For a brief spell in the mid-2000s, the world was fascinated by NBC’s To Catch A Predator, a program that found host Chris Hansen teaming with investigators to expose online pedophiles and humiliate them for the masses. As twisted as it is in retrospect, the show’s altruism was often obfuscated by its unintentional cringe comedy, what with Hansen reveling in reading back embarrassing chat logs to the men who appeared at the show’s sting house under the impression they were meeting an underage child for sex. To Catch A Predator was a moral and legal mess for NBC, especially after it became linked to the suicide of a Texas assistant district attorney, and, despite its popularity, the network eventually pulled the plug.
Still, for a certain generation, Hansen’s routine patter—“Why don’t you have a seat?”—turned into bizarre catchphrases that have persevered through memes. Hansen, too, has indulged in parodies of the series, most notably playing himself on a 2006 episode of 30 Rock. He’s still at it, apparently, as the host now recites those very catchphrases for $50 bucks a pop on Cameo.
Cameo, if you’re unaware, allows everyday folks to solicit a video message from celebrities who engage with the platform. And, considering Hansen willingly offers up a few of his accidental catchphrases on his page, it appears a whole lot of people want him to accuse them of being a pedophile. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by the online masses.
As is often the case with Cameo, a number of Hansen’s personalized messages have been uploaded to Twitter and YouTube for the curious to peruse. In them, Hansen talks about his own “investigations” into you, the Cameo user, while referencing unseen “transcripts” and insinuating that your user name could be construed as predator-like. It’s, well...it’s weird. It’s really damn weird.
Pour yourself some lemonade and have a look.
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