Harley Breen Sets His Sights On The Gold Logie (Sort Of)
After the pilot for his series 'Taboo' scored a Logie nomination, comedian Harley Breen has his eye set on Gold.
The nominations were announced late last month, with the pilot episode of 'Taboo' scoring a nomination in the Most Outstanding Factual or Documentary Program for 2019.
The episode was part of 'Pilot Week', where a handful of shows were given the green light for a pilot to air on 10, then social media sentiment, ratings and a few other factors were taken into consideration.
Breen's pilot was picked up for a four-episode run -- with three new episodes joining the pilot which aired last year.
"It's a weird, surreal kind of feeling," Breen told 10 daily after hearing about his Logie nomination, adding, "you're not meant to say surreal because there's nothing surreal about it.
"But 19 years I've been an entertainer and that's just been in the live [comedy] world. I've been in obscurity for a majority of my career... then you do one TV show and you get a Logie nomination, like, what? I thought you'd have to work a little bit longer or a bit harder!"
"This is pretty easy! Do One pilot, get a Logie nom. What's the f**king problem here?"
Breen -- who admitted he thought awards are a bit ridiculous -- was still flattered by the nomination saying it was "a good marker that you've done good work".
For those still wondering what exactly 'Taboo' is, Breen goes away with a group of people from a marginalised group in society, hears their stories and experiences then performs a comedy set. Basically -- as Breen puts it -- 'Taboo' invites you to laugh with people you're not supposed to laugh at.
"It's not something that I think has ever really been on Australian television before," Breen said. While a lot of people compare the show to ABC's 'You Can't Ask That', the difference here is that the series delves into some heavy topics, then jumps back to Breen who cracks jokes.
"It's the last thing you expect to happen as you're just hearing about -- for instance Nicole, a young mother diagnosed with bowel cancer," Breen explained to us.
"Her baby is eight months old and she's diagnosed with bowel cancer. It's such f**king horsesh*t. Normally we'd just let that sit as a story of tragedy... what I love about 'Taboo' is we don't let it sit as just tragedy, we certainly give it time to be a tragedy, to hear it and feel it... and then we cut to me being inappropriate and calling it 'butthole cancer'.
"Who would do that? But try to say 'butthole cancer' and not laugh. It's fun!"
For Breen, while a Logie nom is a welcomed nod to the show's success, he's more interested in what response he can elicit from the audience.
"If this show does really well it will be because the same audience member laughs and cries in the same break," he said. "You want them laughing about exactly the same thing they were just crying about."
The show is a balancing act where Breen has to find the right tension between comic and tragic, for both the live audience he performs the sets for and those watching the series at home.
When asked what he thought about a potential second season, Breen wasn't short on ideas. Considering groups like the elderly, the LGBTQ+ community and even ex-cult members, but he was hesitant to admit excitement.
"The job itself is really difficult -- the timeline and turnaround of it all," he said but also admitted that the process of meeting and hearing people's stories, like Nicole's he mentioned before, can be taxing. To find the light in that takes its toll.
Still, after getting a Logie nomination from just one episode, Breen is ready to keep that momentum going.
"Sure, I'll do season two and get Gold and then I'm out. I'll never do TV again," he joked. "Maybe next year I can get the best newcomer and Gold in the one year -- and I'm done!"
'Taboo' premieres Thursday, June 13 at 8.30 on 10 and WIN Network.
Featured image: Network 10.