ABC adds to the growing genre of panel shows dissecting the news humorously

Jan Fran

Jan Fran

For Baby Boomers the phrase: "Lucy, you got some 'splaining to do", evokes a bygone era of slapstick humour from Lucille Ball and hubby Desi Arnez.

Fast forward to 2021 and our small screens now have Jansplaining.

For the uninitiated it is a segment on new ABC TV show Question Everything with Wil Anderson and Jan Fran.

"It's nothing like mansplaining," says Fran. "It's a short sharp segment that explains the behind the tricks and tactics used by politicians and the media" - when telling the unsuspecting public the latest so-called fact about a topic.

The show supposedly gives audiences the tools to understand everything they see, read, or sometimes share without reading.

In the first episode Fran explained the term patient zero emanated from a typo in a story about the first Canadian gay man to have AIDS. Check the ep on iview to discover the reason behind the error.

According to Fran, the media "needs to look into its own soul".

"It's important for us all to be self aware though. I have fallen for deep fakes."

Overall she says, the show is just "trying to have a good time".

Three comedic panelists join Fran and Anderson offering up there opinions on the questions posed by Anderson.

Fran says the viewers should take everything with a pinch of salt.

"We're providing the salt.

"I mean some people are saying they won't get vaccinated because Bill Gates is behind it and he's trying to insert a microchip into us all.

"I'm there to try to give some of the answers, but we want to have fun with it, we want to put our own misinformation out there.

"We're bringing levity to what can sometimes be serious conversations, we're providing the space for new comedians, and there's no expectations.

"We're operating in a bubble and we just have to roll with it."

When asked why shows like Question Everything are a burgeoning genre, Fran says there is so much going on.

"Everyone is at home, there are so many questions out there. People are needing to be up to speed with everything and have a hunger for information.

The injection of humour into the genre seems to result from a general weariness in relation to the past 18 months of "back and forths and lockdowns", according to Fran.

"One thing we've found is just how ubiquitous misinformation is," she says.

"Having so much [information] out there is our biggest asset and liability. It becomes increasingly difficult to deny it if you have been affected by it.

"I approach life with curiosity and skepticism. Those who believe in conspiracy theories do too, but they have just taken it in a completely different direction.

Fran feels there has to been an erosion of what we understand, and our belief in authority.

"Things like social media exacerbate this problem.

"We're gonna try to pull back as many curtains as we can and you can make up your own mind [as to what is the truth].

"Hopefully the audience walks away more empowered.

"Everyone is going to have their opinions. We're trying to find the red herrings.

"It's been a barrel of laughs. If you can have fun and get your news cushioned with comedy, why wouldn't you?