Be­lieve it . . . or not

Word’s out The Chaser boys’ new show brings the funny, writes Holly Byrne

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TELEVISION -

THEY’RE the naughty boys of Aus­tralian com­edy.

Just please don’t ex­pect their new se­ries for Chan­nel 7 to be wall- to- wall laughs. Or so they joke.

The Un­be­liev­able Truth, a UK ra­dio for­mat adapted for tele­vi­sion and cham­pi­oned by their comic idol, Graeme Gar­den of The Good­ies fame has pro­vided a rare main­stream plat­form for some of the big­gest names ( and a few new ones) from the lo­cal com­edy cir­cuit.

Recorded ear­lier this year to a rap­tur­ous re­cep­tion from live au­di­ences at Seven’s Red­fern stu­dios in Sydney, an­tic­i­pa­tion for this se­ries has been un­der­stand­ably high.

On the eve of the show’s pre­miere, Craig Reu­cas­sel, Ju­lian Morrow and An­drew Hansen are try­ing their best to hose down ex­pec­ta­tions.

‘‘ We’re go­ing to make a promo which says, ‘ There’s only one funny thing in this en­tire half hour, see if you can spot it?’ ’’ Reu­cas­sel, the show’s host, says.

‘‘ Yes, the ‘ un­be­liev­able’ joke,’’ adds Hansen, chuck­ling.

The rules of the game are a lit­tle com­pli­cated, but the pay- off is some of the best comic per­for­mances we’ve seen on com­mer­cial TV in years.

The truth is this: four pan­el­lists are each in­vited to de­liver a short lec­ture on a given sub­ject, which must be al­most com­pletely made up.

Points are awarded to panel mem­bers who can cor­rectly spot the real ‘‘ truths’’ se­creted in be­tween all the lies.

Think Thank God You’re Here meets QI . Those who ac­cepted the chal­lenge in­clude Shane Ja­cob­son, Mer­rick Watts, Tom Glee­son, Kitty Flana­gan and Jimeoin.

Morrow and Hansen also join the pan­els, with Gar­den fly­ing in from Lon­don to over­see the pro­duc­tion and also make an ap­pear­ance.

Then there are the funny new ‘‘ finds’’ in­clud­ing Sam Simmons, Claudia O’Do­herty and Toby Truslove.

Simmons in par­tic­u­lar de­liv­ers a side- split­ting speech on dogs, with side­kick pooch Ziggy.

Look out too for some chick­ens, a koala and a guinea pig ap­pear­ing with Stephen K. Amos.

But they saved the ham­ster for The Ham­ster Wheel which re­turned to the ABC for its sec­ond ‘‘ open sea­son’’ on the me­dia last month.

With Reu­cas­sel and Morrow signed to write and record a ‘‘ fac­tual’’ se­ries for the ABC, Chaser team­mate Chas Lic­cia­rdello is off film­ing a spe­cial on the US pres­i­den­tial race and with ra­dio com­mit­ments for both Morrow and Do­minic Knight, it’s been a flat- chat year for them all.

The move to Seven from Aunty has also gone more smoothly than they imag­ined, given the net­work suc­cess­fully gained an in­junc­tion over a skit in 2007 where the team in­fil­trated the of­fices of To­day Tonight.

Morrow says: ‘‘ So far there’s been no cre­ative in­put [ from man­age­ment] at all to the point where we’ve been say­ing to them, ‘ What do you ac­tu­ally think of this?’ ’’

For what it’s worth, EGuide thinks it’s a hit not to miss.

THE UN­BE­LIEV­ABLE TRUTH,

South­ern Cross, Thurs­day, 9.30pm

PAIR OF JOK­ERS: Chaser boys Ju­lian Morrow ( left) and Craig Reu­cas­sel.

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