I think we can all agree that times have been tough, real tough. As the great man Ronan Keating once said, “Life is a Rollercoaster” and honestly, no truer words have been spoken. In said times, I turn to what is comforting and familiar – Kath & Kim.
The nostalgia of watching Kath & Kim takes me back to my youth, simpler times if you will — the Noughties. A time when Accessorize reigned supreme, knock-off Louis Vuitton handbags were all the rage and Holly Valance‘s “Kiss Kiss” was top of the charts.
As a self-professed Kath & Kim aficionado, I’ve given a lot of thought (some might say too much thought) to some of the show’s more obscure supporting characters. I feel it is my duty, as a Melburnian currently enduring a 56th lockdown, to shine a light during these otherwise dark times on just *some* of Kath & Kim’s most iconic bit players. Here they are, in no particular order:
Brian (Tony Rickards) runs Silver Lady Coaches, a dodgy limo company run out of a warehouse that would absolutely have a stained toilet bowl and 1ply toilet paper — the shiny stuff you find in country town public toilets. After Kath (Jane Turner) — or Kathy, to Brian — falls short of her payment, Brian suggests a kiss on the wedding day. Kel ends up saving the day and let’s just say, he did what was necessary.
Practicing her wildly unfounded qualifications and marvellous secrets often, softly spoken Marion (Marg Downey) quickly becomes the Day-Knights’ go-to life guru. From marriage celebrant and counsellor, right through to baptising Eponnee-Rae and Kim (Gina Riley) in the Belvedere, Marion is there officiating. As someone who grew up in the tranquil outer Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, I can vouch that Marion is not a myth. Anyone for Jarrah?
Think: Colleen Smart’s silent sister. You know, the older I get, the more I identify with Mandy as a neighbour. If there is a slight commotion or a hint of raised voices, you can find her, lurking in her perfectly manicured yard, having a good old butcher’s over the fence.
No, the reason Kel (Glenn Robbins) was left at the altar four times by his former fiancées was not due to his love of Barbra Streisand or extensive man bag collection, it was because ‘best mate’ Sandy Freckle (William McInnes) stole them. If Sandy existed in 2021, he’d be the type of guy who’d ghost you and turn back up via a 2am ‘u up’ text. After a whirlwind trip to Fountain Lakes to make amends with Kel, it doesn’t take long before Sandy is up to his usual tricks, cracking onto Kath in her ‘beep beep’ Barina. In the words of Kel, he’s not a Freckle, he’s a mole.
Prue and Trude
I mean, these two ladies need no introduction. In fact, I’d go as far as to say if someone asked me what my 20 year plan was, I’d point to Prue and Trude (played by Gina Riley and Jane Turner). They have wealthy husbands, pin-straight grey bobs, drive Range Rovers and get to judge unsuspecting shoppers all day. Oh and don’t forget the frequent holidays to Nuu-sah.
Kylie and Dannii Bolton
After both rooting ‘pants man’ Brett, Kylie (Daina Reid) and Dannii (Kate Gorman) soon become Kim’s nemeses. Things reach a tipping point when Kim spots Brett chatting them both up at Fountain Gate and an altercation soon follows in the car park where cutting insults and potato wedges are both thrown. Encouraged by Sharon (Magda Szubanski), Kim gets the last laugh and settles the score on the netball court.
Mark the Fiddler
Mark (Tony Martin) is someone you’d opt to steer clear of at your local — he’d smell of mothballs (masked with Joop), wear a heavily discounted polyester shirt from Best and Less and would drive a car that almost always breaks down, but for the unlucky in love Sharon, he is simply ‘my boyfriend’. On again, off again, Mark comes back on the scene after Sharon wins a Riverdance competition, beating the ‘Lovely Leggy’ Moira. Things soon take a sharp turn when Sharon witnesses Mark’s (failed) attempt at playing netball for the Unics.
Gary (Mick Molloy) aka Kim’s dad, returns to Fountain Lakes from Honkers and finds himself broke and homeless. Tensions run high when he bunkers down in Kath’s townhouse, holding unsigned divorce papers over her head. Gary eventually overstays his welcome and flees, taking Kim and Brett’s marital unit and Sharon’s signed Shane Warne cricket ball with him.
Serving formal wear with a side of sass, Darryl (Mark Trevorrow) was way ahead of the girls at GASP. No stranger to Kel’s formal requirements, having suited him for all his weddings, Darryl strikes up an unlikely friendship with Kel, offering him to join his ‘Fruits in Suits’ men’s group.
Bah, bloody bah!