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Thai satirical news talk show pokes fun at politics

Satirical news talk show "Cho Khao Tuen" has become quite the Internet sensation in Thailand. More people are tuning in online to watch the show's hosts discuss big issues with cheeky dialogue, laced with teenage slang and funny antics.

BANGKOK: Thailand's long running political crisis is not just being played out in the streets.

It has also found its way into popular entertainment, where a satirical news talk show has become the talk of the town, drawing comparisons with the likes of America's the Daily Show or Ali G in the UK.

The fast moving news talk show "Cho Khao Tuen", or "Insight into Shallow News", has become quite the Internet sensation in Thailand, particularly in recent months.

The ongoing political conflict has provided the show with a lot of material to take aim at.

As a result, more people are tuning in online to watch the two sunglass-wearing hosts -- John Winyu and Por Moh -- discuss big issues with cheeky dialogue, laced with teenage slang and funny antics.

But it is not all fun and games. The hosts’ dissection of issues and leaders has upset some people, and the show has needed to navigate through a range of political accusations levelled against them.

Winyu said: "It's a categorisation that is rather crude and unrefined. It is crude because it only has two boxes. If you are not with us then you are with them; or if you are not supporter of the Yellow Shirt, then you are a Red Shirt."

Well into its sixth year, "Cho Khao Tuen" offers content that is very different to what is available elsewhere in Thai media.

Apart from probing the complexity of Thai politics, the show has also touched on other issues like the Arab Spring and conflict in Syria.

Its main producer, Janya Wongsurawat, who is Winyu’s sister and Por Moh's wife, said the project started from a family dinner table conversation about politics and social issues.

Wongsurawat said: "I want to make a programme that I would like to watch. I wanted answers. Sometimes we don't get answers to the questions that we have in our mind from the media out there. That is why we wanted to do a programme by ourselves."

At its core, the show's attraction remains Thai politics and ridiculing the power players during these tense times has clearly attracted viewers.

Por Moh said: "I think all that has happened is a political drama utilised to bring people out to fight each other. I think it would be better if ordinary citizens like us take aim at those in power and scrutinise them so that they would do what we want, rather than let them use us to get what they want."

Running the show online has also meant that "Cho Khao Tuen" enjoys more political freedom than their Thai media peers, and this is also part of the show's strength.

For over five years, the two hosts have been showing the funny way of being serious. The secret to their success? Poking fun at power one issue at a time. 

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