Reading the blurb in the weekly TV guide wasn't enough to get an idea of this show. It had a certain feel, a characteristic that defined itself from other variety shows. It was organised, yet laid back. A professional sense of being natural, which is hard to find in a lot of variety shows.
Featuring segments ranging from interviews to music, talent shows to mini-shows (namely The Sullivans) and contests. Each had their own style, and humour would vary from one to another. Everything, with very rare exceptions, was broadcasted live, providing unexpected laughs, as well as plenty of goof-ups.
One of the segments, Red Faces, would get people talking for the rest of the week, until the next Saturday's episode. Red Faces was a talent show, much like America's "The Gong Show", where people would go on to show their talent/stage act to the audience, where the lead of the judge panel would be able to stop the act at any time, by hitting a gong. The lead judge was always the same person--Red Symons (the reason "Red Faces" seemed appropriate for the name of the segment), who was the "bad guy" of sorts--though the other two or three judges (depending on the situation) were celebrities, whether they be musicians, TV personalities, or stars from Hollywood.
The show also had a long-running mini-series, known as The Sullivans. This featured the host, co-host, announcer, and ostrich companian as characters in a family, performed live, in front of the show's huge audience, meaning a lot of lines were misread. It may seem unprofessional to some, but a large portion of the show's humour was based around bloopers and other mishaps.
The show's host (throughout every series), Daryl Sommers, become hugely popular. Ian "Molly" Meldrum, who was previously host of Countdown, an Australian music charts show, introduced himself to a new generation of people, whether it be through his musical knowledge, or the pranks that were constantly played on him (one example would be chipboard ceiling pieces falling onto him, during his segment). The show's novelty characters, aka the puppets, such as Ossie Ostrich, Dickie Knee, and Plucka Duck, were hugely popular, for their quick wit, or, in the case of Plucka Duck, who didn't talk, the actions performed. Other stars, and even guests, were launched into larger popularity through the long-running show, as they were introduced to a new generation of people, or given a successful career from the show.
The show was hugely successful in its time, though unfortunately had to end when it quickly left its prime. Although it was no longer fresh, millions of people in the country were sad to see it end. I know that I, for one, wasn't happy to watch the final episode. It ran for over a decade, and constantly evolved, growing a huge fanbase. I still consider it my favourite variety show, and many people think television has never been the same since.