Martin/Molloy: Mick Molloy's Celebrity Corner by Tony Martin and Mick Molloy
The Martin/Molloy program – named for its star comedians, Tony Martin and Mick Molloy – ran on Australian radio from 1995–98.
The show cleverly juggled smart political satire with low-brow humour, sometimes in the same segment. In 'Mick Molloy’s Celebrity Corner', Mick interviewed Tony impersonating a celebrity, often a politician.
When the show began in 1995, a frequent target was then-Prime Minister Paul Keating; by the time this segment aired in 1997, Martin had a new prime minister to impersonate, John Howard.
Produced at Austereo's Fox FM in Melbourne, Martin/Molloy was broadcast live on up to 54 radio stations across Australia during this time. The fast-paced, sketch-based format had previously been restricted to breakfast radio; the idea of such a show working in late afternoons (4–6pm weekdays) seemed far-fetched to some radio insiders.
However, Martin/Molloy was a ratings success, and quickly grew from being broadcast only on Austereo's metropolitan stations to airing around Australia. Martin/Molloy spawned three ARIA award-winning albums: The Brown Album (1995), Poop Chute (1996) and Eat Your Peas (1998).
An entire generation of drivetime radio comedy-talk shows followed and this format remains the backbone of the major commercial FM networks in Australia to this day. Tony Martin gifted the original recordings of Martin/Molloy to the NFSA in 2013.
Image: Mick Molloy and Tony Martin. Publicity still, 1998.