Posting on Twitter on Wednesday evening, Lindsay Bennett, the deputy editor of AdNews, claimed Anderson had a “complete meltdown” because the audience weren’t laughing enough.
“What you won’t see on #Gruen tonight,” she tweeted on Wednesday. “Wil Anderson’s complete meltdown between scenes because the audience wasn’t laughing enough at his jokes.”
On Wednesday’s show, the panel did a segment on Facebook’s new ad, in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
An anonymous audience member told news.com.au after 40 minutes of filming, Anderson berated the audience for their lack of enthusiasm.
What you won’t see on #Gruen tonight… Wil Anderson’s complete meltdown between scenes because the audience wasn’t laughing enough at his jokes.
— Lindsay Bennett (@lindsaybennett) May 8, 2018Advertisement
“Afterwards, Anderson stood up and said [words to the effect of] ‘That took 40 f—ing minutes to film. I don’t want to be out of line but you guys are the worst audience I’ve ever had’,” the audience member said.
“When one woman called out [and said] the topic was ‘boring’, [Anderson] was like ‘Why don’t you f— off then’.”
On Tuesday, perhaps pre-empting the story of his antics that later broke, Anderson told his Triple M Grill Team colleagues after filming the episode he felt the audience weren’t “giving [him] the energy that [he] needs”.
“We were doing Gruen last night and that audience was just a terrible audience,” he said on air.
“Usually we have a fantastic audience and it wasn’t that they were bad people, but they were just sitting back in seats not giving you the energy that you need so you try to rev them up. I literally just told them they weren’t doing a good job.”
However, in a statement given to The Music on Wednesday, the ABC denied the “meltdown” claims circulating about that evening’s show.
“Wil Anderson interplays with the Gruen live audience to ensure there is high energy in the room and the audience feel engaged and entertained,” a spokesperson told the news outlet. “Such interactions with the audience, which are not for broadcast, are similar in tone to a live comedy performance.
“Last night’s audience took this interplay with the good humour with which it was intended and Wil thanked them for their enthusiasm at the end of the recording.”