Agony, ecstasy and The Hamster Wheel
THE Chaser team never likes to wear out its welcome and that’s why the second season of its news and media satire The Hamster Wheel is likely to be the last.
Comedian Julian Morrow, one of The Chaser boys, says the team is always thinking of, and planning, new projects.
Thus, The Hamster Wheel will be shelved after just two seasons. The second series starts on ABC1 on September 26.
‘‘I don’t know if it’s a comedian thing or working in a group, but we often tire of doing things perhaps earlier than what the audience does,’’ Morrow says.
‘‘It’s always preferable to leave the room early than leaving a bad smell.
‘‘We wanted to have one more go at Hamster Wheel and we think it will probably be the last one.’’
Morrow says each of the comedy series from The Chaser, which started in 1999, through to The Hamster Wheel, have had a common thread but have served different purposes.
The Hamster Wheel’s eight-episode run, filmed ‘‘as live’’ just a couple of hours before it goes to air, gives the show more of an edge.
It also prevents The Chaser team from procrastinating, Morrow says.
‘‘All our previous shows were shot a day out . . . and we would spend a day polishing an episode.
‘‘When you make it on the night you go straight in and say it’s in or out.
‘‘In some sense the shows are all very similar, in the other sense they have a different format or a uniting principle.
‘‘There was the election, then it was CNNNN the parody world news satire. The War On Everything was a variety show and it was designed to be a bit looser . . . so we could do 20 or 15 shows a year.
‘‘ The Hamster Wheel was to focus on media and politics and designed for a shorter run.’’
Having to tape a show as live, and having no time to fiddle with the production, has meant The Chaser team has had to heavily script The Hamster Wheel, despite the seemingly spontaneous way lines are delivered.
Morrow says there is little room to ad lib and no time to waste discussing the workings of a segment.
‘‘Getting the group of people, called The Chaser, to agree on anything has proved well nigh impossible over the years,’’ he says.
‘‘The only thing we really respond to well is deadlines.
‘‘We found in previous years we would have three-hour long discussions about what to put in or how to change it.
‘‘Our shows are heavily scripted mainly because we have to run to time and we have to pack it in. It’s a minor but fun variation of how we have been making shows for the best part of a decade.’’
Wednesdays, 9.05pm, ABC1.
Is it the last supper for the cast of