watch your step
by Michael Davies
First off, I would like to take a quote from the host of To Catch a Predator, Chris Hansen: “Why don’t you take a seat and get comfortable for a few minutes.”Sound familiar? Well it is a quote from pretty much every episode of the hit Dateline NBC series.
To Catch a Predator (TCAP) is literally my favorite show of all time because it is about everyone’s favorite topic ever: sexual encounters with minors. The show debuted in 2004 and never looked back.
Chris Hansen is the driving force of this series and basically created the term “swag”. I love the way he presented himself in such a classy manner (sports coat and turtleneck sweaters) and his always quick one liners. He had everything on lock. I mean, the watchdog group Perverted-Justice did most of the work, but Chris was never afraid of belittling any sexual predators.
Every episode of TCAP was literally the same thing, night in and night out: predator meets an underage boy/girl on Yahoo! Messenger, predator drives hundreds of miles with gifts for the minor as bribery for sex, decoy answers door but has to fold laundry, predator waits in kitchen impatiently but still eats the stale cookies on the table, then Chris Hansen enters with his trustworthy chat logs. I got more pumped seeing Chris Hansen enter a kitchen through a curtain than I do when my favorite football team enters the field. Millions of viewers, including myself, jumped up every time Chris Hansen laid the law down.
His conversations were the best! “What’s goin’ on?” “What were ya doin’ here” “How old is the person you were chatting with?” And the predators lie EVERY TIME like Chris Hansen doesn’t actually know the answer. Then, my favorite part, Chris Hansen just lets them go because “HE isn’t going to arrest them.”
Did anyone think that having 15 policemen outside the house was over the top? They swarmed on the predators like they had bombs attached to their chest. Tasers, tackling, mace, you name it, they used it. The best were the predators that thought driving by the house and not going in was okay. Well, they were wrong and missed out on a chance to chat with Chris Hansen.
After 12 investigations, NBC decided to cancel the show because it was “too popular” and predators were too aware of getting caught. Does it surprise anyone that NBC would shoot themselves in the foot like they do with all their programming. Chris Hansen even tried to move locations of the show with episodes in local parks and beaches. At least there are still repeat episodes on MSNBC.
Here are my top 5 moments from Dateline NBC’s To Catch a Predator:
5.The Naked Guy This shocked me when I first saw this. Who just walks into a stranger’s house naked? Oh that’s right. Mentally unstable computer predators.
4. Stubborn guy gets tased I couldn’t help myself! I love when people get tased!!!
3. Bring your child to work day I cannot believe that someone brought their own kid while visiting a minor’s house. Actually, I can. This show is that awesome.
2. John Kennely This guy is a real character. Another naked predator, but better! He tries to meet the decoy at a McDonald’s and Chris Hansen is there again to cock block Kennely. “I just came to get something to eat!”
1. The Oops Guy You saw that correctly, a predator that was caught TWICE! That is enough to make Chris Hansen question the fate of humanity. But, as usual, Chris Hansen kept his cool and gave more of his witty lines.
Since the series ended in 2007, hundreds of spoofs have made their way onto YouTube including this gem from myself and Project Landmine’s James Connelly about the dangers of cheating on tests in high school.
All we ask is that NBC should give TCAP another chance! Lets see more predators get arrested and lets have us be entertained!