The Chaser's War on Everything Series 3
After many intense years, the war is over. Some
battles were won, some lost, but the war will leave a lasting legacy, by
being a blisteringly funny satire of Australian and international
current affairs and entertainment. The last season of “The Chasers War
on Everything” is now available to all on DVD and offers up eight more
episodes of biting Australian comedy at its finest.
For the last season, the gang offers up more of the
usual stunts and sketches revolving around the goings on in the world.
Since they last graced the screens, the world has seen much change.
Kevin Rudd replaced John Howard as the Prime Minister of Australia, so
the gang no longer can intercept the nation’s leader on his morning walk
(or can they?). The United States have also ushered in a new era under
President Obama, a man who filled the population with hope, which means
that all Bush= stupid jokes had to be chucked by the wayside. However,
as long as idiots remain in power and hypocrisy remains unchecked the
Chaser will be there to expose it and take the piss out of it. The more
things change, the more things stay the same.
The stunts this time around never get to “APEC
controversy” levels, but are still frequently hilarious and often leave
the viewer exclaiming “how did they get away with that”. These include
going to Vatican City and flying a blimp that says “Young boys inside”,
delivering drunk girls to the Cronulla Sharks, getting free lifts by
pretending to be “The Stig”, and opening a Starbucks inside a Starbucks.
These stunts are often at their most hilarious when filming the
reactions of the innocent bystanders as the Chaser boys humiliate them
and themselves. Chas takes the bulk of these including a hilarious bit
where he investigates appearance alteration, and makes himself half
Chas, and half Daniel Craig. It involves tattoos, fake tans and Botox
injections and has a hilarious visual pay off. Chas even changes his
name, in an effort to seduce Teri Hatcher, going so far as to have his
drivers license changed. However the rest of the boys get in their share
of good licks, such as Craig dressing up in a giant penis costume to
advertise the existence of brothels, to Jules randomly grabbing public
microphones and making ill advised announcements. All members of the
team do their part in contributing to these entertaining stunts.
The other part of the Chaser involves their original
comedy sketches. These range from film and television parodies, to
current affairs parodies, to their own original pieces. Highlights
involve Andrew Hansen’s two great musical contributions, his “In the
Navy” parody and his musical tribute to Ben Lee. Others involve their
brilliant parody of Billy Connolly’s travel shows and “The Inbredy
Bunch” which juxtaposes the horrific Josef Fritzl scandal with the feel
good 60’s television show. Like most sketch comedies, they can be
incredibly hit and miss, yet thankfully the Chaser boys are more hit
than miss. It should be noted that one sketch brought the Chaser a
certain level of infamy this year, the “Make a Realistic Wish” sketch,
which involved dashing the hopes of dying children. The show was
suspended for two weeks due to this sketch and the whole team issued
many public apologies. This sketch is not included on the DVD, a
humorous disclaimer encourages viewers to “Try Youtube”, yet it makes
the set feel incomplete. The sketch may have gone over the line but it
should be the viewer’s choice if they wish to watch it.
In addition to the eight episodes, the boys were
graceful enough to include a great selection of special features.
Aspiring comedy writers will especially love these, as the boys go into
great detail about the process of turning their ideas into fully formed
sketches. There are commentaries for every episode which involve various
members of the team discussing the issues that are involved with making
the show, such as budget constraints, public reaction and how an idea
will translate into reality. Not only are the commentaries informative
but they are also frequently humorous, maintaining a jovial tone
throughout. The team also included deleted sketches and stunts. Most of
these aren’t that funny in themselves, it is quite obvious to see why
they got left out of the show. But they are a must watch because the
main writer or performer of the bit will go into detail about what
worked and what failed in the specific sketch. They go deep into the
writing and production process and present a very informative look at
how the Chaser gets made.
So the war is over, world leaders, religious leaders,
corporate leaders, and idiots and general can sleep safe at night.
However the rest of us will mourn the loss of one of the best Australian
comedy series of the last decade. The Chaser’s War on Everything mixed
sharp political satire, with off the wall comedy sketches covering a
range of topics. So even though the war is over, we can hope that the
Chaser boys will return some day to mock those who need to be mocked.
But for now, these DVD collections will keep you in stitches for a long
time to come.