoying it', Graham told the The Telegraph in Sydney at the time.
Notes by Simon Smith