Melbourne-based Kate McLennan and Kate McCartney might be some of Australia’s most well-respected female comedians, just don’t call them “girls”.
“When we first did press for The Katering Show, suddenly we became ‘the Katering Show girls’,” McCartney says of their breakout hit The Katering Show, a sarcastic takeoff of every cooking show ever with a biting dash of social commentary.
“We were like, ‘We have C-section scars. We haven’t been girls since we became able to vote’.”
After two seasons as intolerant foodies on The Katering Show, which started life as a YouTube series, these whip-smart women have set their sights on Australia’s breakfast television shows with Get Krackin.
“People wanted us to do a season three of The Katering Show and we just couldn’t think of another way of saying what we wanted to say and making it about food. Plus, we just never go out now,” McCartney says.
“Yeah, our experience of food culture is chatting to the Uber Eats guy,” McLennan interjects.
Get Krackin sees the Kates don “very high heels and very short skirts” for their very early morning show, vacantly interviewing bizarre guests about everything from mindfulness to the power of turmeric.
McCartney spends a lot of her time falling asleep and snoring loudly, while her highly-strung blonde counterpart runs frantically around the show’s sprawling set being painfully perky.
Watch the trailer for The Katering Show (warning: coarse language)
It has to be asked whether they’re channelling anyone in particular – Lisa Wilkinson or Samantha Armytage perhaps?
“It would be hard for me to say I’m doing anyone because my character would not be allowed on screen,” McCartney laughs.
“I’ve got a bit of Armo [Samantha Armytage],” McLennan admits, “and a bit of the lady who does Weekend Sunrise with Andrew O’Keeffe [Monique Wright].”
But underneath their hilarious hijinks is a deeper unpacking of the trappings of white privilege.
“White people have the option to dip in and out of human experience,” McLennan says.
“We can just say, ‘Oh God I’m so overwhelmed I’m just going to step away’.”
The comic duo are particularly ruthless when it comes to society’s wellness obsession, poking fun at the Marie Kondo tidying phenomenon and our love of so-called “superfoods”.
“It’s like, I can’t cope anymore so I’m going to go on a yoga retreat to Bali,” McLennan jokes, before adding, “actually, I’m doing that next week, minus the yoga.”
Despite amassing millions of views on YouTube, the Kates still struggle with some more oblivious members of the industry.
“We often have dudes explaining to us why something was funny as if we aren’t in control of our own material, as if we don’t spend months and months crafting every word, as if we haven’t been in the industry for 15 years,” McCartney says.
“We went to this awards night where man after man would come up with a wine in his hand and say, ‘I’ve been thinking about it and I think you two are actually very funny’.”
McLennan continues: “We got so jack of it that at the end of the night we just went to one guy, ‘Yeah we are!’.
“He actually said, ‘WOAH, I’m funny too you know!’ as if it took away from his compliment!”
One man who understand their humour is acting legend Sam Neill, who makes an unexpected but hilarious cameo in Get Krackin‘s premiere.
“He started tweeting us a couple of years ago because he’d seen The Katering Show,” McLennan explains. “He calls us ‘my Kates’.”
They “flew him in” to shoot the skit, in which he is essentially ignored by the hair-brained hosts for 20 minutes.
“It’s just great to have a space where we can deeply under-utilize award-winning actors of international acclaim,” McCartney laughs.
Get Krackin premieres Wednesday August 30 at 9.30pm on ABC and iView.