British comedy legend Chris Morris was at the Sydney Film Festival last weekend attending the Australian premiere of his film Four Lions, a comedy about suicide bombers. And as part of the festival he was interviewed in front of an audience by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow.
There has been a bit of coverage about the great meeting between Morris and The Chaser at the pre-screening party given by Time Out, such as Mumbrella’s piece describing Morris as The Chaser’s “spiritual father”, and noting that Morrow “pounced the moment Morris walked into the Time Out party, and barely left his side until it was time to go and see the movie”.
An interview with Morris by The Doctor on Triple J also suggested some kind of love-in was in progress, with Morris saying that he’d been boning up on The Chaser and had become a fan.
But if you think the idea of Chris Morris liking The Chaser is weird (their best stuff is good, but hardly reaches Morris’ heights) don’t worry, he’s a discerning fan. In a video interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Morris said “I’d like to ask [Morrow] why he apologised for the Make A Realistic Wish sketch. I wouldn’t apologise for that”, before grinning broadly.
Morrow’s response was less jokey: “Compared to Chris Morris [who made a show about paedophilia] we are soft cocks, and that probably includes the fact that we apologised…I hate him for saying that, but he’s got a point.”
At last! An admission from The Chaser that they were wrong to apologise after almost a year of cow-towing and we-got-it-wrong-ing. As we’ve been arguing on this blog from day one, the Make A Realistic Wish sketch was a joke, and not a bad one at that. Certainly nothing to apologise for.
So, let’s hope comedians all over the land take a lesson from the man who’s influenced so many of them. It’s very possible indeed to keep your career after a major media backlash against your latest comedy show – even if your jokes involve children.