LESS than a year after he quit our TV screens in disgrace, Matthew Johns is ready to crack jokes again.
But are viewers ready to laugh again with the former rugby league larrikin?
Viewers will find out tomorrow when Prime screens the first promotional teaser for The Matty Johns Show, which debuts on March 25.
The Herald had a sneak peek at the show's first promo spot yesterday as overnight ratings revealed The Footy Show, which stars Johns's brother Andrew, ranked third in its timeslot in Newcastle when it returned on Thursday.
In his show's first promo, Matty Johns dons a fake beard to send up former long-time Nine Network star Don Burke with the help of Wests Tigers captain Robbie Farrah. While the skit is not terribly funny it shows Johns will be chasing laughs as he did playing Reg Reagan on The Footy Show.
Johns left Nine in disgrace in May last year after ABC TV's Four Corners exposed his role in a New Zealand sex scandal while a Cronulla Sharks player in 2002.
His switch to the Seven Network has sparked a war of words between the networks, with Nine CEO David Gyngell even accusing NRL chief executive David Gallop of "gross disloyalty".
In the 7.30pm timeslot on Thursdays, the Cessnock-raised former Newcastle Knights favourite has the potential to directly undercut The Footy Show's ratings.
Despite the return of respected commentator Peter Sterling alongside Paul Vautin, The Footy Show's first program of 2010 had fewer Newcastle viewers watching NBN on Thursday than Prime's Thank God You're Here reruns and US crime dramas on Southern Cross Ten.
The Footy Show ranked 20th on the night.