That voice. That face. Those stunts. There is only one John Safran.
By
Jeremy Cassar

16 Jun 2016 - 4:52 PM  UPDATED 23 Jun 2016 - 9:01 AM

What do you get if you cross Louis Theroux, Woody Allen and the nanny from The Nanny?  John Safran, that’s what.

Reductive hypothetical mutations aside, cheeky documentarian/satirist/radio personality/author John Safran is a rare and necessary Aussie bird — a purposeful jester with the courage to venture into hot-button or underexposed nooks of our world, and yell questions not many are asking out aloud.

As he brings those talents to an exploration of the new far right anti-Islam parties contesting the 2016 Australian Federal Election in The Goddam Election! with John Safran on SBS, let's celebrate the most outlandish moments of Safran’s rolling career...

 

Safran helps reverse a dead witch’s curse on the Socceroos

So, some witch placed a curse on the Australian national soccer team, which was obviously the sole reason for their lack of success. Luckily, Safran came to the rescue and single-handedly lead the 'Roos to World Cup qualification.

 

Safran sneaks a fake Slipknot into a nightclub

An exclusive Melbourne nightclub with no signage, no queues and a bouncer that peers through a glass slat with an immediate yay or nay (usually nay) was no match for the nu-metal band Slipknot, or at least, Safran’s mates dressed as Slipknot.

 

Safran takes to the Chicago streets in blackface

Perhaps only Sacha Baron Cohen would dare take on this stunt, which would cause a lot more controversy in 2016 due to the more progressive ongoing public discussion surrounding race and representation. But either way, the results are fascinating.

 

Safran makes out with his ex’s mothers

Some fat white guy who believes Asian women stay attractive for longer than Western women propelled Safran to test the theory by asking former belles to let him kiss their mums. This is one stunt that seems less about revelation and more a desire to force awkwardness/notoriety, but it’s a treat nonetheless.

 

Safran performs "If I Were a Rich Man" on Palestinian TV

Safran’s always joked about the fact that he possesses a degree of cultural self-hate, and has even interviewed his likeminded father about it. Eventually, he cites the culprit as this song from the musical Fiddler on the Roof, one that he performed in an attempt to “de-program” the hardliners, then went on to perform the same number on Palestinian television.  

 

Safran collects women’s underwear for smelling purposes

Here, Safran goes to strange lengths to determine his attraction bias, gathering the used panties of five Eurasian women (who, due to his dating history, seemed his preference) and five Jewish women (with whom he shared a culture).

 

Safran places a fatwa on Rove McManus

Oh, bless you, Rove, king of G-rated filler. You have your fans, but unfortunately you’re just too Glen 20 for many of us Aussies. I think it’s rather horrible of Safran to try to organise a Fatwa placed on your sanitised head, but unfortunately the hilarity outweighs my compassion.  

 

Safran is exorcised of his demons

The jury’s still out as to whether Safran’s eerie reaction to an onscreen exorcism was a ruse. He told Andrew Denton he has no memory of the event, yet others that he definitely “felt something”.

 

Safran is crucified

If Safran ever reminded you of that kid at school that assholes sprayed Fanta at, chances are that after watching the man brave a Filpino ritual that replicates the alleged execution of Jesus Christ, he never will again.

Missed The Goddam Election! with John Safran?  Catch up on SBS On Demand and watch the full program below: 

More from The Guide
Why aren’t sitcoms cool anymore?
Great sitcoms are still being made, but you wouldn’t know it from the way the media ignores them. Whatever happened to the most popular genre in television?
The most groundbreaking animated comedies of the modern era
As it premieres on SBS 2, we look at the classic series that laid the groundwork for Suspect Moustache.
Watch: 10 years ago, the BBC interviewed the wrong man on air—and it’s still hilarious
Plus, a couple of other incredible BBC bloopers...