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War! Huh, good God. What is it good for? Awesome comic satire! Say it again! - VIDEOS

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 21st 2009 12:04PM
The cast of The Chaser's War on Everything

The Chaser's War on Everything, a satiric hidden camera prank show from Australia, aims to be everything most shows of their ilk fail to achieve. It's satirical, unbiased in its stance against everything from commercialism to phony diplomacy, and more probing than a proctologist with banana hands.

This sparks a startling question: what the hell is a show this smart doing on the G4 Network?

The show found its way to the States earlier this year as part of the network's Duty Free TV block of foreign cult faves like Trigger Happy TV, Unbeatable Banzuke and Ninja Warrior. It's become one of the better shows on the all geek network, which either says worlds for the three-year-old show or doesn't say much for the rest of G4's original programming. I'll let you decide while reminding you this is the same network that once produced a game show where the first person to vomit lost. Even Fox wouldn't sink that low. Wait, are we talking about some kind of survival situation?

The show features a rotating panel of five comedians from The Chaser, Australia's answer to The Onion, in a series of hidden camera pranks that mess with the system to see the ensuing results. These pranks are broken up between a small cluster of short, clever sketches and songs that take on everything from politics to popular culture. And no one is safe from the jabs delivered by their sharp, pointed satirical quills. In one episode, the boys can take on everything from Hillary Clinton's presidential bid to BBC's Little Britain and the ear-grating, catch-phrase-spouting dunderheads they produce in offices across the globe. Who knew that douchebags were a biggest terrorist threat to the sanity of our economy than most amateur militias?

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Of course, The Chaser's War is known for the pranks they produce that often land them in the news, politicians' crosshairs, and sometimes even jail. Most of them are cleverly designed assaults on the establishment, such as their test of the tolerance of security camera monitors by measuring the amount of time it takes for officers to respond to two different picture-taking tourists in an area that's more sensitive than your Uncle's bloated prostate.

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Some pranks don't serve any satirical purpose other than causing a ruckus or scaring the holy beejezus out of people. One of the Chasers in a not-too recent episode put a stocking on his head and entered various shops posing as a regular customer, simply to empty a few victims' bladders who thought they were about to be victims of an armed robbery. But a show that's meant to shock the system will occasionally pull a few pranks or jokes that seem to cross a line because they are constantly trying to learn how far they can push before it starts pushing back.

The ends of this War justify the means and prove you can do shock value reality TV that does have redeeming social value and smart commentary. The U.S. deserves a War of their own, and if a remake does find its way to the States, I'll be the first to sign my name on the paperwork as a front line volunteer.

Seriously, sign me up. I'm having trouble affording Ramen noodles and recalled Pop-Tarts in this wintry economic blizzard on what TV Squad pays me.

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I love this show. I'm from Australia and can't wait until they return 2nd half of this year(they didnt' produce any episodes at all last year). I understand the version airing in the US, has the segments relating to Australian politics removed, but that's understandable as the US population wouldn't get many of the jokes.

March 22 2009 at 9:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Anthony's comment

wow, to think, the chaser without references to aus. politics, there must be 11 minutes of show left in each episode.

if they dredged up CNNNN http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CNNNN , i think that might play better on G4TV, but it might tread too heavily on the old afghanistan war footing, and is generally more sitcom funny than war on everything.

March 23 2009 at 9:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I completely agree about this show. I stumbled across it on G4 a few weeks ago, and I find it to be unequivocal genius. While I agree that G4 is the wrong outlet for the "Chaser's", I'm just glad we in the states are finally exposed to them until G4 cancels it to be replaced by a show where people judge the best farts.

March 21 2009 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

While G4's descent into teen-directed poop jokes was heartbreaking to fans of TechTV their "Attack of the Show" remains the best daily tech/geek show on TV. As bad as it is, still the best. :(

Chaser's had some great ideas and gags (the Policeman giving tickets for ridiculous vanity plates was great!) but those types of shows have a short lifetime for me.

March 21 2009 at 12:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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