The Games (Australian TV series)

The Games (Australian TV series)

infobox television
show_name = The Games

caption =
format = Comedy/Satire
picture_format = 4:3
runtime = 26 minutes per episode
starring = John Clarke
Bryan Dawe
Gina Riley
Nicholas Bell
country = AUS
first_aired = 1998
last_aired = 2000
num_episodes = 26
network = ABC TV
website =
tv_com_id = 9512

"The Games" was an Australian mockumentary television series about the Sydney Olympics in 2000. The series was originally broadcast on the ABC and had two seasons of 13 episodes each, the first in 1998 and the second in 2000.

'The Games' starred satirists John Clarke and Bryan Dawe along with Australian comedian Gina Riley and actor Nicholas Bell. It was written by John Clarke and Ross Stevenson. The series centred on the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) and satirised corruption and cronyism in the Olympic movement, bureaucratism within the Australian Public Service, and unethical behaviour within politics and the media. An unusual feature of the show was that the characters shared the same name as the actors who played them, to enhance the illusion of a documentary on the Sydney Games.


John Clarke played "Olympic Supremo" and head of the "liaison and logistics team", an undefined but important subsection of SOCOG. Clarke was apparently a former Olympic champion, but ducked the question whenever asked about which event. Gina Riley played the harassed head of marketing and Bryan Dawe was the team's pessimistic head of accounting. The series also featured actor Nicholas Bell as the conniving Secretary to the Minister for the Olympics, a foil for Clarke's character.

Guest stars included John Farnham, Dave Graney, Frank Woodley, Barrie Cassidy, Maxine McKew, along with New Zealand actor Sam Neill.


The final episode was broadcast days before the opening ceremony of the real Games. In this episode, the three stars and Bell were forced to stand in for The Seekers at the closing ceremony rehearsal to sing "The Carnival Is Over". The Seekers did indeed perform this song, but at the closing ceremony of the Paralympics some weeks later.

In one moment, the actor John Howard appeared on a video message intended for overseas release and read an apology to Aboriginal people for crimes committed against them by the Australian government. In the episode, a group of overseas countries threatened to boycott the Games unless the Prime Minister, also named John Howard, gave a public apology to Aboriginal people. The message was accompanied by John Clarke's saying "that's not the Prime Minister," to which Gina Riley replied, "He never said he was. He said he was John Howard." The confusion between the two men has become a frequent joke in Australia, exploited by the small-L liberal actor.


The Games was named Most Outstanding Comedy Program at the Logie Awards of 2001. Season 1 was released on DVD in 2005, a release of Season 2 is still to appear. Most episodes are on PAL format VHS.

In New Zealand, the series was one of the first programmes on TVNZ 6 on September 30 2007, the day of the channel's launch.

External links

* [ 'The Games' Official Site]
* [ Text of John Howard's apology on 'The Games']
* [ IMDb entry for 'The Games']
* [ 'The Games' in the Australian Television Information Archive]
* [ John Clarke & Bryan Dawe fan MySpace page]
* [ 'The Games' on John Clarke's official website]
* [ Bryan Dawe's official web site]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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