Like many of you, I was alarmed on Wednesday night to learn that The Chaser's War On Everything is coming to an end in two weeks. Did the evil forces of talkback radio get them in the end? Was it all over? Fear not. According to the show website, the truth is:
"As I've mentioned before, this series was always going to end at the end of July, and contain ten episodes. The ABC's decision to suspend the show had the effect of reducing that to eight (which means there will be a lot of stuff on the DVD!)
But yeah, at this stage, we feel like we've done our dash with the War On Everything, and that's what Chris was referring to – not necessarily future Chaser projects, but this particular show. For one thing, it's become increasingly difficult to film the stunts we like to include in Australia because the guys are more recognisable. But more broadly, it feels like time to try something new."
It would be a damn shame if it was the end for the Chaser. I understand the guys are getting older, and may be losing their taste for this sort of humour, but still... I can't help but feel a little proprietary and protective of the Chaser guys because I've been watching them since 2001, and I still do. According to Chas, that makes me something of a rarity, and many people who liked their early stuff hate them now. I hunted down their newspaper back when I lived in Newcastle and only one newsagent stocked it, and then not often. I've been to tapings at the ABC and their live show. I feel like I practically know them by now.
And if you're still wetting your knickers over the "Make a Realisitic Wish" sketch (They were. Not. Making fun of. Sick children. But the arbitrariness of charity) then I'm sorry to have to tell you've met them, or a few of them, and they're some of the nicest people I've ever met. Living in inner Sydney you see "noted people" (if you wouldn't call them celebrities) all the time - Alannah Hill and Kim Beazley in the last week alone in my case. I don't talk to them often (what could one possibly say to Kim Beazley that wouldn't sound like condolences?) but when I have, they're usually polite but distant. But Chas happily talked to me for some time after a show - signing autographs, posing for pictures, and generally just being an awesome guy in the middle of a very long national tour.
So sure, the Chaser guys may have wandered off course with their humour from time to time. But the alternative looked too much like the Glasshouse. We need them to point out the absurdity of our times, and I hope to see them back soon.