Madison Lloyd – one third of Australian comedy outfit, SketchShe – is one of my dear friends. We studied journalism together in uni and I’ll never forget the day she rang me up to tell me she couldn’t make my best friend’s wedding because – after SketchShe amassed over 75 million views on YouTube – she simply must fly to Los Angeles the following morning to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. It was a golden ticket that could only be handed to the bravest among our little gang, the one most willing to be publicly self-deprecating in exchange for a laugh.
Flash forward a few years and Madison and her co-pilot Lana Kington are now social media staples, at-the-ready to narrate the human existence through a comedic lens. And while, COVID-19 has done a number on the world economy, the land of laughs has arguably been dealt another golden opportunity.
“Producing content during this time has actually been a positive challenge for us,” says Madison. “Having a global trending topic to work with is great in terms of relatability and creating community online. Having parameters and physical restrictions removes a lot of creative choices but can actually be a good thing to hone creativity.”
Mads and Lans – as I fondly know them over a cocktail – have just released a video sending up the Australian government’s JobKeeper allowance, a fortnightly payment support system for businesses significantly affected by coronavirus. (For uninitiated international readers: In Australia, eligible employers are given $1500 per fortnight to put toward the salaries of their staff in order to keep employees in jobs. The first JobKeeper payment was made just days ago.)
Most Australians who are still employed are just grateful they have a job in this climate. In fact, after living frugally for eight weeks under the threat of businesses closing up shop, when the JobKeeper payment finally hit accounts, it was natural for some to feel a little, well, rich; Splashy. Flashy. Cashed up. Or as SketchShe put it in their latest video “bougie on a budget”.
“There were definitely a few questionable looks while we swanned through the aisles (aka catwalk) of Coles!” says Lana of filming the clip. “We get a huge kick out of innocent bystanders’ reactions – ‘Are they REALLY wearing that!?’ Me getting whipped in the face by the money feather boa and Mads making love to the bonnet of the Tesla while couples were out for their hour of iso-approved exercise was also a highlight.”
“The outfit inspiration was one part The Simple Life, a touch Ab Fab and a healthy injection of Tiger King’s Carole Baskin,” she continues. “We were going for OTT tacky, cashed-up Bondi bogans!”
Set to Doja Cat’s, “I’m A Bitch, I’m A Boss”… I don’t remember this skill-set being taught in lectures past. But when the world is crumbling around you, what’s a uni lesson when you can have a laugh?
Watch it now.