Monday, February 19, 2007

Fox News just doesn't "get it"

Fox News Channel’s right-wing alternative to Comedy Central’s popular The Daily Show debuted last night. Produced by Joel Surnow, who’s responsible for 24, it’s called The Half-Hour News Hour. For me, it ran about a half-hour too long. I snapped it off after about 15 minutes, even though the program’s terribly loud laugh-track seemed to be busting a gut and having one hell of a great time.

Here’s the problem: the show’s not funny. What it offers so far are warmed-over, satiric “news bytes” that were better done by the “left-wing” Daily Show a couple of years ago. Last night, they made fun of easy targets like the ACLU and child psychologists. Yawn. One running bit involved actor Ed Begley trying unsuccessfully to arrive at the studio for an interview; of course, he never got there, because the hybrid car he drives has no oomph. (Kinda like this program.) Ho hum. The cast is weak; the show’s two “anchors” act like poor cousins to Chevy Chase and Jane Curtin when they anchored SNL’s “newscasts” 30 years ago.

What Surnow and Fox don’t seem to understand is that The Daily Show works because it’s anti-establishment. It’s neither right-wing nor left-wing, neither conservative nor liberal. It spoofs everybody. Its agenda is to lampoon the whole damn political machine, not just a single wing of it.

Three cheers for The Daily Show! As for Fox’s unfunny Half-Hour News Hour, Mr. Surnow should stick to what he does best — producing the most exciting hour-long TV dramas ever.

4 Comments:

At 1:35 AM, Anonymous Tom Ender said...

Stewart and Colbert seem to have gone on vacation again. Colbert announced that he was doing that last week. If Stewart did I missed it. This week features re-runs.

It's been a long while since I actually missed a TV show. The way it is I don't watch broadcast TV, only cable. Even that may go before long. Then I'll have to get my Comedy Central fix completely from the web.

If you like Colbert and Stewart, you might also like the new Sarah Silverman show. She brings a VERY politically incorrect aspect to the TV sitcom.

 
At 3:44 AM, Blogger Phil said...

I watched another Fox News Channel 'comedy' called Red eye ( Conservative comedy: squaring the circle ) My experience: Maybe there are roles in society for conservatives, but comedy just isn't one of them.

 
At 7:00 AM, Blogger Jonathan Moore said...

I believe the Fox News show should have done politically incorrect comedy and thrown punches at both sides of the aisle, like ourcountry.com. It would be nice to have another comedy news show on TV but I am going to stick with Colbert and Stewart for now.

 
At 7:04 AM, Blogger iceberg said...

You can sample the horrible laugh-track here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=F49e64yq8lI

 

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