TT vs The Chaser: Round 1

Today Tonight got “stuck into” The Chaser tonight with a story that most of the comedy teams “hit and run” scenes were set-ups.

TT decided to turn the table on the comedians by using their own ambush tactics to confront the crew outside the ABC. The Chaser responded by answering the questions in front of a “Meakin Booze Bus” -a reference to TT‘s convicted boss. In a surprising move the scene was broadcast by TT (maybe they had to given the ABC was filming with their own cameras).

But what was really going on here? Is it really a surprise that The Chaser combines set-ups with ambush comedy? C’mon.

Last week the comics and a bunch of their friends threw a pool party at an open inspection of a porperty for sale. But you only have to look at how bad the “real esate” actors were on that Chaser scene last week to know that they were all part of the gag. Their hollow protests were pretty thin.

And you only have to look at were some of the cameras are placed in these “ambush” scenes to know that there are others in on the act. Clearly there is a mix between the spontaneous and the planned. I doubt Sophia Loren agreed to her heckled interview scenes last week….

So does that make it any less funny? Not really.

What was really going on here was that one television show was seeking to trade off the goodwill of another. Later int he same episode TT reported on Tood McKenney’s reaction to the ‘controversy’ of Ernie Dingo walking out on Rachel Beck mid-song on It Takes Two. Another instance of trying to sucker in the audience of one show to its own. At least it was the same network.

The Chaser has become one of the most popular shows in the country (a title TT already has too). But a feeble attempt to “blow the lid” on the construction of television comedy is sheer piggybacking.

It’s laughable as what passes for current affairs these days.

Round One: The Chaser.

Round Two.


  1. I find it hard to believe that Today Tonight is such a popular show! It’s ridiculous, and although I didn’t see this attack on the Chaser (I saw the ad just minutes before but forget to press record), I think TT (& A Current Affair) really should step up their game, and air something that affects the whole of Australia. I’ve made the switch to Neighbours – even that’s more realistic that TT.

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