An Extremely Boozy, Sweary Four-Course Lunch With ‘The Katering Show’
We talk sexism, plans for a movie, high school fingering and that time McLennan flashed her tits at the Logies.
The second season of The Katering Show opens on hosts Kate McLennan and Kate McCartney standing with freakishly tall hair in front of a cafe in Brunswick made up to look like the Masterchef building. Caked in fake tan, McCartney stares out with dead eyes as she’s described as “a more marketable colourscape” and McLennan grins demonically as she says “The world is waiting for us to fail! The pressure is overwhelming!”
“I can’t breathe. I actually can’t breathe,” McCartney announces in the same sunny cadence someone might use when being forced to make a phone call to loved ones while being held against their will.
As with all their satirical work, there’s some truth in this sense of panic. After the Melbourne comedians’ first season of the web series went viral last year, the Kates have been busy beyond belief. The show was picked up for a second season on ABC’s iView. Their other series, Bleak, scored a pilot run on the ABC’s upcoming Comedy Showroom. And, to top it off, they both had kids — two beautiful children they’ll later describe to me as “succubuses” while revealing the bald patches and tufts of short wonky fringe they have as a result of pregnancy-related hair loss.
Despite all this, the second season of The Katering Show stands up spectacularly well to the first. Here, the pair examine the absurdity of harmful diets, pop-up restaurants and the unattainable lives of lifestyle gurus, while also casting an acerbic self-awareness over the nature of their success and “the fans who scream ‘Do more viral takedowns of food culture, you bitch’ while [they’re] playing in the park with their kids”.
During their press run before the series launch, we treated them to a feast at Maha — Shane Delia’s well-respected Middle Eastern restaurant tucked down a dark staircase in Melbourne’s CBD — to get an insight into their creative process, the joys of motherhood, and their eternal love of food (but mainly to just get tipsy and talk about vaginas).
Junkee: Thanks for coming guys, it’s so nice to meet you!
Kate McCartney: Yes! I might have a look at the wine list. IT’D BE RUDE NOT TO.
Kate McLennan: McCartney said to me yesterday she couldn’t have any of the food because of her allergies [dairy, onion, legumes, garlic, cauliflower, nuts, seeds, gluten, everything], but I really wanted to come here.
McC: I don’t mind terribly. It’s nice being out. It’s nice being in a ’70s sex dungeon.
McL: Should we ask them if they should make any adjustments?
McC: Eh, I don’t think so. I may just get drunk.
McL: This is pretty great, Meg. I don’t mean to sound like we’re really sad shut-ins but…
McC: We don’t want to say it because it’s self-evident.
McL: We haven’t been out. This is the first time that you and I have been out for a meal…
McC: I consider this to be the closest we’re going to get to a wrap party.
McL: Maybe it’s a date night.
With a stranger.
McL: You’re our mediator! It’s like we brought our marriage counsellor along with us to see how we interact.
*Grabs each other and cackles*
Is that because you’ve been so busy?
McL: Initially it was the busy-ness, and then it was the kids coming along. That prevented us from leaving the house.
*The wine arrives*
McC: Cheers to us!
McL: Ladies’ lunch! LOOK OUT.
None of us have been here before, right? Do you know anything about the owner, Shane Delia?
McL: Yes! Him and I were asked to do a panel together for the Melbourne International Film Festival. I get asked to speak about food because of the show now.
McC: Weirdly, no one asks me. I have so many opinions on canned tuna.
McL: Wow, so much you can add to the conversation. Anyway… there was myself and Shane, the guy from Gelato Messina, this guy called Jonathan Gold who’s a food writer from the LA Times. They all spoke about food and I talked about wanting to eat food.
McC: So what is he?
McL: He’s a chef. He has a show.
McC: Is it a food show?
When we did the panel I asked him if they do cutaway shots like we do; when you quickly hide something you’ve fucked up. We do cutaways when we’ve not managed to get through an entire take and get through the dialogue properly. And he was like “hehe yeah, nup. I’m actually good at my job”.
McC: You watch quite a few cooking shows, my question to you is: how long would it take for you to give up your comedy career if someone said to you, you’re the new Justine whatever-that-name-is [her name is Justine Schofield]. Would knowing that my career hinges on your career do anything? I have nothing. Well… that’s not true.
McL: It’s almost true.
McC: You’d do it within a second, wouldn’t you? What a sweet fucking gig. I’m not worth it. Our friendship isn’t worth it.
McL: Yep. So much of it is just speaking shit to camera. That’s all it is. That’s pretty much what Shane does.
McC: Who’s Shane?
McL: Jesus. The guy whose restaurant we’re sitting in.
If you had a show, what would it look like? It might be hard to do now after The Katering Show.
McL: Originally I wanted to do a show — this is so earnest and lovely — called Recipes My Grandmother Gave Me.
McL: Did you just choke on your wine?
McC: You’re not that person! When will you come to terms with the fact your heart is black and charred?
McL: Sometimes I just want to be the girl my mother raised me to be! Anyway, I’d get people, celebrities, and I’d take them to their grandmother’s house where she would teach them a recipe from their childhood. It would be lovely. Julia Zemiro has really nice hair is essentially what I’m saying. I like her hair and I really want to be Julia Zemiro.
McC: Well, there you go, that’s your 10-year plan.
McL: I actually struggle because my grandmother got dementia.
McC: *Laughs* You’d go over to the nursing home and go “Nan. Nan. Teach me to bake scones–”
McL: And then the woman would come up to me and say “That’s not your nan. Your nan passed away two years ago.”
McC: “Oh. I need to get my parking validated.”
I would watch this show.
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