The Graham Kennedy Show (lost television episode with "crow call" incident; 1975)
The Graham Kennedy Show was an Australian television talk show aired on the Nine Network between 1972 and 1975. The program was a mix of guest interviews and sketches hosted by Graham Kennedy. Kennedy is often referred to as "The King of Australian Television". On 3 March 1975, during an advisement segment, Kenndey made a crow call that sounded like a familiar profanity. Thousands of complaints flooded the station, which led to his being banned from performing live on television by the Australian Broadcasting Control Board. Shortly after, he resigned from Channel Nine and didn't return to television for two years.
The "crow call" incident
A regular feature of the show was Kennedy riffing on the program's sponsors during their product segments. He was known for this since his first program In Melbourne Tonight (1957 - 1969). A recurring gag was Kennedy's crow call ("aarrk"). On the live episode airing 3 March 1975, Kennedy would make these calls while announcer Rosemary Margan was trying to promote the hairspray Cedel. The Nine Network reportedly received hundreds of complaints from viewers that believed they heard Kennedy and an "F" to his regular call. The next night, the show's screening in Adelaide, had a one-second to the offending call.
The pressure from the Australian Broadcasting Control Board (then Australia's broadcasting regulation body), led to future episodes of the program being pre-taped, thus stopping the show from being broadcast live.
Now pre-taping his shows, the 16 April 1975 Kennedy opened the show with a scathing attack on the then Minister for the Media, Senator Doug McClelland, for his failure to support local content regulations for TV. During his attack, Kennedy made jokes about the crow-call. Because the show was no longer live, the Nine Network decided to edit this out. It was not long after that Kennedy announced his retirement from television. The original master tapes from this episode did survive, with the introduction intact and have since been uploaded onto YouTube.
According to the National Film and Sound Archive, the master tape of the episode was handed over to the Australian Broadcasting Control Board for review. To date, the whereabouts of the tape are unknown. Although a well-known part of Australian television history and Kennedy's career, no footage or audio of the "crow call" incident has ever surfaced.
- Australia's Naughtiest Home Videos (found cancelled Australian mid-aired comedy TV special; 1992)
- Countdown (partially lost Australian music series; 1974-1987)