Press Release Me, Let Me Go(!)

Hey look! It’s a press release!



Coming Soon to GO!

Do you only have two minutes a day to catch up on the who, why, when, where and what the F of the world’s news? Who would you turn to?

Well if you like your news to taste like bubble gum then GO!’s new and outlandish news service WTF! from the original Chaser’s Charles Firth is the one for you.

Writer/performer Nich Richardson anchors a satirical, pop-culture news show unlike anything seen on Australian television. Joined by a team of good-looking, trusted reporters, Richardson and these freshfaced comedians will bring you celebrity scoops before anyone else even realises it’s news.

Each fast-paced daily WTF! bulletin will feature sight gags such as “live crosses” and pre-recorded reports about the world of modern celebrity while sending up the serious entertainment shows that feed on it.

“Digital television has opened up so many new production options and we felt GO! was the perfect home for our offbeat kind of television,” Charles Firth, WTF! creator and executive producer, said.

“We created WTF! as an opportunity to bring new, young performers to television in our peculiar version of celebrity news.”

Les Sampson, Director of Acquisitions and HD Channel, said: “GO! is excited to welcome Charles and his team to the network. Their Chaser style of humour and unique take on world events will be right at home on our highly successful GO! channel.”

WTF! is currently in production and will screen on GO! later this year.

For those of you a little puzzled as to who’s doing what to where now – Firth’s the big name involved, but some guy named Nich Richardson is the host, it seems – a quick visit here might shed a little light. Specifically, this page here.

Track record aside, this could obviously go either way. There’s nothing wrong with making fun of celebrities comedy-wise, even if it is pretty much the easiest thing in the world to do and all the decent gags are up on Twitter two minutes after anyone even slightly famous does anything even slightly interesting. Not to mention the women’s mags and current affairs show are already so surreal and hilarious any dedicated “comedy” program has their work cut out for them just keeping up.

But Firth was pretty much the stand-out back when he worked with The Chaser, and while his solo career hasn’t exactly taken off – copies of his book American Hoax can be found at the discount chain Book Warehouses across Victoria at least – his various solo projects have at least shown signs of intelligent life. Something that couldn’t really be said for The Chaser’s new election-themed effort Yes We Canberra!.

[To be fair, the ABC seem to have pegged The Chaser as a loveable lowbrow bunch of knockabout comedy blokes (a la The Late Show back in the early 1990s) who can get away with rough-around-the-edges material through sheer charm, not realising that as a near-identical team of male upper-middle class types (whatever their actual social status, you’d hardly mistake any of them for Mick Molloy) their charisma en masse is kinda lacking. When they’re left alone to be smart about stuff they care about – a la the radio series The Blow Parade or Chaz’s solo segments on their TV series – they’re more than capable of doing good work. When they’re doing dodgy ad parodies and getting Julie Bishop to outstare a garden gnome… well, at least they’re trying.]

So in this case, WTF! gets a solid “maybe”. If it’s two minutes of rapid-fire material, it could be worth searching out. If it’s one two-minute idea that could be better expressed in 140 characters… well, it’ll be business as usual. And if it ends up being (or even just leading to) a half-hour show – seriously, that press release is way too scanty with the hard facts – it’ll mark a big step forward in the way the commercial networks look at their digital channels. A serious effort at putting local content to air on a second channel? Now that would be worth a press release…

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1 Comment

  • I like “the original Chaser’s Charles Firth”, considering him leaving is the only lineup change since they started doing TV in 2001.

    Has ‘Yucky-Looking Fast Food Ad Parody’ become the Chaser’s version of the Chris Lilley ‘Insensitive Musical’? Although, it was probably just an excuse for Hansen to do the accent…