The problem with The Chaser’s Election Desk is that it has the feel of a show that’ll wear thin by week three. Okay, there are heaps of problems with The Chaser’s Election Desk, but the unsustainability of it is one of the most striking. Maybe they’d have been better off going for a different format? Or just focusing on what’s actually wrong with politics rather than getting cheap laughs out the campaign so far?
Sammy J’s Playground Politics has the right idea and one that seems fresh after last week’s stale effort from The Chaser. It’s a series of short videos being released on iView this week, that take the often childish behavior of our politicians as inspiration, imagining a world where a Play School-style show reads stories to its young audience about Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten.
In the first episode, presenter Sammy J tells the story of Average Voter, upset that all the Prime Ministers he’s voted for have been thrown out of office mid-term. And how Malcolm Turnbull made a Faustian pact in order to become Prime Minister, setting aside his pro-environment, pro-gay marriage and pro-republic stance so as not to annoy elements of his party.
As Sammy J and Satan (Broden Kelly) dance around the brightly-coloured set, singing about Malc, it’s hard not to get up and join in, just as we did as kids in front of the real Play School. “Come on kids, you know the moves, it’s just a jump to the left and 50 steps to the right!” is Satan’s chorus.
To be fair to The Chaser, they are capable of doing one-off sketches like this, that are as good, it’s just that when they do they’re lost amongst the half-arsed pranks and stodgy gags about very long desks. Sammy J, on the other hand, is refreshing because he’s pretty much nailed what he’s set out to do: make a small number of short episodes of quality satirical comedy. And right now, that’s way more exciting than more Chaser.