Arts & Entertainment

Glebe Comedians Premiere On SBS On Demand

Victoria Zerbst and Jenna Owen

SBS On Demand recently premiered an exclusive comedy sketch series, Cancelled!, by two Glebe locals.

The series looks at the “scandals that rocked Australia”. From a controversial novel banned in Australia to a pop duo too racy for radio. Every public outrage that never happened is explored in Cancelled! The show features entirely fabricated scandals and the public reactions that follow.

Glebe based comedians, Victoria Zerbst and Jenna Owen write and star in the series alongside SBS’ The Feed comedy team. They say the comedy sketches are a deep dive into cancel culture and media perception.

“Everyone is the author of their own content in a way, we live in a very public centric life…it’s very interesting to see the hilarious ways people can make missteps whether it’s by accident or not,” Zerbst says.

“I think in our series we kind of look at the people behind those decisions. The whole point of it is to unpack the nuance of this issue in this way that’s funny,” Owen says.

Zerbst and Owens derive their inspiration from how scandals are handled by the public.

We got interested in this whole idea of cancel culture, but also I think more specifically about things being pulled before they get to see the light of day due to some form of public outcry and did quite a bit of research into that,” Owen says.

The 20-1” style countdown show explores the decision-making process behind scandalous pop culture events and the public reactions that follow.

“It’s not groundbreaking to say that elements of cancel culture are really good or really bad. I think what’s important to investigate is sometimes the perpetrators or the big perpetrators like cancel culture because so much of what goes on behind the scenes is actually where the blame lies,” Owen says.

Cancelled! expertly critiques topics such as the corporatisation of LGBTQI identities in a segment about gay dolls. The comedic pair use humour and satire to make prevalent social issues more palatable for a wider audience.

I think so many young people care so much about what’s happening in the world and being able to find a way to provoke conversation and let people into what feels really important,” Zerbst says.

“What we’re always trying to do with satire and the whole point of satire is to engage critical thinking in a way that our institutions just don’t anymore,” Owen says.

Watch Cancelled! on SBS On Demand at www.sbs.com.au 

By Tessa Pelle

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