Chaser member Julian Morrow claims the Kyle and Jackie O radio show invited him to make jokes about missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on air this morning.
The segment – in which the hosts appeared taken aback by his gags – sparked a social media storm.
Julian Morrow jokes about Malaysia Airlines
Speaking with Kiis FM hosts Kyle and Jackie O, the Chaser's Julian Morrow shares his 'conspiracy theories' about the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
But in a statement on Twitter, Morrow said he ran through many of his controversial jokes with Kiis FM staff before they aired.
However, a Kiis FM spokeswoman said the segment was "intended to be based on actual top 10 conspiracy theories on the Malaysian Airlines aircraft disappearance as reported in the news, with Julian presenting them in his unique style."
"It was to be in a similar style to a previous political analysis segment that he did with us in the past," the spokeswoman said.
The gags Morrow alleges Kiss had prior knowledge of include:
“I'm not saying she's solely responsible, but remember Lara Bingle? I know she normally does train wrecks or car crashes but I think this could be a new twist by Tourism Australia. It's part of the 'Where the Bloody Hell Are You campaign', trying to encourage people not to go overseas.
"What about Oprah Winfrey, maybe she could be responsible? Remember she did that campaign for Qantas?
“It's a Coles campaign. It's all part of the new down down promotion and they're trying to encourage people to check in with Coles."
Jackie O told listeners Morrow had been invited to "run through some of the theories that are out there" about the missing plane.
Morrow hinted at what was to follow by saying, "Talking about an air crash with Kyle and someone from The Chaser? This is really going to go well, isn't it?"
Some Twitter users slammed Morrow for making jokes "too soon" after the plane's disappearance.
As someone from The Chaser, obviously I'm no stranger to making jokes about tragic news events.
But others viewed the episode as a storm in a teacup, writing, "Stop the presses! Comedian tells jokes on radio."
Sandilands responded to Morrow's gags by telling him, "... it's way too soon. We don't even know where the plane is."
Jackie O added, "Julian, we can't go there."
But in a statement posted on his Twitter account this morning, Morrow claimed he was approached by the program yesterday about doing a segment about the missing flight.
"As someone from The Chaser, obviously I'm no stranger to making jokes about tragic news events," he wrote.
"I also know that sort of thing is not for everyone, but I could imagine how a segment on conspiracy theories might work."
Before going on air, Morrow says he texted a Kiis FM staff member to ask them: "The angle is to invent silly/funny conspiracy theories for what happened?" He says the staff member confirmed this, but now believes this is where the misunderstanding arose.
His other gags included speculation about where the plane could be now and metaphors.
"Disappeared without a trace? Maybe it's 2Day FM," he said, referring to the host's former station, whose ratings slumped after the pair defected to Kiis.
"The makers of Air Crash Investigation [might be responsible?] Maybe they've run out of episodes."
Morrow was not in the studio, speaking instead to Sandilands and Jackie O by phone. It is believed he is unsure if the hosts themselves knew the segment would involve jokes, or if they expected him to take a more serious tone.
Morrow says that despite running through his lines with the station before going to air, it "obviously wasn't enough to make everyone realise the mix-up that was about to play out.
"I'd be a hypocrite not to take responsibility for jokes I wrote and delivered knowingly, and I'm happy to do that. Unfortunately, jokes are all about context, and today a regrettable understanding meant the context was all wrong."
In a statement to Fairfax Media, the Kiis FM spokeswoman said: "What was heard on air today was due to a miscommunication in the briefing on the tone for the final segment between Julian and the producer.
"We apologise if anyone has been upset or offended by anything that was aired this morning, obviously this was never our intention.
"Our thoughts are firmly with all families who are affected by this tragic disappearance."
Kylie & Jackie Oh dear. Missing plane becomes radio train wreck. For what it's worth, here's some context. pic.twitter.com/gUf1kfnUXh— Jules Morrow (@julesmorrow) March 18, 2014