Comedy news game show The Chaser’s Media Circus returns for a second season tomorrow. We asked host Craig Reucassel and fake fact checker Chas Licciardello why.
In Switched On last year you promised Media Circus would be better than Strictly Speaking and Balls of Steel Australia. Do you feel you lived up to that promise? Chas: Well, there were less laughs on our show than Balls of Steel Australia. But a lot more ballsing up. Hard to know how we compare to Strictly Speaking because no human being has ever seen it.
Which high-profile media figure are you hoping to pay a large defamation settlement to this year? Chas: Meghan Trainor. Maybe if we pay her off a large enough damages sum she will no longer feel the need to put out music.
Are the allegations true the ABC not only paid for The Australian’s Chris Kenny to travel to Ultimo for his surprise appearance on Media Circus last year but also failed to examine his Twitter feed, resulting in a dangerously balanced episode? Craig: Please don’t accuse us of balance. We’ll get sacked. Chas: We would never spring for cab fares to our shows. We stick solely to ferrying guests around in the ABC chopper.
The early episodes last season seemed a bit wobbly, but by the end it seemed you’d truly fulfilled your motto of “striving for mediocrity in a world of excellence” ... Craig: We’re thrilled you think we reached the level of mediocrity. Chas: I certainly don’t think we did.
Did the game show format come about because sketches are too much trouble to film? Craig: No, just because I’ve always wanted the kind of respect that Burgo gets. Which game ideas last season sounded great in theory but died in practice? Craig: We had a game called Fin Review Clickbait where guests had to take boring Financial Review headlines and turn them into more interesting Buzzfeed- style clickbait headlines. Chas: Ironically, it wasn’t very interesting.
Are there any new games or segments this season? Craig: That really depends on whether the ABC will cover the shark tanks costs for our new Mick Fanning game.
Why does Chas have to sit up on a tower away from everyone else? Apart from the obvious? Craig: Because of a court order. What you don’t realise is his tower is electrified so he can’t escape. Chas: I’m like a peregrine falcon. I enjoy perspective when I hunt. Will we see any more of the War on Everything or Hamster Wheel? Chas: People on the street definitely want to see more War on Everything. I’m not sure those people have fully contemplated doughy, middle-aged men pulling uni-style pranks.
Has The Chaser ever attempted to work on commercial TV? What happened? Craig: Actually, we pitched a comedy news show to Channel 9, but they said they already had A Current Affair.
Is it an attraction, or is the ABC your spiritual home? Chas: I enjoy working at the ABC. On most networks a poor performance sees you taken off-air. At the ABC a poor performance sees you entered into the parliamentary record. Now that’s reward for effort!
THE CHASER’S MEDIA CIRCUS, ABC, THURSDAY, 8PM
Craig Reucassel and Chas Licciardello, on screen, give chase.