Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Chaser's War on Humourless Gits

I was sitting back enjoying my usual Wednesday night date with Auntie (that's the ABC, in case you're wondering) and having a grand old giggle with those naughty boys from The Chaser's War on Everything. Then it happened - one of the funniest things I think I've ever heard. Now, I have an uncomfortable relationship with musical comedy. Basically, it has to be really good to make me enjoy it. Most musical parodies leave me very cold, and even the smallest amount of corn will turn me off.

But then this happened. (Follow the links to 'Eulogy Song'. Warning - very coarse language.)

Short version: it's one of the funniest bits of satirical, bad-taste musical comedy I've ever heard. The basic premise is that even the most revolting characters in public life are deified after their passing. Steve Irwin, Stan Zemanek (who didn't mind kicking people when they were down himself), Peter Brock, Kerry Packer, even the Untouchable Princess Diana get a run. Unlike Don Bradman, who also earns a mention, much to our PM's outrage.

OK, the song is rude, crude, disgustingly irreverent, and (I think) very funny. But considering the stink that has broken out, you'd think that the Australian talk-back audience hadn't even so much as tittered at a bad taste joke in their entire lives.

My personal favourite is Stuart McLean's snarly and poorly disguised opinion piece in the "news"paper The Daily Telegraph. In his "article", he demonstrates either a complete misread of the video the rest of us saw, or a nasty case of factual distortion, when he claims: The comedy crew were forced to halt Hanson when he began to launch into a verse about former Home and Away star and wife of Rove McManus, Belinda Emmett who died of cancer in November last year.

No, Stuart, they weren't forced to halt Hanson. They pretended to halt Hanson, who clearly never even had a Belinda Emmett verse to sing. Perhaps we can assume that Stuart McLean wasn't in fact disgusted by the song, but was rather forced by his senior ed to pretend to be outraged.

Interestingly, all the news polls about this 'issue' tell us that 2/3 of people who cared enough to contribute to those polls actually thought we should get over ourselves. I suspect (judging by the radio talkback I've heard on the matter) that a fair proportion of the remaining 1/3 haven't even heard the song in question.

PS: I've just found another Daily Telegraph blog article where one of their 'journalists', Garth Montgomery, says: But The Chaser’s bravado crumbled as Hanson started a verse that was about to go for Belinda Emmett. This in an article where he talks about Stan Zemanek's brain 'tuma' and Kerry Packer being a kidney 'theif'.

Oh dear. Where do they find these people?

PPS: After reading my above appraisal of his article, Garth Montgomery has since 'ammended' (sic) his original post, claiming that 'tuma' and 'theif' were just typos. Theif I can believe, but tuma? Is it just me, or shouldn't at least running a spell-checker over an article be fairly standard practice for a journalist from a major paper? Yeah, I would have thought so too.

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