John Safran: The new life of Australia's most outrageous SBS star  


What happened to John Safran? Inside the surprising new life of the outrageous SBS star – who famously performed an exorcism on live TV and streaked through Jerusalem wearing a footy scarf and beanie

He shot to fame in the early 2000s, following the success of his hit mini-series Race Around The World.   

And a lot has changed in the life of SBS star John Safran, 48, since his days as Australia’s most provocative documentary filmmaker.

John, who famously put a voodoo hex on an ex-girlfriend in Africa, participated in an exorcism on live TV and streaked through Jerusalem wearing just a footy scarf and beanie, has taken time away from the small screen in recent years. 

How times have changed! John Safran, 48, is living a very different life these days, after leaving behind his controversial career as a trouble-making SBS star who once did an exorcism live on TV and streaked through Jerusalem wearing just a footy scarf and beanie. Pictured in 2008

How times have changed! John Safran, 48, is living a very different life these days, after leaving behind his controversial career as a trouble-making SBS star who once did an exorcism live on TV and streaked through Jerusalem wearing just a footy scarf and beanie. Pictured in 2008

The Logie nominee’s last television appearance was in 2016, when he starred in SBS’ The Goddam Election! Special – a show focussing on the impact of religion and race within Australian minor political parties.  

In 2017, the political comedian turned his attention to writing, releasing a non-fiction novel called Depends What You Mean By Extremist. 

The book detailed his first-hand experiences investigating Australian extremists and radicalisation, including white nationalists, ISIS supporters and anarchists. 

Iconic: John shot to fame in the early 2000s, following the success of his ABC series mini-series Race Around The World (pictured)

Iconic: John shot to fame in the early 2000s, following the success of his ABC series mini-series Race Around The World (pictured)

He had previously found success as a writer in 2013 after releasing his true crime book Murder in Mississippi (published as God’ll Cut You Down in the US), which followed the trial following the murder of American white supremacist Richard Barrett in 2010. 

In 2019, John resurfaced to promote his new podcast John Safran vs The Occult, a five-part series exploring satanic cults and exorcisms.

John previously put his body on the line by participating in a real-life exorcism for his 2004 ABC series John Safran vs God. 

Novelist: In 2017, the political comedian turned his attention to writing, releasing a non-fiction novel called Depends What You Mean By Extremist

Novelist: In 2017, the political comedian turned his attention to writing, releasing a non-fiction novel called Depends What You Mean By Extremist 

New gig: In 2019, John resurfaced to promote his new podcast John Safran vs The Occult, a five-part series exploring satanic cults and exorcisms. Pictured (left) on the red carpet in 2020

New gig: In 2019, John resurfaced to promote his new podcast John Safran vs The Occult, a five-part series exploring satanic cults and exorcisms. Pictured (left) on the red carpet in 2020 

High stakes: John previously put his body on the line by participating in a real-life exorcism for his 2004 ABC series John Safran vs God (pictured)

High stakes: John previously put his body on the line by participating in a real-life exorcism for his 2004 ABC series John Safran vs God (pictured)  

Of his decision to move away from filming his real-life experiences and getting behind the microphone, John told The Sydney Morning Herald: ‘The thing about getting [physically] involved in the story is it’s only great if it’s going to come across as sincere, if there’s a reason to get involved.’

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‘I just got out of the way and let the story tell itself,’ he explained.

In September last year, John starred in a live comedy show titled Jew Detective: Sarcasm Is Not A Crime, presenting an irreverently comedic account of his experiences with extremists and the online criticism he has attracted through his career. 

In recent years, John has also developed a following on social media for his witty quips and unusual observations about everyday experiences.  

'I just got out of the way and let the story tell itself': Last year, John explained his decision to move away from filming his real-life experiences and getting behind the microphone to launch his new podcast

‘I just got out of the way and let the story tell itself’: Last year, John explained his decision to move away from filming his real-life experiences and getting behind the microphone to launch his new podcast 

Topical: In recent years, John has also developed a following on social media for his witty quips and unusual observations about everyday experiences. He recently posted this humorous yet dInstagram post

Witty: John has also developed a following on social media for his witty quips and unusual observations about everyday experiences. He posted this humorous yet poignant Instagram post in March 

'If God is infallible why is this cut and paste flub in the Bible?' John, who is Jewish, uploaded this hilarious post in September pointing out an unfortunate typo in a publication of the Bible

‘If God is infallible why is this cut and paste flub in the Bible?’ John, who is Jewish, uploaded this hilarious post in September pointing out an unfortunate typo in a publication of the Bible 



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