Secrets of The Chase Australia: On set with The Supernerd

The Australian Chasers are back on set for another huge season of the hit Channel 7 game show The Chase.

And the much-loved Issa Schultz, known as The Supernerd, has given an exclusive backstage tour, ahead of the program’s 2024 premiere.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Backstage Pass with The Chase’s Supernerd.

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Issa has shown us inside his dressing room, his wardrobe and the green room — where the nervous contestants prepare for their big appearances as they aim to beat some of the best brains in quizzing.

Since The Supernerd answers questions for a living, we thought we’d probe some all-important topics with him.

What is life like as one of the best-loved Chasers? How does The Chase set work?

The Chase star Issa Schultz aka The Supernerd. Credit: Seven

And how does he steel himself to try to beat ‘ordinary folk’ vying for some big, potentially life-changing money?

Can you tell us about your dressing room?

This is my little spot. This is my humble home, basically. This is where I chill and get ready for the show, the quizzing zone that’s required.

It’s where I relax and sometimes see glimpses of the contestants before I start.

What is your morning routine?

I come in on my own and put the bag down, get the makeup done.

I do like a coffee sometimes and a Diet Coke, if The Governess has left any behind, and just sort of get in the zone and look over some questions on my iPad.

I just try not to panic, because even though we’ve done, you know, over a thousand episodes now, I still get very nervous.

It’s not my money, you know, and this is people’s lives that could be changing based on my actions.

Issa Schultz gives a tour of his dressing room. Credit: Seven

How long does it take you to arrive on The Chase set in the morning?

Well, I live in Brisbane nowadays and we’re here in the lovely glamorous Sydney.

So it’s a bit of a trek for me.

I’m always on a plane back and forth (and have been) for many years.

And, while I’ve been living in hotels and out of suitcases for quite some time now — eight-and-a-bit years — I love every bit of it.

What’s your favourite thing about being on set?

I just love the music, the lights and it all coming to life — I think it’s really fascinating.

It’s what you see on the telly but in real form.

It takes a bit longer to make (the program than to watch it).

We’re probably in there for a good couple of hours.

A lot of jokes are made, a lot of things that probably wouldn’t make it to air.

But it’s all a lot of fun and we want to make the contestants have a good time.

Of course, most teams do not win, some do, but we want to make sure they walk away with a big smile on their faces.

That’s something I’m personally proud of because when people are knocked out I do feel for them.

So after the show I often go up to them and say, “Hope you had a good day out” and they almost always smile.

Issa Schultz shows fans the backstage area of The Chase. Credit: Seven

What is the most surprising thing about The Chase set?

I think a lot of people when they see the set, they think it’s a lot smaller than what they imagined.

Did you get a say in The Supernerd’s outfit?

They did ask a long time ago if I minded wearing a bow tie, and I thought hard about that.

And I realised, no, I think they’re cool, I think they’re great.

It was around the time that Doctor Who was Matt Smith and he wore a bow tie as Doctor Who.

Nowadays it’s hip. I never thought I’d be hip in my life.

And a lot of people have sent me bow ties in the mail as gifts over the years, would you believe?

Issa Schultz in the wardrobe. Credit: Seven

What’s the topic as a Chaser you’re most assured of and what needs improvement?

In terms of topics, I’m pretty confident about world history, world literature, anything worldly.

Anything stuffy and sort of boring, I’m probably going to know it.

Meanwhile, stuff I’m not good at would be more pop culture, and sports.

I’ve got no idea what I’m doing (there).

What’s your favourite memory with host Larry Emdur?

Larry has been a godsend to our show.

He’s so wonderful and funny — he’s been doing game shows since, I think, the late 80s.

In terms of a favourite memory, it’s just more of an overall memory really — it is that he just always makes me giggle.

I’ve never seen him come in in a bad mood and he is a very busy man but he’s just a warm, kind person.

He’s one of those genuine guys and we’re very lucky to have him.

The Chase Australia’s TIger Mum, Goliath, Supernerd, Larry Emdur, The Smiling Assassin and The Shark. Credit: Seven

Do the Chasers have the chance to get together?

The problem we have is we’ve got all these Chasers of different knowledges and backgrounds and we all live in different places.

I’m the only Queenslander, two of them are in Melbourne, we’ve got some in Sydney, The Governess and Mark (The Beast) are in England.

So it’s very hard to get us all together, unfortunately.

But we’ve had Double Trouble, where we’ve had a few of us in together, and we did (the format) Beat the Chasers a few years ago.

We hang out when we can, and that’s always lovely because they are just such kind people, and funny.

My favourites in terms of humour are Parko (Matt Parkinson, aka Goliath) and The Governess.

She’s just so wickedly funny — a bit of a potty mouth at times but she has such a good heart.

Issa Schultz outside of The Chase studio. Credit: Seven

What were you doing before you were a Chaser?

Before I was a chaser, I worked in finance and IT.

I was at Commonwealth Bank and Macquarie Bank for many years, just sort of doing processing stuff, and I enjoyed that.

I’m a very sort of method start-to-finish guy, so that suited my mindset.

But you know, this happily took over because I wanted to do both jobs, but this is the full-time (role) now.

This takes all my time up. I get to read and study for a job!

What quote do you live by?

When people say to me, ‘How do I get better at quizzing?’

It’s not so much a quote, but I just say it never hurts to be open minded.

The point I make with that is: Say you read something and you think, ‘That’s terribly obscure’.

It may be obscure to you, but not to someone else.

Someone who works in that field will say, ‘Oh that’s a really famous fact.’

I think if you have that open-mindedness when you’re learning something, you’ll be surprised what sticks.

You’ll be much more engaged, your brain will be much more accepting of different facts.

So I guess if you want it as a quote, it’s just, ‘Be more open minded with life, with taking in information.’

The Chase Double Trouble premieres 5pm on Monday 29 January on Channel 7 and 7plus.

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