Cactus comedy sharpens its spikes on the international stage

The funny characters are back.


The daily radio satire Cactus has been making fun of Aussie politicians since the days of Bob Hawke (King Bonza) and Paul Keating, but comedy and audio caricatures depend on great subjects.
The lacklustre gaggle of politicians available a few years ago made it hard work for the team of creatives who, all the same, toiled on through the dry years to make fun of all and sundry.
But now, the funny characters are back, not just in Australian politics, but on the world stage as well.
radioinfo sat in on a recording session last week, meeting the team who have put together the show for over thirty years. It has now earned the title of Australia’s longest running serial, overtaking Blue Hills, which ran for 27 years.
Initially designed to be a 65 episode send-up of the Hawke/Keating government triggered by Paul Keating’s infamous ‘banana republic’ comment, the show has been in non-stop production ever since with a record-breaking 6,810 episodes in the can to date. It is heard on stations all around Australia and is now available for private listening via downloads direct from Grace Gibson Productions.
Voice actors Keith Scott and Robyn Moore (pictured above) do all the voices, which are recorded by Bill Dowling at Sound Kitchen studios in the Sydney suburb of Crows Nest, produced by Triffique Productions and distributed by Bruce Ferrier, proprietor of Grace Gibson Productions.
Keith Scott and Robyn Moore have the caricature voices down pat, and switch between characters seamlessly, mostly in one take, as seen in the video of last week’s recording session below.

Keith Scott told radioinfo he sometimes has to adapt voices to get the best laughs. “Barnaby is difficult, have you heard him speak… he has lots of pauses, ums and ahhs… if I imitated his real voice it would be very boring, so I have revived the voice of Joe Bjelke Peterson and I use it for Barnaby.”
The inspired comedy writer Doug Edwards composes the scripts, and lately has had lots of inspiration from international events. In last week’s episodes Donald Tump and Kim Jong Un had a passionate encounter in an episode titled ‘Making Love Great Again.’ You can hear a couple of snippets of the audio below, narrated by Hartley Moistgusste, who sounds remarkably like Frank N Furter from the Rocky Horror Show:

Kim Jong: …Well I wasn’t sure if you would love me.
Trump: Why the hell not my gorgeous little Rocket Man?
Kim Jong: Well, I’m a little bit fat…
Trump: Hey, that’s fake news, you’re voluptuous… even more than Stormy Daniels, and she has implants…


In this week’s episodes, Sean Connery’s voice returns to Cactus as James Bond, who is pulled out of retirement to save the world from Donald Dump, alias Gold Face, whose trade war must be stopped.
None of Europe’s leaders are spared from Doug Edwards’ wicked pen as he reshapes their names and characters for laughs. Theresa May becomes the new M (PM that is), who leads a cast of other world leaders, such as Giuseppi Temporary, this week’s Italian leader, German chancellor Dangela Merkin, Japan’s Sushi Abe and Canadian leader Studmuffin Trudeau.
In the two episodes Bond travels the world to find the villain Donald Dump, using a handy little gadget he got from Q to take him from London to New York… called a plane ticket. Finally he tracks Dump to a forgotten island in the Altantic… called Manhatten, and pretends to be a Dump voter to gain access:
“I sprayed my neck red… and punched myself in the head until I was stupid…”

When he finally corners Donald Dump in his limousine he is surprised by an Australian voiced interloper who is in the car with Trump – Pauline Hanson. “I didn’t know whether to bite my cyanide pill or my Viagra…”
Listen to what happens in the two snippets from the upcoming episodes below (© Triffique Productions, used with permission).


Radio comedy is still being recorded each week in Crows Nest by the Cactus team. Take a peak inside last week’s recording session in the video below.




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