For years, Australian culture has suffered from cultural cringe: the fear that anything foreign-made is automatically better than Australian-made films, TV shows and books. This phenomenon has been exacerbated by the fact that, by and large, the fear has been very well founded. Luckily, however, in so many walks of life – from film to visual art to music – Australian culture is now so integrated into the global, cyber-driven cultural machine that it is basically indistinguishable from its American, British and, increasingly, Chinese cousins.
The Chaser Quarterly (a publication that's a pale imitation of the Onion or McSweeney's) presents a talk at the Wheeler Centre (a lame and more bookish version of the Lincoln Centre). Drag yourself off the couch to see a line-up of Australian comedy writers and journalists who aspire to be writers on The Daily Show, Last Week Tonight, or The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, but aren’t.
Charles Firth is a co-founder of The Chaser, and is co-host of Radio Chaser on Triple M Sydney. He is author of American Hoax (Picador, 2006) and is managing editor of The Chaser Quarterly. His author of American Hoax (2006, Picador), which preempts Donald Trump by a good decade.
Mark Humphries is a Sydney-based writer/performer best known for his work on The Feed (Viceland), The Roast (ABC2), Guardian Australia and ABC Radio National. He is co-author of The Chaser's Australia and a regular writer for the Chaser Quarterly. Mark would have been considered really cool in the 1970s.
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She hosts the Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, now in its ninth year. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.
Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.
James Schloeffel is a Melbourne-based writer and founder of the satirical website The Shovel. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including the Guardian, the Age and Sydney Morning Herald. He is a regular writer for the Chaser Quarterly. His first book, The Shovel Annual came out last year.