Sixteen years after they got together, the Chaser team have turned to Pozible to crowdfund $50,000 to start The Chaser Quarterly, a print newspaper that harks back to the group’s early days, before all that TV nonsense they got up to.

“There’s not enough content in this world,” Charles Firth told Crikey when asked why they would do this. “We’re utterly bereft of content. The way to solve that is to create turgid, long-form essays.”

“We’re expecting to be as popular as Robert Manne, as cheerful as Gerard Henderson, but as coy and shy as Annabel Crabb.”

Given this, the return to print was obvious. The Chaser boys, you see, are pushing 50. “We just thought it’s the perfect time to get back into print and tell everyone what we think is wrong with the world, because that’s what you do when you’re middle-aged. And there’s no better way to be pompous and middle-aged than in print.”

As well as the print edition, The Chaser Quarterly will operate a paywalled website, because it is 2015, after all. Like all successful media companies they’ll also be using a tax haven, with Firth assuring us that a plan to use a “double-Dutch Irish sandwich”, a la Apple, is no joke. “We’re going to track, each edition, how much money we aren’t paying to the Australian government,” he said. “We’re planning to spend a few million on accountants, and $50k producing the actual publication.” Firth, who also launched the short-lived Manic Times, said he hoped his efforts would bag him a knighthood. “There’d be no complaints about a Sir Charles Firth!”

Meanwhile, the Chaser’s archives have today been made available on Trove through the National Library. Firth told Crikey he was very much looking forward to the National Library shouldering the defamation liability of the earlier editions. 

Peter Fray

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