The Katering Show's Intelligent Humour

If you wanted to update Kath and Kim by moving it to the inner city, changing it from Gen X to Y, and then whack it in a kitchen, you’d have The Katering Show.

The uptake for the web series was fast. Within two weeks of uploading, the 6-part series received 2.6 million views. It’s a cooking parody show hosted by comedians Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan. McLennan introduces herself with, “I spend my days cooking for the ones I love,” while McCartney chimes in, “I spend my days not being an arsehole”.

McCartney hates cooking, McLennan loves it. The dynamic is perfect. And this still from the first episode sums up their relationship.


The show is puntastic. Here’s McCartney’s side-eye to the camera as she shows her satisfaction with the name ‘Katering’. It’s a show that ‘caters’ to Kate’s needs as a person with food intolerances.


The humour extends to the editing too. In a parody of close-ups of common kitchen activities in cooking shows, a running tap stays on screen for 10 seconds.


In another episode, a pressure cooker bubbles on a stove for 23 seconds. Given each web episode (webisode?) is about 7 minutes, this is 5% of the time. You find yourself laughing while literally nothing is happening on screen. It’s all in the editing, the sounds, and the realisation that cooking shows are often ridiculous.

McCartney’s no cook but she knows her drinks. Here’s some advice about frozen margaritas from her "Booze Revooze" segment.


The show is 100% Aussie, mate, with classic Australian passive-aggressiveness.


Along with other Australian-isms.


Our reverence for religious, European-style Christmases in our not very religious, hot country is subtly noted.


The social satire is all Gen Y. With comments ranging from how the slow-food movement is propelled by rich people acting poor, to ethical-eaters losing sight of the impact of their other activities, and brilliant rebukes of casual racism.


And no Gen Y series would be complete without a discussion of our obsession with social media.


The show is naturally feminist, casually destroying the illusion of the happy Stepford wife and acknowledging the pressure on women to have kids, and to like having kids.


And much in the same vein of Bridesmaids, looking pretty on screen all the time is, a) not real life, and b) not the only thing women can do. Being exhausted from kitchen work, however, is real life.


The Kates should probably be given a minute to rest on these laurels before being pestered to start their next project. But if the writing and direction they displayed in this series is anything to go by, they've got some tasty buns in the oven.

So don't despair. Although, if you do need to despair, do it with onions.