Charles Firth (comedian)
|Birth name||Charles Henry Burgmann Firth|
|Medium||Print & Television|
|Notable works and roles||CNNNN (2002–2003), The Chaser's War on Everything (2006–2007), Manic Times|
Charles Henry Burgmann Firth is an Australian comedian, best known as a member of The Chaser productions CNNNN and The Chaser's War on Everything. He is the brother of Verity Firth who was a Minister for the Labor Government of New South Wales.
Firth went on to attend the University of Sydney where he completed an Arts degree in political science, edited the Honi Soit student newspaper, and in 1997 broke through a plate glass window during a University Senate meeting to protest the introduction of full fee paying places at the university. While attending Charles was also the subject of a reality-TV style documentary called Uni, by film-maker Simon Target. centred on the lives of students at the University of Sydney. Fellow Chaser Andrew Hansen was also a subject. It was aired on the ABC in 1996.
On CNNNN, broadcast in 2003 and 2004, he played a role as host of the fictional segment "The Firth Factor", parodying journalistic styles used by the American Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly's prime time show The O'Reilly Factor.
During the 2004 Australian federal election (during production of The Chaser Decides) an eBay user of the name "Charles Firth" was seen selling their vote. This segment was never aired.
By 2006, Firth had moved to the United States. He periodically appeared on The Chaser's War on Everything in a segment about American culture entitled "Firth in the USA". This segment served to highlight American ignorance of Australia and the world in general.
During this time Firth also researched and wrote his first book, American Hoax. This involved creating a number of fictional stereotypical American characters on both the progressive-left and conservative-right sides of American politics. The characters included liberal ad-man Bertrand Newton, conservative scholar Dr Andrew O'Keefe, conservative economist Edward McGuire, working class bartender Darryl Summers, and female Iraqi-immigrant poet Khorin al-Ghrant. The book explored the efforts of these characters (all played by Firth) to try to interact with real-world political groups and individuals. American Hoax was released in November 2006.
Firth went to Adelaide in July 2007 to present at the Festival of Ideas with fellow Chaser Julian Morrow, where his performance included asking the audience to SMS their questions to him, throwing lollies to the audience, and "defacing" three Wikipedia articles.
Firth worked on a new weekly print magazine and news website, which was launched in mid-August 2007 called The Manic Times. The newspaper has since ceased production and that company is now called "Manic Studios" producing web video for the Australian, and more recently, American Union movements in partnership with The Republic. Firth remains actively involved as a writer, performer and producer.
Firth is now executive producer on a daily news satire program on ABC2 called The Roast
He generated controversy among the Westboro Baptist Church when he began to openly "flirt" with Fred Phelps's son while interviewing him for The Chaser's War on Everything at a Westboro picket. When Phelps junior began to walk away, Firth followed him and continued to openly "flirt" with him, persisting despite being called a "fag-ass pervert" by the rest of the picketers.
Firth is married to Amanda Tattersall, Founding Director of the Sydney Alliance and co-founder of getup.org.au, a community organiser and author of Power in Coalition a book on building coalitions between unions and community organisations  They have two sons, Hartley and Angus.
Other work and guest appearances
- In 2008, Firth created a one-hour television special for SBS on the then up-and-coming US election, titled 'Mr. Firth Goes To Washington'. It aired on Tuesday, 4 November at 8:30pm. A blog was also posted for this Mockumentary at the SBS website.
- Firth, along with fellow Chaser comedians, appears regularly on ABC Local Radio.
- Firth co-hosted Episode 50 – "The Chaser Special" – of the Macquarie Radio Network's podcast "Radio Ha Ha" on 10 November 2006.
- Outtakes from this episode were run in Episode 51 – "The Belated 50th Episode Special" the following week, on 17 November 2006
- Mitchell, Alex (7 May 2006). "I'm not going anywhere". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 2. Retrieved 2007-04-15.
- Idato, Michael (16 September 2004). "Cutting to The Chaser". Melbourne: The Age. Retrieved 2006-12-12.
- "Uni". Australian Broadcasting Commission. Retrieved 2008-09-22.
- Carman, Marina (5 November 1997). "University life in the '90s". Green Left Weekly. Retrieved 2007-04-11.
- "American Hoax". Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- "Chasers War on Wikipedia". 11 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-04.
- Represent - July 13th | represent radio
- Manic Times
- The Republic - 02 8989 5796
- "Charles Firth "flirting" with a Westboro Baptist Church member". 28 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
- Firth, Charles (4 November 2008). "Mr. Firth Goes To Washington Blog". Special Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 2008-11-13.