Bill Shorten Tries To Get In On The Joke, Wears A “Vote 1 Chloe Shorten’s Husband” Shirt
Listen: the man knows what the people want.
Bill Shorten, like a lot of other Australian politicians, is very hard to satirize. Not, mind you, because he’s a particularly wily character, or so adept at navigating the modern political landscape that he can totally sidestep any criticism lobbed at him. No, Bill Shorten’s hard to make fun of because he’s so bloody boring.
Indeed, the most successful skewering of the Labor leader is predicated on the man being about as charismatic as a mound of wet cardboard. In a sketch by comedic troupe Freudian Nip for SBS, Shorten is shown to be so thoroughly unendearing that the only way to rouse support for the man is by focusing on his distinctly fabulous wife, Chloe.
Now, in a last minute attempt to prove that he is a human being who can emit human noises like laughter, Shorten has adopted the slogan himself — he was spotted this morning fitting in a last minute jog while wearing a “Vote 1 Chloe Shorten’s Husband” shirt.
— Mikearoo (@mpbowers) May 17, 2019
Naturally, the only people that we wanted to talk about this late election left-turn with were the comedians behind the Chloe Crusade, Jenna Owen and Victoria Zerbst of Freudian Nip. And so talk to them we did.
Junkee: Is it hard satirising Australian politicians whose main attribute is their forgettability?
Victoria Zerbst: Definitely. It’s like, ‘I should watch this presser to stay engaged’ except wait okay I’m asleep.
Jenna Owen: But Vic and I always say it’s like a dichotomy of snooze or psycho. I’m asleep, or I’m deeply disturbed. Wait what? You want to build Titanic 2? Cool, I’m scared of you. Where’s that middle ground?
Junkee: Are there certain Aussie politicians that are easier to skewer than others?
Victoria Zerbst: Any pollie with a strong personal brand is great. You know, a hat, a specific pair of swimwear. Without a strong personal brand, Jenna mostly just has to pop on the bald cap to perform in a sketch.
Jenna Owen: It’s not a concern for me because I look adorable in the bald cap. You should see me.
— Jenna Owen (@jennaown) May 17, 2019
Junkee: Where did the Chloe Shorten angle come from? Was it something that you struck upon early?
Jenna Owen: Everyone knows Bill Shorten is a Snoozebot. But Chloe was a complete accident. We were googling something about Bill and stumbled across a photo of her.
Victoria Zerbst: We were like wait, Chloe might be Bill’s only interesting angle.
Jenna Owen: But she personally has heaps of angles.
Victoria Zerbst: It’s no secret we are obsessed with the woman. I mean we literally made a cardboard cut out of her. That’s not normal behaviour.
Time for change. Let’s do this! pic.twitter.com/gD9gZwTBvA
— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) May 17, 2019
Junkee: Why do you think Shorten was so eager to adopt the “Chloe Shorten” tagline when the thrust of the joke is that he’s a bit of a wet blanket?
Victoria Zerbst: In all seriousness, Bill has co-opted our sketch for his political gain. We think that’s smart, and it’s cute, but he doesn’t get off that easily.
Jenna Owen: Absolutely. It’s cool for politicians to own the jokes we make about them, but pending their behaviour, some of our future jokes might not be so endearing to print on a T-shirt.
Junkee: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Jenna And Vic: Happy Election Day and someone give us money to make a television show.