The Money or the Gun was an Australian comedy / talk-show on the ABC network in 1989-1990, with occasional specials until 1994. It was written by Andrew Denton, Simon Dodd, Bruce Griffiths, and George Dodd, directed by Martin Coombes and produced by Mark Fitzgerald.
Each episode was based on a significant theme, with Denton interviewing a number of people as well as conducting vox pops on the street. Significant episodes include "Guns-The Musical" and the award-winning episode on disabilities, "The Year of the Patronising Bastard" (which picked up a United Nations Media Peace Prize). In 1993 a one-off special was called "Topic of Cancer", which talked to teenagers with cancer (while at a CanTeen weekend). In 2003 Denton held a 10-year reunion for the people on the 1993 show, as part of his ABC interview programme Enough Rope.
Each week a guest would perform their own version of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven". Versions would occasionally tie in with the theme of the episode ("Guns - the Musical" had a Broadway-style version by Jodie Gilles as the conclusion, while the episode on Australian Comedy had the Doug Anthony All Stars performing it with the assistance of Barry Crocker) but the most surprising of all was the version by Rolf Harris which eventually reached number 7 on the UK singles chart. Generally the performance of "Stairway" would be a break in the program and the artists would have no other part in the program.
Performers and styles included:
A compilation video of the performances, Stairways to Heaven, was released in 1990.