Many popular US shows have a UK equivalent, regardless of which is the original. Both have a different version of Whose Line is it Anyway, Britain has Dirty Sanchez to US’ Jackass (though the latter is more popular here, being the original). US has had pilots of Red Dwarf and Top Gear that have been poor compared to the original UK series and failed, and an Americanised version of the British The Office which is better than the original. Finally, there are the likes of Wheel of Fortune, which is still running in America, though was sadly cancelled in UK long ago. I don’t know which country’s version of that came first.
But recently I’ve been watching an American show online of which there doesn’t seem to be any British equivalent – Dateline: To Catch a Predator. And while I’m a massive fan of the general dry satirical comedy of any British comic, I don’t know if it’d be the same without the voice of the presenter, Chris Hansen.
I find it enjoyable and hilarious to watch To Catch a Predator, and I think it’s mostly him that makes it so. Seeing people that go around wanting to shag youngsters brought to justice is all well and good and certainly no joke, believe me. There are some guys that are “ill”, who I can feel sorry for, but for the most part (and mainly when they go through the pathetic excuses – “We were just gonna talk”, “I always have these condoms”, “I was drunk/high when I set this date up”) it’s great to see them gone from the planet for a good few years.
But, come on. Just seeing perverts thrown behind bars wouldn’t be the same with that voice that you could distinguish in a crowd from a mile away. From the “Why don’t you take a seat?” to the “you’re free to leave any time”, with the “I have the transcript”, “I’m Chris Hansen”, “You wanna try again?” and everything else in between, he’s the only person I know who can be deadly hilarious and deadly serious 100% simultaneously. How the paedophiles can resist laughing, I don’t know. (Yes, that was joking!)
It’s also fun to think what Hansen is like when off-camera and in casual mode. Does he really have that elocution? No idea. It’s like imagining Joe Pasquale in social settings, though if I had to spend any extended time in the hearing radius of that squeaky voice I’d chop my own ears off.
I don’t really have much to say, other than I kinda wish there was more To Catch a Predator. Since I’ve been watching it quite a bit over the last few days, and I still have an odd desire to blog, I thought it’d be worth doing. Have to stop writing now, footage of a guy that’s being caught a second time by the show is being shown and I sure as hell don’t want to miss him taking a seat.