Funky Squad

The very funky Funky Squad
Oh man, how groovy can you get? What a gas. The Australian TV series Funky Squad was made in 1995 by the Working Dog team - the same creative crowd who made cinema gems The Castle, The Dish and the much acclaimed TV current affairs spoof Frontline.

Funky Squad drew its inspiration from 70s crime dramas that were supposedly hip and contemporary and featured the stylistic elements of the era - afros, long hair, flairs, 'gay' moustaches and psychedelic paraphernalia - Mod Squad, that 70s show about a group of young undercover cops, instantly comes to mind.

The show was originally heard on Triple J radio before moving to TV, with Tim Ferguson taking over from Rob Sitch in the  Grant/Blair Steele role. As the TV intro reminded us, the F Squad were "an elite new team..a team that speaks the language of the streets. Young, touch with the now generation!"

As an authentic touch and since it was on the commercial free public ABC channel, real commercials of the era were shown during the 'breaks'. You'd think this would be a winning formula for a nostalgia hungry, aging baby boomer culture, wouldn't you? But no...

The original Mod Squad
Unfortunately, despite being fairly funny, the series failed to take off and only seven episodes were made before it was chopped. Apparently Australia wasn't  yet ready to face the fashion horrors of the 70s full on. Nethertheless, it must have been a riot to make. Just the character's names and pseudo-real monikers are enough to make me smile:

The Chief, aka Baldwin Scott - Barry Fieldlander
Grant, aka Blair Steele - Tim Ferguson
Stix, aka Joey Alvarez - Santo Cilauro
Poncho, aka Harvey Zdalka Jr - Tom Gleisner
Cassie, aka Verity Svensön-Hart - Jane Kennedy

More vintage tv...
Mr. Ed
The Patty Duke Show 
My Favorite Martian 
Fireball XL5
Andy Pandy
Gerry Gee