October 10, 2007

Chaser musical skit riles Tim Freedman

Posted in ABC1 at 12:36 pm by Give Me The Remote

Tim Freedman isn’t happy. The Whitlams’ frontman has taken offence to a Chaser skit satirising his apparently overuse of Newtown icons in his songs.

This is it:

Mr Freedman has replied saying that satire “is really just a civilised form of abuse, and  an incoming missile is unsettling just for the fact that someone has gone to all that trouble to annoy you for laughs.”

The Whitlams’ Tim Freedman
Tim Freedman is bemused..

He then goes onto say that the reason Chris Taylor wrote the song is because he’s stuck up on an ex that both Freedman and Taylor had both gone out with at different times. He finishes with “Bachelors of Australia be warned. When dining with a woman make sure she has not been involved with any presently famous satirists. You may find yourself the butt of a spurious nationally broadcast joke.”

Ouch..

Taylor, of course, has replied that this woman, Anna Skellern – a previous Chaser cast member, had nothing to do with him writing a Whitlams satire.

Chris Taylor, Anna Skellern & Tim Freedman
Taylor, Skellern & Freedman

It seems like every second week the Chaser is ruffling somebody’s feathers… and that’s exactly where their appeal lies.

Heres the full statement from The Whitlams website:

I received The Chaser treatment on Wednesday night. It’s a strange feeling being satirised. On the one hand everyone quotes Wilde and says that being talked about is better than not being talked about – that the attention will fade into some kind of indistinct notoriety as the months roll by.  On the other hand satire  an incoming missile is unsettling just for the fact that someone has gone to all that trouble to annoy you for laughs.

I was out when the show was on, having supper after a great ACO concert. Seated next to me was a person who actually works on The Chaser so I was warned that at that minute I was being satirised in the lounge rooms of Australia. I was not to direct any vitriol at Andrew Hansen the impersonator, a lovely chap, and altogether too sensitive to cope with any criticism. No, the fellow to be careful about was Chris Taylor who had written the lyrics.

I record The Chaser if I go out on Wednesday night. Most of it is usually great. Sometimes there are parts that are a little lame. As I pressed play, I was hoping that the bit on me would fit into the latter category. The piece came on and I must say I really enjoyed it. “Who is this guy,? I’d buy his album,” I thought. Hansen had my rather basic piano style down well, and the vowel sounds and melody were eerily similar to what I hear in my head. But the lyrics?

The point of the song was that I only write about Newtown and continually name-check its streets and landmarks. I was a little bemused. I have only mentioned Newtown once in over 60 songs, on our sixth album last year. Before that you have to go back 8 years where I named 2 pubs in a song about the pokies. And the first 3 albums? Not a single reference.  More pointed perhaps would have been the question as to why I so willingly bathed in the cachet of fine old Newtown when I had written so very little about it, and had only lived there for 20 years (not quite enough to be deemed a “local” around these parts). Why were they having a go when they didn’t even have a point?  As The Chasers like to say, I decided to do a little research of my own.

There has been one female cast member of The Chaser. It was the very first series, and the actress was an ex-girlfriend of mine. Recently I was sharing a drink with her in London. Apparently she did not make it to the second series after a romance with one Chris Taylor turned pear-shaped. Could it be that as I was still seeing her on a purely social level during the first series that I had unwittingly become embroiled in a matter of the heart? Was a score being settled? I’m not sure. 

Bachelors of Australia be warned. When dining with a woman make sure she has not been involved with any presently famous satirists. You may find yourself the butt of a spurious nationally broadcast joke.

Which I suppose is not such a bad thing. It’s good profile.

Tim Freedman

Source

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5 Comments »

  1. Aimee said,

    I cant understand why you’ve all missed Tims heading
    ‘I love the chaser.’

    your report also reads: ‘He then goes on to say that the reason Chris Taylor wrote the song is because he’s stuck up on an ex…’

    Tim says: ‘APPARENTLY she did not make it to the second series after a romance with one Chris Taylor turned pear-shaped. COULT IT BE that as I was still seeing her on a purely social level during the first series that I had unwittingly become embroiled in a matter of the heart? Was a score being settled? I’m not sure. ‘

    Just adding the capitals for those of you whom have a lower IQ than most.

    ‘Tim Freedman isn’t happy. The Whitlams’ frontman has taken offence to a Chaser skit satirising his apparently overuse of Newtown icons in his songs.’

    Where has Tim written that he found it offensive.

    Tim writes: ‘The piece came on and I must say I REALLY ENJOYED it. “Who is this guy,? I’d buy his album,” I thought. Hansen had my rather basic piano style down well, and the vowel sounds and melody were eerily similar to what I hear in my head.’

    Jeez, sounds like he’s offended. He is clearly paying them a complement.

    – Aimee.

  2. Jacquie said,

    I don’t think he took offence at all. He is a fan of the Chasers show and it says he tapes it every Wednesday night. Seems to me Chris Taylor is the one who has taken offence. Either that or this is just a beat-up by the media to try and get a story. Time to move on me thinks…

  3. givemetheremote said,

    Thanks for the comments.

    Saying ‘apparently’ doesn’t mean anything (it’s like saying ‘no offence but’). Tim’s implying that Anna could have been sacked because of his involvement in a relationship with her. The fact that he’s brought up these personal matters definitely smells of someone who isn’t totally happy about his treatment.

    I didn’t say Tim found it offensive. I said he took offence to it.. i.e. he doesn’t agree with the song (that says he references Newtown excessively).

    I think that perhaps Tim did enjoy the performance, however nobody likes being picked on… and I didn’t say I blamed him for taking a crack back.

    And in regards to the media beatup, put ‘The Chaser’ in anything and it seems to be popular news. They’re the people of the moment. Everyone wants a piece.

  4. Bonnie said,

    I think that’s adorable! Not really laugh-out-loud funny, perhaps a bit of a quiet chuckle.
    Best bit?
    There’s no aprodisiac like Newtown.

    I’ve been there, and can’t say I found it THAT exciting. lol

  5. Liv said,

    I was at the taping for that song, Infact I was sitting right near the piano. Best night ever.

    The Chaser are a group of gods.


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