The Chaser


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!


Craig Reu­cas­sel and Chas Lic­cia­rdello, on screen, give chase.

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