Monday, 19 February 2007

The Half Hearted News Hour

Joel Surnow and Fox News' most recent brainchild- "The Half Hour News Hour"- right leaning comedy, is slated to be a failure for more reasons than one.

1. Have you seen the promo? That's supposed to be their best material. And it's Rush Limbaugh stating facts, awkwardly looking around and smiling, comforted as soon as the laugh track kicks in. Even he seems unsure about when he's supposed to be joking. Rush, I told you so!

2. Left leaning comedy is funny for one reason, and one reason only- because at present the Left are the Underdogs. Back in the eighties when political correctness was all the rage American audiences were able to side with people like Al Bundy from Married with Children, the guy that's left behind in the Yuppy revolution, your average poor white male working at the shoe store. That's just not the case anymore. Someone let Al Bundy vote, and no one's amused with his choice. It'll be another four years before we find guys like him funny, when his crappy ideas will start to seem reasonable after America has disbanned the military and spent all their money on solar panels. But in 2007 seeing Republicans guffaw about Global Warming Hysteria brings back memories of watching "the cool guy" in high school tease the nerdy but cute kid in class. If anyone's laughing, it's because they're scared that if they don't you'll kick their ass. This is a laughter of discomfort. There's nothing amusing about living in a world full of bullies.

3. And here is the most obvious point: This show is not original. Not only is it unoriginal because of our good friends Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert (who I should think, in character, would like to fancy himself the original right leaning news report...) but because they haven't even tried to hide their rip off by finding an original title for their show.

Any Canadian will know that This Hour has 22 Minutes has been the popular CBC news spinoff for the past 14 years. Is This Hour has 22 Minutes simply a more clever version of the Half Hour News Hour? Um, yes, sherlock, I think it is! They've taken our own joke, made it worse, and sold it back to us with shinier less disposable packaging!
Fittingly the most popular segment in This Hour has 22 Minutes was "Talking to Americans" where anchor Rick Mercer goes South of the Border, tells Americans our prime minister is Tim Horton, the name of Wendy's owned donut franchise, Americans repeat the information on screen, and Canadians collectively laugh at their ignorance.
Hey, I have a good spoof headline for you: Republican Comedy show steals their very name from a well meaning 14 year running Canadian show, knowing that their target audience either won't know or won't care.
Wow. Talking to Republicans has never seemed less appealing.


Jonathan Moore said...

I really appreciate hearing from someone who understands liberal media and what's at stake. Without Fox News, this country would just become another cesspool of self-hate, America-hate, postmodernism and nihilism. If you really want to go attack conservative comedy, why don't you go to and leave your comments there.

Craig said...

Hmmm. Jonathan Moore doesn't appear to be as funny as his brother, Michael. Why? Perhaps John Stewart Mill can help us:

"I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it."
-J.S. Mill