The Chaser’s War on Sick Kids

the-chasers-war-on-everything1Much has been made in the last couple of days of The Chaser’s recent satire on the Make A Wish Foundation. It’s not often the Prime Minister of Australia calls a press conference to condemn the actions of an ABC comedy show. The Chaser team have never been shy when it comes to controversy, but have they gone too far this time?

I’m not a regular viewer of The Chaser. So while I didn’t see the sketch when it aired, I’ve seen it over and over again as shows like A Current Affair play the clip. Over and over and over. There have been calls to ban the show. I’m sure some would love to see The Chaser team in jail for having the audacity to make fun of pre teen cancer patients.

And here’s where the cynic in me comes out. Not that it takes a lot of effort for him to pop up and have a say. How much of this media backlash comes from rival networks who want to get there hands on The Chaser and welcome them into the fold? I recall Today Tonight a few years ago spending some significant air time attacking The Chaser, only for it to be later revealed that they were attempting to steal the show, ala Kath and Kim.

There have been public calls for the team to apologise for their actions. But why should they? It’s not like one of their many stunts that actually endangered the security of others. And all of this attention is surely going to spike their ratings. Not that we’ll find out for a few weeks as the ABC has decided to pull the show for a two weeks until the heat dies down.

It’s been argued that because this is satire, it’s exploring people’s reaction to these organisations and not the kids themselves. But I’m not too sure. Mark Fennell pointed out on his blog that this isn’t the first time a comedy show has tackled this issue. Have a look at the various clips. I think there is a massive difference in the approaches. When you view them against each other, I think The Chaser team really did shoot straight past satirising the organisation and the way people support them and instead blindsided the kids. What do you think?

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About Joel A Moroney

Associate Minister at St Luke's Anglican Church, Liverpool (in the Sydney Diocese). A very strange man, but he usually has Pez, so that makes it okay.

4 responses to “The Chaser’s War on Sick Kids”

  1. Alamanach says :

    I’ve never seen the show and I haven’t seen the clip. Let me ask this– was it funny?

    Barbara Walters was once interviewing Eddie Murphy. This was back in the Eighties when Murphy’s comedy was especially daring and raw. Walters asked, “When is a joke in bad taste?” Murphy answered without hesitation: “When it isn’t funny.”

    “So anything funny is in good taste?”

    “Yes.”

    When I first saw that interview, I thought it was a stupid, wrong answer. But over the years I have come to agree with him. Some humor might be inappropriate for certain audiences, but other than that what really matters is whether it is funny. South Park is a perfect example. They are as offensive as can be, but they are still around and still have a following and are still taken seriously because they are very, very funny.

  2. Joel A Moroney says :

    I’m not sure how long this will be up for, but here’s a video from The Chaser team apologising for their sketch. http://www.chaser.com.au/

  3. Keith Eveson says :

    I have a sick sense of humour, and I can laugh at most things, no matter how sick or black, but sick and dying children? migod, u have to be the lowest of the ******* low, to think that is remotely funny, its light years below bad taste.
    Amanda Duthie is a disgrace, she, as a woman obviously has no motherly instincs whatsoever, and is totally lacking in compassion or common sense , why hasn’t she been sacked, I for one will never never never watch this ******* **** again, previously, I never missed an episode. and to add insult to injury, some of my taxes actually paid for the ******* ****

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