My husband and I had the best marriage-bonding activity ever. We would make a date to watch our favorite show once a week after the kids were in bed. We’d have popcorn and drinks, and sit on the couch eager to watch another episode of To Catch A Predator. I would like to point out that I watched the show to see them get these scumbag child molesters off the street. My husband, however, would watch with one revenge-addled drool-worthy thought: he wanted to watch the cops hit the guy with the taser if he tried to run. My husband would actually come home from work yelling in excitement if the show’s commercials for the upcoming episode even hinted that the guy might go down that night. It was awesome.
But there was one thing about the show that always puzzled me. Didn’t ANYONE watch the show? Am I the only one hurting for Chris Hansen, since apparently NO ONE in America knows who he is? Wouldn’t you at least think all these pedophile hangout sites and chat rooms would have his picture up there, flashing a warning to look out for this guy? EVERY episode he had to introduce himself and explain why he was standing in this kitchen with the perp, and the predators still sat there in the kitchen looking dumbfounded that some man was talking to them. There have even been episodes that feature a repeater, a man who has already been caught and confronted by poor Chris Hansen, only to have the perp have zero clue who he is.
The best part of each segment had to be when Chris Hansen would read back the printouts of the predator’s chats with the decoy. If I had to picture Ozzy Osbourne giving a poetry reading of Emily Dickinson’s work, I don’t think it could have been more awkward. Listening to a news anchor reading back vivid descriptions of sex acts and penis length without once cracking a smile means that man deserves whatever award is higher up than an Emmy. But there Chris Hansen would stand, holding the printout and reading from it, and the guys still would have no clue who he was.
Chris Hansen: “It says right here, ‘Yeah, girl, I’m gonna do you good. Do you like it doggy style?'”
Perp: “Uh, are you her dad? Cuz she said you wouldn’t be home.”
Chris Hansen: “I’ve already told you, I’m Chris Hansen from Dateline NBC and we’re doing a show on sexual predators.”
Perp: “Soooooo, you’re on TV?”
Chris Hansen: “I just told you, I’m Chris Hansen.”
Perp: “Were you on Dancing with the Stars?”
Chris Hansen: “No, I’m on a news show. It’s very popular. It’s won a lot of awards. My picture is on the side of city buses. Listen, just listen to my voice for a second. No, close your eyes and just listen…’I’m Chris Hansen, and on tonight’s episode blah blah blah.’ Surely you’ve heard of me?”
Perp: “Yeah, I remember now. But you used to have black hair. And a mustache.”
Chris Hansen: “NO! That’s Jon Stossel! I’m CHRIS HANSEN!”
Luckily, if our government ever needs a super spy or a secret agent, they can just send Chris Hansen and his highly forgettable face.
UPDATE: Poor Chris Hansen is so forgettable that I spelled his name wrong every single time I write it in this post, and had to go back and change them all. I almost didn’t do it and was just going to say down here something like, “My bad , y’all, he spells it with an E at the end and not an O, sorry Chris,” but then I thought about it and realized that I would be just as guilty as all those perps. For not remembering him, I mean, not for the sex with kids thing. Because that’s horrible.
PLEASE actually watch what they do to poor Chris Hansen in this video: