The Pied Piper of bogan

Paul 'Pauly' Fenech filmed for Housos in Patton Street on Thursday. PICTURE: NARDIA KEENAN

Broken Hill’s bogans and closet bogans were drawn irresistibly to Paul ‘Pauly’ Fenech as he brandished his thong along Patton Street on Thursday whilst filming an episode of Housos.

The SBS comedy series follows swearing, fighting housing commission residents, the eponymous housos, and SBS decision-makers have been slow to embrace Pauly’s accurate depictions of Australia.

They thought the other show was problematic,” said Pauly.

“This one’s got drug abuse, alcohol abuse, abuse and everything, but the audience has proved that they like it.”

Housos exerts a fascination over viewers who didn’t grow up in their second-best tracksuit pants.


“People like my comedy because it’s real, old-school, Australian humour,” said Pauly.

“It’s honest. We use real people.

“The guy in this scene is a local.”

That guy was a tall man in a blue ‘wife-beater’ singlet who fell backwards onto a crash mat after Pauly’s character, ‘Franky,’ threw his thong at him in a signature move.

Authenticity is the hallmark of Housos, and filming was frequently halted by fans tooting their car horns, shouting encouragement or asking for photos.

“So many people in the show are so close to the real thing,” said Pauly.

“We’re not like a lot of film crews, to block everything off.”

The lead female role in Housos is Shazza, a fierce, protective, rough as guts woman who is always swearing.

“I think the great thing about Shazza is she’s a real typical type of Aussie chick,” said Pauly.

“Not every chick is like that, but there are many Shazzas out there.”

Talented Pauly writes, directs and stars in Housos, and he followed the same winning strategy in Fat Pizza.

Pauly served up a slice of the pizza delivery world to SBS after he had worked as a pizza delivery man, but it wasn’t an overnight success.

“I did pitch it to them, and initially, it was knocked back,” said Pauly.

He pitched it again and made a pilot.

“The guy had to make a decision,” said Pauly.

“He thought about it for two years.”

The decision-maker suddenly passed away, and his replacement gave the green light to Fat Pizza.

The comedy was like the pizza delivery world on speed but with goths, aliens and an elevator rumble between Elvis impersonators and KISS impersonators.

Pauly is a trailblazer for unique Australian comedy and finds it easier to do all his own writing, directing and acting.

“I do so much myself because the less people you kind of have to tell something to do, the less diluted it gets,” he said.

“So if I work with four other people, you’ve got four people that are going to argue about everything, so it saves arguing.”

Pauly also protects his ideas this way.

“It doesn’t get kind of filtered down.

“It’s pure, hundred per cent Fenech ideas.”

Pauly believes that if you’ve got a passion for something in life, he is the living proof of possibility no matter what it is.

“If an idiot like me can succeed, anyone who works hard can do it,” he said.

As the bogans sadly peeled away at the end of the Housos film shoot, Pauly invited people to watch him in an even tougher show next week.

“If you want to see me get tortured on television, watch the SAS show because that’s me getting tortured by elite soldiers,” he said.

“It’s the SAS. They burned us. They gassed us. They drowned us.

“And pepper-sprayed us, just for the cherry on top.”

The documentary, SAS Australia, airs on SBS next week.

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