Release date17 August 2006 WriterClayton Jacobson, Shane Jacobson ScreenplayShane Jacobson, Clayton Jacobson ProducersClayton Jacobson, Rohan Timlock CastShane Jacobson (Kenny Smyth), Eve von Bibra (Jackie Sheppard), Ronald Jacobson (Father), Ian Dryden (Sammy), Chris Davis (Pat), Jesse Jacobson (Son) Similar moviesMad Max: Fury Road, The Rescuers Down Under, Walkabout, Mad Max, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Independence Day
Kenny 2006 trailer
Kenny is a 2006 Australian mockumentary film starring Shane Jacobson as Kenny Smyth, a Melbourne plumber who works for a portable toilet rental company.
Director Clayton Jacobson describes the character of Kenny as "'The Dalai-Lama' of Waste Management, eternally optimistic and always ready to put others before himself. Kenny represents the humbling nature of common decency." The film was shot entirely on location in the western suburbs of Melbourne and Nashville, Tennessee in the United States.
The film was released in the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom on 28 September 2007.
Kenny is a mockumentary that follows the fictional Kenny through his daily life. His work and his personal relationships are explored as Kenny goes about his day-to-day activities and speaks directly to the camera and his audience. Kenny provides a most basic service to the community, portable toilets. The audience sees Kenny interviewing potential clients and involved in major public events. It is important to Kenny to know the kind of food and drink to be served at these events as this will determine the level of service he provides. Never ashamed of his job, despite the disparagement of some (including his own family), Kenny regards himself as a professional. Even at the most prestigious events for which he caters, Kenny realises that the most glamorous will need his portable toilets. He sees life in all of its complexities through the need of his services. Kenny takes his son Jesse to visit his father, but is hampered by his ex-wife's uncooperativeness and his father's bitterness. When Kenny travels to Nashville to attend a toilet convention, he is thrilled to travel outside his native Melbourne. His ingenuity, friendship and commitment to his profession opens business opportunities in Japan and the potential for a new relationship with Jackie, a flight attendant, but he must return home prematurely when his father suffers a medical emergency. In an attempt at bonding, Kenny and his father and his wealthy brother David go camping. After half a day, David leaves in disdain, to which Kenny tries to defend prompting his father to tell Kenny to step out of his brothers shadow and stick up for himself, a conversation with his father back in the tent prompts Kenny to consider his life. He reveals that his success in Nashville has led to the offer of a promotion, and though his father urges him to accept, Kenny is unsure. When Kenny's ex-wife unexpectedly leaves him with Jesse on the day of the Melbourne Cup, his busiest day of the year, Kenny finds Jesse to be an able and cheerful assistant. However, prejudice against his work again appears, with customers complaining that a child should not be made to clean toilets, and Kenny remands Jesse to the office. When he returns to find Jesse gone, Kenny searches the venue in a panic and eventually finds Jesse at the toilets, wanting to help again. That night, as he is about to drive away in his septic tank truck after a long and exhausting day, Kenny's way is blocked by a luxury car whose driver insensitively brushes off his requests to move. Kenny eventually breaks habit to fill the man's car with human waste, a suggestion that perhaps Kenny has decided to stick up for himself a little bit more. Finally, Kenny declines the opportunity to become an executive and seeks out Jackie to renew their relationship.
Shane Jacobson as Kenny Smyth
Eve von Bibra as Jackie Sheppard
Clayton Jacobson as David Smyth
Ronald Jacobson as Bill Smyth
Jesse Jacobson as Jesse Smyth
Morihiko Hasebe as Sushi Cowboy
Vicki Musso as Kenny's ex-wife and Ringless Woman
Glenn Preusker as Glenn
Chris Davis as Pat
Ian Dryden as Sammy
Mark Robertson as Robbo
Alf Scerri as Alf
Jason Gann as Drunk Guy at Melbourne Cup
Nash Edgerton as Golf Cart Victim
In line with the theme of the film, its first screening was held in the Victorian country town of Poowong.
Kenny received positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes reports that all 18 reviews listed gave the film positive feedback, with an average review score of 7.5 out of 10. Jake Wilson in the Melbourne Age lauded the film as "the best Australian comedy in a very long time"; Megan Spencer of Triple J called Kenny "... a lot of fun and a good stab at a mock-doc ... a good-natured, crowd-pleasing comedy about ordinary life that outranks perennial 'ordinary Aussie bloke' yardstick, The Castle. She also praised the film's technical accomplishment, describing it as "a triumph, superbly shot, edited and directed by Clayton Jacobson – probably surpassing most Australian movies with its command of film language, shot on HD video to boot". Margaret Pomeranz from At the Movies awarded the film a score of 4.5 out of 5. In contrast, however, David Stratton gave the film 2.5 out of 5 stars, criticising the cinematography and overused humour.
A television mockumentary series developed with Network Ten, Kenny's World, aired as part of Ten's second-half lineup of 2008. The series takes Kenny on a toilet tour of the globe. The show also features cameos of characters from the movie.
Kenny grossed $7,778,177 at the box office in Australia.