Broadcast live on GTV9 from it’s studios in Richmond Victoria, In Melbourne Tonight ran from 6 May 1957 to 1970. Each show commenced with an announcement of the guest performers over the show’s theme song Gee, But You’re Swell.
It began in 1956, just in time for the Melbourne Olympics and soon became immensely popular. So too did the host of the show, Graham Kennedy, who became that classic icon, a household word.
He was the king of comedy, the recognised successor to Australia’s previous comic king and lord of misrule, Roy Rene. With In Melbourne Tonight Kennedy brought to and adapted for television Australia’s rich history of very risqué music hall, vaudeville, and variety.
In Melbourne Tonight included musical acts, game segments, burlesques of ads, and sketches, including “The Wilsons.” In this segment, perhaps reminiscent of The Honeymooners skit on early 1950s American television, Graham played a dirty old man, married to his Joyce, carnivalising marriage as comic disaster.
Geoff Corke was Kennedy’s offsider until 1959 when Bert Newton joined GTV-9 from HSV-7 to become Kennedy’s straight-man. This began a professional partnership that continued for many years and a friendship that continued until Kennedy’s death in 2005.
Other IMT identities included Joff Ellen, Val Ruff, Panda Lisner, Mary Hardy, Rosie Sturgess, Patti McGrath (later Patti Newton), Toni Lamond, Philip Brady, Johnny Ladd, Noel Ferrier, Elaine McKenna, Bill McCormick, Ted Hamilton, The Tune Twisters and the Channel 9 Ballet.
About This Web Site
This web site is a tribute to the live television show.. In Melbourne Tonight regarded as many as Australia’s greatest ever television show.