Comedy, podcasts, radio new zealand, rnz, satire, politics, humor, history

Right on the Night on Radio New Zealand

Disclaimer: Just a warning, folks, I'm directly part of this thing sometimes so there may be a little bit of bias here. That being said, though, I have not and will not ever be paid to say anything nice about things I review. All thoughts are unsponsored and I will only be praising things on their own merits.


Now the important things are over, let's talk about Right on the Night.

Radio New Zealand is the public service radio broadcaster in New Zealand. Aside from excellent news coverage and factual programmes, there are a bunch of wholeheartedly decent fiction shows that are definitely worth checking out.

Also, all of them clock in at under ten minutes each so they're a fast listen as well.

Right on the Night is a weekly(ish) historical(ish) satire show. It's recorded just minutes before broadcast with a team of roughly fifteen people who are cast in their roles on the night. This audience adds supporting characters and foley sounds to the mix. The last time I performed on it, I had to make foley sounds with this hunk of metal here. You'll have to listen to the show to find out what that was used for.

It's recorded in a news broadcast-style, but each historical period relates to something going on in the news right now. What topical political issue did we cover the week that the show was set during a serious power struggle in Rome? I bet you can't guess.

There is a Roving Reporter alongside the historical cast to help drive the show along. Of course, the reporter also has an oddly suitable name for the historical period in question - take Hera Meeroa, the reporter for Lady Godiva's naked ride through the streets of Coventry.

Say it out loud a couple of times, you'll get it eventually.

I adore this show because it's clever. Radio New Zealand's shows tend to be witty, but also somehow profound and Right on the Night is no exception. As well as that, the historical allegories actually make sense.

Have you ever thought to compare ancient cave art to arts funding nowadays? I haven't.

Should the Mayans have to think about future-proofing if they're predicting the end of the world? I don't know.

I could continue with the rhetorical questions but you've probably got the point.

If you're into historical jokes, dubious accents and more puns than you'll ever need, check out Right on the Night.

Will you like it?

Only time will tell.

Seriously though, listen to this year's final episode on Radio NZ at 9.20 tonight. The backlog of the last three seasons are available here.

Emma Maguire