The cartoon dog making all other TV dads look like idiots

“Bandit is the best of us,” says Daley Pearson, the show’s executive producer. “The best bits of everyone connected with the show are written into that character. He’s someone to aspire to be. I think his underlying quality of him is kindness. There’s never any ill intent there, even if he slips up, falls over, or it all goes a bit haywire.”

Laidback Bandit is voiced by musician David McCormack, frontman of the Brisbane indie-rock band Custard. “He’s a hero to me,” says McCormack. “Whenever I read the script, I’m like ‘Yes, Bandit!’ He’s got his idiosyncratic foibles – haven’t we all? – but Bandit’s just the best. He’s honest even when he’s lying.”

More playmate than finger-wagging authority figure, Bandit reflects shifting styles of parenting. “Fatherhood has changed a lot in the last generation,” says McCormack. “We’re much more hands-on than our own dads or grandads. I hear all the time how Bandit has influenced fathers. He’s a great guy to be learning lessons from. Dads play with their kids more because of Bandit. They might copy a game or a crazy dance from the show. It’s such a lovely legacy.”

As a married father of two daughters, McCormack cheerfully admits the show mirrors his own domestic set-up. “It’s like someone has documented my life and animated it,” he laughs. “Chilli tends to be more organized and in charge, whereas Bandit gravitates more towards the playful, stupid stuff, which is what I love as well. That’s why the show is such a blast to make.”

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