Good news for anyone that has wanted to be the focus of a To Catch a Predator investigation: for the price of $50, Chris Hansen will accuse you of horrible crimes. To Catch a Predator, led by Hansen, tapped into the desire of audiences to watch the weird and unsavory. Installments regularly revolved around sexual offenders being exposed on camera. Some feigned ignorance, others were genuinely clueless, though the general beats of an episode tended to remain the same.
Despite being a ratings success, the show generated an immense amount of controversy and legal arguments about whether the tactics employed by the show were justified. For most, however, To Catch A Predator is remembered for its seedy, easily spoofed premise. Parodies have aired on Mad TV, featuring Jordan Peele, and South Park, as well in theatrical plays and music. Now, Hansen has found a strange and seemingly popular way of giving back to his audience.
Hansen has set up his very own Cameo page. For the relatively modest price of $50, the longtime Dateline correspondent will record a personalized message for anyone that requests it. Or anyone that wants to surprise an unsuspecting, momentarily terrified, loved one. Hansen has a rating of 5 stars on Cameo for his service, with one review boasting that the page is the perfect gift for lifelong fans. And it looks like what some fans want is for Hansen to place them in their very own To Catch a Predator special. (For some reason.)
One example comes from comedian Brandon Wardell. In the video, a birthday message to one of Wardell’s friends, Hansen starts slow and builds to an accusatory crescendo. Though he never says anything incriminating outright, Hansen insinuates a lot with a wink and a smile. Obviously in good fun, Hansen weaponizes the familiarity of his persona and often stays within the boundaries of that character. Other messages, highlighted on Hansen’s page, shows the veteran television host cautioning a group of friends against having too much fun on an upcoming trip. If they do, Hansen warns, he’ll be watching.
Most uses of Cameo, a relatively new website, which allows fans to get personalized messages from celebrities, are more routine: For a fee, Sarah Jessica Parker will mention you by name and wish you a happy birthday. Those interested can also receive similar sentiments from stars as varied as Sean Astin, Marlon Wayans, and WWE legend Bret Hart. Hansen is one of the more affordable celebrities; making the dream of being called out by the host of To Catch A Predator all the more attainable.