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A Very Naughty Boy (We’ll be live blogging during the premiere episode of John Safran’s ‘Race Relations’!)

October 21, 2009 – 11:17 am19 Comments
Source: abc.net.au

Source: abc.net.au

Live, from 9.30pm tonight!

Tune your TV to ABC1 and your internet browser to GalusAustralis.com.

The story so far:

John Safran Gets Busy with Cross-Cultural Love.

Pasty bespectacled comic John Safran is coming back to ABC TV with an eight-part comedy-documentary, and it’s his most daring and personal adventure yet. It’s about cross-cultural, interracial and interfaith love.

Torn between his Jewish upbringing and his inclination to hit on Eurasians, Safran comes up with some of the craziest television ever. Safran’s insane globetrotting takes him to Israel, Palestine, Togo, Japan, The Philippines, Thailand, The UK, The Netherlands and the United States. He turns black and goes undercover in Chicago, talks to his dead mother, becomes a ladyboy and an Elephant Man, all in an attempt to make sense of cross-cultural love.

Safran might be figuratively crucified for this series – but seeing he is literally crucified in the climax, he’s not too worried. You see, John Safran just needs to know: when it comes to love, should you stick with your tribe or escape your tribe?

Source: ABC press release

John Safran’s Race Relations starts Wednesday October 21 at 9.30pm on ABC1.

*

9.29pm – Waiting. Brief promo. Hope this thing works.

9.29pm – Oh yes, of course the internet is down.

9.30pm – Back up. Yeehaa.

9.32pm – C’mon ABC

9:33pm – Yay!

9:35pm – Rabbi Groner back from the grave? Oooh, ouch. Oh well, Yeshiva’s probably disowned Safran already. Justin Heazlewood’s khet pronunciation is commendable! And tefillin will never seem not-kinky ever again.

9:37pm – Carlisle St is the beating heart of Melbourne, OF COURSE, but I didn’t know it had an international airport.

9:38pm – “Cogolese”? Oy! She must be thinking something along the lines of, “When the hell is this moron going to start asking the real questions? I have women’s rights to champion!” Oh yeah, that little sideways eyeroll says it all.

9:39pm – “What about me?” Yep. It always comes down to this. At least he’s honest about being self-absorbed, unlike the rest of us pseudo-humanitarians.

9:39pm – Did you catch that headline from the Women’s Weekly mag article about Michiko’s parents wedding?! “The Bride Wore a Kimono”!

9:40pm – Really hope this letter to ex-GF bit isn’t true.

9:42pm – UNDERGARMENT TEST?!!!! HAAA HAAA. This bit is GOLD.

9:43pm – OH YVETTE NO

9:45pm – Is he seriously stealing Pussycat Doll undies? They’ve gotta be fake. No way.

9:45pm – So that’s why Dools and Linda on JJJ is now just Dools. (This whole collecting things in plastic baggies is very reminiscent of Jonathan Safran Foer’s character in the film adaptation of Everything is Illuminated.)

9:45pm – “So Penny won’t return my calls, she thinks she’s too good for me?!” Exactly. She knows what’s good for her. Or her publicist does.

9:46pm – “One Eurasian underpants short” – Been waiting my whole life to hear those words in a sentence together. Look at how he’s inhaling those puppies. Argh.

9:50pm – JELLYSTINIAN?! (Am I spelling it right?)

9:51pm – “How long do people take in there?” Puh-leeze.

9:51pm – Even the dedicated masturbation room gets a mezuzah.

9:52pm – John looks like a kid in a lolly shop. Fakest masturbation scene ever…. at least I hope that was fake… Hmm. Now even John looks kind of uncomfortable.

9:55pm – I’ve always admired Yasser Arafat too! He IS a great guy.

9:58pm – “He’ll be throwing rocks at himself” – THAT’S THE MONEY SHOT, RIGHT THERE

You know, despite (or perhaps because of?) the tasteless humour, this episode in general is actually quite a nuanced take on racial tensions – the whole bit about John’s Baha’i girlfriend feeling it’s OK for her to mock Muslims; the skin-shade tensions in Bolivia (no better place to discuss racial tension than Caulfield park, right?); the joke about Palestinians making their own Schindler’s List... This is what good satire does – it enables the viewer to both relate to the non-PC views s/he shares with Safran (but in a guilt-free, “I’m in on the joke” way), and also see them for what they are – hypocritical/racist/rude, etc.

10:00pm – Well. That wasn’t so bad, was it?

FURTHER READING: Here, there, everywhere.

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19 Comments »

  • The Hasid says:

    Yeearrrghhh!

    I’m on shpilkes. Can’t wait. Bring on the moral outrage!

  • Henry Herzog says:

    I would rather eat bees.

  • ariel says:

    Why give this guy a platform?

  • frosh says:

    Henry,

    Please don’t eat bees. While we can’t always easily understand the purpose of the the rules of kashrut, in the case of the prohibition against eating bees – well that’s just common sense.

  • frosh says:

    Ariel,

    It’s just a personal opinion, but based on his previous body of work, I find John Safran to be the most entertaining person in the entire Australian media landscape.

    Furthermore, unlike some other Jewish celebrities, he is unashamedly a Jew; and this is evident to anyone who listens to Safran’s Sunday night radio program on TripleJ.

    However, I understand that he’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

  • The Hasid says:

    “I would rather eat bees.”

    “Why give this guy a platform?”

    That’s what I’m talkin’ about! Love it!

  • Nicki G says:

    BRILLIANT

  • pom says:

    Eeewwwww cringe!!

  • frosh says:

    I loved how on that world map, instead of Melbourne, it was Carlisle St.

    As corny as it sounds, John Safran really put Carlisle St on the map (sadly, pun fully intended)

  • rachsd says:

    Great to see that dilemmas about intermarriage and putting on tefilin as part of a kiruv exercise is considered material for Australian television these days. There’s something quite taboo even about showing those topics in public that made me laugh even before he got to the more controversial bits.

  • stv027 says:

    omg…that is the funniest shit i have seen in ages…Look out for a half palastinian, half Jew, he’ll be the kid in the playground throwing rocks at himself….WTF can’t wait till the mainstream media decide to ream him even more after everyone has seen it…stay strong ABC and keep this show on….John Safran = Genius

  • bob says:

    cant wait till next week, [Ed: some inappropriate language removed].

  • Russell says:

    Any person that doesn’t like this show or is outspoken against it, is a racist. Great show and the coverage is global. Something very rarely seen. Well done safran, we have missed your TV humour.

  • rachsd says:

    Ok, so he starts out talking about Jewish pressure not to intermarry – clearly prejudicial (don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way).

    Then tries to argue that scientifically speaking inter-ethnic dating is also prejudicial – people are subconsciously attracted to those of different ethnicity to themselves.

    Then there’s the introduction of a moral argument. Morally, following Obama (or his parents), inter-ethnic dating is good because it’s supposed to create peace between races.

    But in fact this doesn’t actually work because of what he calls highly emotional stories that each ethnicity has and which can be contradictory. To illustrate this latter point, Safran reflects on an ‘anecdote’ where he was dating an Iranian muslim and went with her to see Schindler’s list, after which one of her friends made a comment to him like ‘when will the Palestinians get to make their Schindler’s list’?

    Not sure if I agree with the world view, but it’s very equalising. Whether you marry in or out, there’s nothing racially neutral about it – it’s all prejudicial.

  • frosh says:

    Russell,

    I personally agree that the show was excellent – vinatge Safran!

    However, let’s not use the term “racist” like it’s running out of fashion. I’m sure there are a number of people who did not like the show – and that does not necessarily make them racists.

  • The Hasid says:

    I love John, but I can understand why others don’t. For me, he’s like the Michael Moore of comedy – totally over the top and extreme, and certainly not aiming for a balanced representation of truth, or a serious analysis of the world’s problems – but his craziness has a way of making you think. And it’s definitely entertaining. Though I think I might need therapy after those sperm bank scenes.

    You’ve gotta check out the Race Relations website, AKA Racebook.

  • ra says:

    Damn, I missed it. Does anyone know if I can watch it online?

    From Galus: Yep! Go here: http://www.abc.net.au/tv/iview/

    Also, tonight on ABC2 – check the guide for details.

  • &rew says:

    In that taxi scene, I think before he goes to Yvette’s house, he’s driving down our street in Elsternwick! Cool. I’m so easy to please. But he did miss our place by one house.

    I love the Carlisle Street thing too, Frosh. It makes me feel so at home.

    He’s such a dude — and back with a vengeance!

  • Henry Herzog says:

    OK, STV027, if he did that it would have been funny, but I fell asleep well before it came on, and I wasn’t even tired.

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