The one-off anniversary show celebrating the 50th anniversary of Hey Hey It’s Saturday has been a hit with Aussies, attracting more than 1.22 million viewers when it aired on Sunday night.
Hey Hey We’re 50 outperformed The Block in the 7pm slot, which saw 920,000 people tuning in.
In a breakdown of the ratings, the Hey Hey special garnered a high proportion of its views from people over the age of 55, and was the third most popular for viewers aged between 25 to 54.
Reunited… and it feels so good! 😍✨
— Channel 7 (@Channel7) October 10, 2021
The anniversary show saw the return of original host Daryl Somers and featured messages from Molly Meldrum, Red Symons, Marcia Hines, Dave Hughes and Rhonda Burchmore, among other celebrities.
Many fans took to social media to share their excitement over the show and the nostalgia that came with it.
“Loving Hey Hey and this trip down memory lane,” one fan tweeted.
“Considering how uncertain, depressing and crap things are right now, I always find comfort in nostalgia – Thanks for the memories.”
Welcome back to TV, Daryl and gang!
This is REAL fun and entertainment!
What a blast of great memories and moments! For these 90 minutes, Australia feels like Australia again!#HeyHeyIts50Years @Channel7 pic.twitter.com/D2RESCpeQ5
— Erin Churchill (@erintheboss) October 10, 2021
After Sunday’s anniversary special, some critics took to social media to call out the show for its “dated” skits by today’s standards.
“Things that seemed good when we were younger and less aware maybe weren’t that good and we don’t have to pretend they were good just because they’re familiar,” one person tweeted.
happy 50th birthday to a show that has spent 40 per cent of the past 50 years cancelled https://t.co/Uf2AVuZzCd
— casey briggs (@CaseyBriggs) September 13, 2021
Following the announcement of the anniversary special earlier this year, Somers said in a statement that he was “absolutely delighted” when approached with the idea by Channel Seven.
“Trawling back through the vast archive has been almost as much fun as doing the show in the first place, so I hope we can offer a few laughs, not only to the diehard Hey Hey fans but to all Australians, as we desperately need a touch of levity at this time,” he said.
Seven’s decision to bring the show back came shortly after the show faced accusations of racism, including claims surrounding the treatment of singer Kamahl.
After a compilation video that showed all the racist jokes and stereotyping Kamahl went viral online, Kamahl told Guardian Australia that he felt “humiliated” by his experiences on the show.
Somers later apologised to the singer, saying that “in the context of modern society some material from the past is plainly inappropriate, and would not go to air today”.
Image: @Channel7 / Twitter
This article first appeared on Over60.