A Little Ray of Radio Sunshine from The Chaser

You’d think a comedy team as well-known as The Chaser wouldn’t have a problem finding a sponsor for their new radio show on Sydney’s Triple M, but a segment in the first week of their new show Radio Chaser asked listeners to call in and apply to be their sponsor. A guy with a truck parts business who offered 4 barrels of motor oil won. It was a funny segment; bitterly so given the state of the traditional media at the moment.

Radio Chaser, which airs 11am-1pm on weekdays, is hosted by Chaser members Chris Taylor, Charles Firth, Dom Knight and Andrew Hanson. It features the sort of segments you’d expect on any Triple M show – phone-in topics, commentary on what’s in the news, competitions – but also sketches. As Firth explained to Mumbrella last week:

When we first started going to air there was a very big culture of pre-written sketches and more produced radio and we’ve recorded three sketches this morning that we want to stay true to that form of radio and that tradition of radio, so we are definitely going back to our roots

Even if the sketches which aired throughout the week weren’t always brilliant, it was good to see this type of radio back on commercial radio. Those who fondly remember Austereo shows like The D-Generation, Martin/Molloy, Get This and The Sweetest Plum often wonder if they’ll ever hear this type of radio again.

It’s also nice to hear a different type of conversation on Triple M, one which isn’t largely about sport. Friday’s discussion about comedy and outrage with Tom Ballard was one such example. It may seem ridiculous, but discussing that sort of topic is considered to be quite edgy in commercial radio. And one that an on-air team can only get away with if their show becomes popular.

Here’s hoping the people who are less interested in serious discussions about the art of comedy will keep tuning in for segments such as Little Ray of Sunshine, in which team challenged their listeners to ring up Ray Hadley (who they’re head-to-head with for their first hour) and insert the phrase “bum rainbows” into their call. This is hardly an original idea – bored teens and pranksters have been doing this for decades – but it’s almost always a funny one. And there’s something rather wonderful about the way Andrew Hanson says “bum rainbows”. He makes it sound like a charming concept, which in a way it is.

If you’re not in Sydney or can’t listen live, there’s a podcast of the show’s best bits. Based on week one, it’s a program which could run for ages.

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