Prepare to cringe — it’s the awkward Scott Morrison interview that has surprised us all. James Weir recaps.
Just when we thought the most cringeworthy thing we’d see on TV this week was an unprovoked Married At First Sight husband informing his wife that he’s not keen on the sexual act of pegging, Scott Morrison pops up and starts strumming a ukulele.
Of course Channel 9 is responsible for inflicting both nightmares on the Australian public.
The promo clips released in the lead-up are like a trailer to one of those end-of-the-world disaster movies. Explosions. Screaming. Giant sinkholes forming in city streets without warning.
There’s only one man who can ringlead something like this: Karl Stefanovic. The Today host guides the PM and his wife Jenny through the interview at their taxpayer-funded Sydney residence.
The teasers show them all standing around in the kitchen of Kirribilli House, sipping margaritas while an apron-wearing ScoMo prepares a feast.
“Watch the knives!” Karl jokingly nods to the nearby utensils.
“Only from behind!” the Prime Minister laughs back.
It could almost be mistaken for a breezy segment on Better Homes & Gardens. I was on the edge of my seat, waiting for Karen Martini to jump out of the pantry and quiz Jenny about what her go-to quick ‘n’ easy midweek meals are.
Amid growing backlash, poor polling numbers and with an election due by May, this kind of stunt interview is a last-ditch effort to win over the stragglers who haven’t made up their minds about where their vote is going.
It’s one big final grand gesture to impress the girl and score a date. It’s a dozen red roses. A flash mob in the street. The Prime Minister is so desperate to woo and entice, he’s prepared to do anything in this interview.
And apparently that includes belting out a bitta ‘70s rock.
Another teaser clip shows ScoMo out on the patio with the margaritas over family dinner, strumming a ukulele while singing a stripped-down cover of April Sun in Cubaby Dragon. Some people really just can’t handle their tequila.
Does Karl start yelling out song requests? Guess we’ll have to watch.
Producers over at Triple J better be making urgent calls to lock in the PM for their Like A Version segment.
It’s this specific musical moment in the 60 Minutes snippets that causes an all-body reaction where you involuntarily pull your knees up to your chest and cover your face with your hands — peering at the painfully awkward scene between splayed fingers. It’s like on The Bachelor when one of the contestants decides to read an earnest handwritten poem — or worse … rap.
It hurts to watch.
The last time we cringed this hard at a prime minister was … was … well, it was last week when ScoMo barged into a salon and tried washing some poor woman’s hair. Remember when Jaws came out in the ‘70s and some moviegoers were too scared to go back into the ocean? I feel the same way about going back to the hairdresser.
ScoMo jamming on a ukulele during a sit-down interview with Karl Stefanovic would be like Joe Biden riding around the White House on a unicycle while being interviewed by Wendy Williams.
When that preview clip of the ukulele hit the internet, social media was quick to make the connection between the instrument and Hawaii — the destination of an ill-fated 2019 family holiday the PM took while catastrophic bushfires swept through multiple states back home.
Stefanovic manages to work in a jab about the controversial overseas trip during tonight’s interview, which causes the Prime Minister and his wife to laugh sheepishly and reply, “Too soon”.
While the interview is also expected to touch on more serious points — like the comments Mr Morrison made after former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins went public with allegations she was raped at Parliament House in 2019 — from what we’ve seen in the promos, those weightier moments are spliced between generous doses of goofiness to soften the blow.
The goal? Calm recent criticism and humanise a man who many see as out-of-touch with the modern world.
Will it work? Maybe the ukulele playing is just one big tactic to torture all us voters into submission. “Fine! We’ll vote for you! Just don’t ruin Flame Trees!”