A few of our dream Taskmaster NZ guest stars, flanking original Taskmaster UK hosts Greg Davies and Alex Horne (photo illustration: Tina Tiller)

Taskmaster, the best game show on TV, is coming to New Zealand

Taskmaster is arguably the funniest show on television, and next year a New Zealand version will hit our screens. Tara Ward dives into the caravan of challenges to find out what Taskmaster NZ could look like.

We might be drowning in a sea of formulaic television, but Taskmasker is our David Hasselhoff, a beautiful saviour flailing towards us at high speed and holding out either a finger or a sausage for us to grab onto. Hold on tight, friends, because even though The Hoff or Taskmaster don’t make any sense in this crazy world of ours, both are unique works of genius.

We’ll get a chance to create our own genius next year, when Taskmaster NZ launches on TVNZ2. Currently in it’s 9th season in the UK (featuring our own Rose Matafeo), Taskmaster is the world’s greatest television show, an unpredictable and chaotic delight that sees five comedians compete in a series of completely ridiculous and utterly pointless challenges. Guess the filling of a pie without breaking the crust, work out the circumference of a caravan in baked beans, or see who can paint the best picture of a horse while riding a horse.

Genius, I tell you.

It’s as if a focus group of seven year olds ate a shitload of lollies and started blurting out random ideas. “Make the most tremendous pair of legs! Find the most pleasing thing that is the same size as your cat! Put as many things as you can in a sweatband on your head and then eat a pancake!” The comedian with the most inventive and creative solution wins the most points, plus the esteem of taskmaster Greg Davies and his trusty assistant, Little Alex Horne.

Taskmasker is the type of malarkey that happens when you’ve had way too many Fantas at home by yourself on a lonely Tuesday night (or so I’ve heard). It’s perfection on a TV plate, which is why fans are worried about a Kiwi version. I mean, could Michelangelo repaint the Sistine Chapel in Ashburton? Would the Eiffel Tower look out of place in Eketahuna? Would the Taj Mahal have the same impact if it were wedged between Subway and Mrs Higgin’s Cookies on Courtenay Place?

I’m going out on a limb/tremendous set of legs to say Taskmaster NZ will do just fine. The Brits aren’t the only ones who can open a jar of mayonnaise covered in Vaseline, and thanks to the manic nature of the beast, Taskmaster should transcend both geography and metric systems. Even at its most absurd and awkward, Taskmaster NZ will still be a hoot, and that’s a hill I’m prepared to roll three exercise balls up and die on.

Taskmaster is all about funny people doing funny things, so here’s some similarly pointless and nonsensical reckonings about what Taskmaster NZ could look like.

Who could be the Taskmaster?

Kim Hill

Takes no prisoners, also would not stand for anyone building a piece of shit hat out of fruit.

Urzila Carlson

Tough but fair, but could probably score a goal with a steamroller better than any of the contestants.

Jeremy Wells

This is the fucking news. Or something.

Pam Corkery

“Puffed up little shit” is exactly the sort of constructive feedback the Taskmaster should excel in.

What about the Taskmaster’s serious sidekick?

Angella Dravid

Would remain cool, calm and collected in the face of repeated idiocy, especially during a challenge to sneeze the fastest.

Constable Karen O’Leary

Challenge: try and eat her ghost chips.

Rose Matafeo

Currently slaying the competition in the UK version, Rose knows the all tricks of the Taskmaster trade, including how to hide three aubergines in a living room. Handy.

Lionel Skeggins

Look, he has to turn up eventually, and it may as well be during a game of Charades using giant foam hands.

Who should compete?

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There’s no shortage of talented New Zealand comedians who will shine like the hilarious gems they are in Taskmaster NZ , but imagine if we cast our net into murkier waters. This is a chance to test our beloved Kiwi personalities like they’ve never been tested before. Who among us hasn’t dreamed about watching John Campbell try to hide a pineapple on his person? Have we even lived without witnessing Suzanne Paul making an exotic sandwich, or Astar from Good Morning chucking a tea bag into a cup from the furtherest distance?

I want tears, I want laughter, I want The Chiz and The Whiz running as far as they can while making a continuous noise with their mouths, and I want The Champagne Lady stacking the most bowls and plates on her head alternately and one at a time. Is that too much to ask?

What challenges should they do? 

Anything involving clingfilm and a banana, basically.


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