i was pleasantly surprised when I received a call today from Den Wahab who said that my old comedy series Gado Gado is being screened on AstroRia. I just caught one episode a few minutes back on AstroRia. I guess, the series is sold to AstroRia by my former production comapny Double Vision, since the rights may have reverted back to them from RTM.
As most of our fans remember, Gado Gado began way back in 1992 and lasted til 1994 on RTM. It came on air for the first time on Deepavali in 1992, a few months before Jangan Ketawa appeared on TV3.
Gado Gado was just an irreverent comedy series inspired much by Monty Python's Flying Circus sketches and Rowan Atkinson's Not The Nine O'clock News and Benny Hill. It became a cult hit and still has many fans.
I was lucky to have the best actors on set - the original line up were Jalil Hamid, Den Wahab, Ebby Saiful, Ebby Yus, Imuda and Sheila Rusly. Others who became part of the series over the two years include Sofia Jane, Wan Maimunah, Ramasundram, Hamid Gurkha, Herdawatie, Zainal T.J., Thorpe Ali, Nora Den Wahab and Isma Aliff.
It was one of my favourite series to produce until RTM came up with a list of things we couldn't make fun of. This included no Malay actors playing Chinese or Indian characters, cannot make fun of politicians or political events, cannot make fun of the news format.
After three seasons, I gave up even though the crew wanted to slog it out. But the writing was on the wall, and in the fourth season the comedy fell flat. We decided enough is enough. We instead began developing a new comedy series in the same vein as Gado Gado for a short lived TV station - MetroTV. The series was called Ya Bendahara. I can say for sure that the series was one of the most funniest series ever made for TV, but MetroTv was only a KL TV station at that time, so the series couldn't get the following it required. In fact, Ya Bendahara! became a big hit when screened on Singapore TV.
Ya Bendahara! was basically a spoof of all the classic Malay purba movies - from Si Tanggang to Hang Tuah to Semerah Padi. In fact, I hope Double Vision would re=sell it to AstroRia so that the public can see how good Harun Salim Bachik and Sheila Rusly are as comedians.
Anyway, do catch Gado Gado on Astro. Some of the sketches are crap but most of it are really good. For screening times, go to astro.com.my and key in Gado Gado in the search engine.