Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ralphy Horowitz, Sam Newman, the Chaser lads, and how to grope a mannequin with style

(Above: Sam Newman and dummy. Sam Newman is on the right).

Poor Ralphy Horowitz is terribly upset. It seems he's still brooding about the very harsh times the media gave that sweet lad Sam Newman about stapling a picture of Age journalist to a mannequin's head and announcing to the world "I tell you what, she's a fair piece, Caro".

The Chaser lads v Sam Newman: media commentator hypocrisy vents Ralphy's rage, as he rails against media commentators, and those (stay with the double negatives) who deny people on the Eastern coast who can't think for themselves the opportunity of being told what to believe by the media.

At the time of that particular mannequin outing with the later indignant journo Caroline Wilson, the dummy was clothed in a satin bar and underpants, and after referring to a newspaper clip about Wilson's wardrobe Newman proceeded to fumble around the dummy's chest and crotch, as he dressed the dummy in sundry outfits.

Wag Matthew Richardson chimed in with a remark about it being awhile since Newman had put clothes on a girl. 

To some viewers, it was worse than watching furry porn, and the complaints poured in to network Nine. Newman claimed that it wasn't meant to be degrading or offensive, and said he couldn't understand what was insulting about putting clothes on a mannequin.

Horowitz is indignant that Newman still carries this cross, while no one on the eastern seaboard seems to have noticed that West Coast coach Ken Judge made a crack to a co-commentator about him being bigger than Hitler's gas bill. 

Last time I thought or heard about Perth I thought they'd seceded from the Commonwealth, but Horowtiz wants everyone on the east coast to stand up and shout Judge down, though it also seems that Judge has profusely apologized for his remark. For Newman, an apology generally sticks in the craw like a rather large corn cob.

But now, shouts Ralphy, the derelict east coast media have also failed to pay attention to the Chaser boys and their return to television. First there's the obligatory glad handing, just to make sure everybody understands Ralpy is a fellow trouper:

Which brings us to the sensational Chaser who returned to the screen last night in their usual style, reminding everyone that daylight is second when it comes to the best talents on Australian TV at present.

Well done lads, Ralphy loves ya. So what's the problem:

One of their sketches involved them manhandling a mannequin of Governor General Quentin Bryce. She was groped, dragged up a ladder, and after a few unsuccessful attempts, thrown over a fence.

Stand by. The hypocrisy Geiger counter is starting to make a funny noise.

Ah, the dummy thing again, that's why Ralphy's spitting the dummy. And the Chaser boys seem to have got away with it, and poor Sam didn't. And the GG of all people, whom Gerard Henderson says we must respect and put on a pedestal so she can stand above the fray!

But Ralphy, questions have been asked, and by no less a newspaper than that Melbourne institution the Herald Sun, under the header The Chaser is back on screen, satirising Cronulla, Sam Newman:

Chaser star Julian Morrow has defended the team’s mannequin skit in last night’s return of The War on Everything.

Morrow featured in a skit where a mannequin dressed as Australia’s Governor General Quentin Bryce was thrown against and then over the back wall of the city headquarters of the exclusive all-male Melbourne Club.

The sketch follows controversy last year over a skit on
The Footy Show in which Sam Newman grabbed a female mannequin by the crotch, dressed it in lace lingerie and stapled a photograph of a female journalist to its head.

“People are drawing a pretty long bow to say that it is comedy based around violence against women,” Morrow, who wrote and starred in the Chaser sketch says.

“The purpose of it (Chaser sketch) was pretty obvious – to show the maximum amount of disrespect that we could for the Melbourne Club, which is a male only institution. “I would have thought that women who think about the point we’re trying to make would understand that it was a piece of physical comedy and nothing more.”

And they scored more than 1.5 million viewers.

Life's unfair, I guess, but now that I've finished my latte and started sipping on my chardonnay, let me give you an unsophisticated guess as to why this is so.

Sam Newman is a boofhead dickhead, and the very sight of him feeling up a dummy is enough to make most women go faint, or at least feel sleazy and sick (this is of course only a commentary on his professional life as a television football comedian, I'm sure in his personal life he treats his women with exceptional kindness and gallantry).

While the Chaser boys are witty and clever and funny, and will be remembered unto eternity for their APEC Leaders summit stunt. They can grope a mannequin any way they like and all it will do is bring on a bout of sexual arousal of the highest order in any fair minded, thinking woman.

Call it hypocrisy, set the geiger counter running if you like, but in a situation of sleazebucket stunt versus having a laugh, the laughs win every time. I'm even betting Quentin Bryce could have a chuckle about trying to get into the Melbourne Club and being flung over the fence as the only way to do it, while the thought of pinning her photo on a dummy and having the dummy groped by Newman fills me (and I'm sure Gerard Henderson) with horror.

That's the way it goes Ralphy. Live with it.

(And if you missed The Chaser skit on getting the GG into the Melbourne club, you can catch it here).

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