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February 14, 2007

Fox's "Conservative Daily Show" A Big Bust

Yeah.. . that clip was, um, how do I put this? Not good.

Ah, well, there goes my chance at a writing gig.

Meanwhile, Gutfeld's show is pretty strong. Alas, no writers.

Gutfeld's show makes a lot more sense for FoxNews than this other show. Gutfeld's show is, superficially, a talking-head discussion of the news, albeit mostly played for laughs. That's pretty much what FoxNews programming is, apart from Brit Hume.

This other show is a pure comedy show. (Well, allegedly.) As some have pointed out, though, the demand that it be a news show parody restrain them from making jokes about anything other than the actual news -- which is pretty limiting. As I think a commenter wrote on Hot Air, Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update could always go to an Operaman bit; this show really can't, because it's on an all-news network.

(Not that I'm eager to see what sort of "crazy characters" these guys can come up with.)

The show is basically a bad version of the worst of Tina Fey's Weekend Update writing. I got really annoyed by Fey, who seemed to think Weekend Update was primarily about "informing" the audience (with heavy liberal bias), and only secondarily about joke-writing. Unfunny jokes were her stock in trade, but not for lack of talent, really -- just because she was choosing her material not according to the comedy value, but according to the educational value.

Result? Liberals went ga-ga over her for her relentless didacticism -- like her, they wanted not gags but "teachable moments" -- whereas Jimmy Fallon got all the laughs. You know-- laughs. The thing Weekend Update was supposed to be delivering.

The new FoxNews' show is, because it is playing on an ostensibly all-news network, is thus compelled to follow Tina Fey's mistake, albeit with even weaker material.

Material so weak, in fact, that one suspects the writers are all liberals deliberately sabotaging the show, or so horribly out of touch with conservative opinion as to have no real idea what a conservative might find funny, or -- likeliest of all -- convinced conservatives are abject morons who will not get a joke unless it's seltzer-down-the-pants woca-woca-woca sledgehammer obvious.

Note to the 1/2 Hour News Hour's writers: We're conservative, not retarded. There is, I assure you, a distinction, though a subtle one.

I really think FoxNews has to cut out the over-the-top liberal bashing. Fair and balanced is becoming a rather transparent joke. When you're too obvious about your political leanings, people stop trusting you. Same mistake the MSM is making.

A comedy show on FoxNews can't be allowed to damage the entire network's claim of being fair and balanced -- like Jon Stewart, you have to be willing to go for a joke aimed at conservatives on occasion, too. Maybe the show features that, but the sneak preview clip is nonstop conservative pandering.

Which might be excusable-- were it funny enough to justify the damage to the FoxNews brand. But it's not. Not by a longshot. Apart from one smile (an article by Barack Obama entitled "A Life In Politics: My 18 Month Journey"), the sneak preview clip was simply cringey, wincey dreadful.

Suggestion: Throw an assload of money at former SNL star writer Jim Downey to take over as head writer. (He's responsible for those Gore-Bush debate parodies, I believe, and is somewhat conservative -- though not on wack-a-liberal autopilot when it comes to jokes. Both sides get theirs.)

You'll have to pay him an absurd amount of money because the word is out the show is radioactively bad, and you're going to have to pay him for the potential damage to his reputation.

Also, poach that Levy guy from Gutfeld as an anchor.

None of this stuff will happen, of course, and the show will probably be cancelled before it really starts, and it will be taken as an article of faith that conservatives can't be funny.

Inside Dope: An email chain going around has the verdict of the usual suspects that this show is only slightly funnier than the Holocaust.

At least Mel Brooks got a movie out of that comedic gold mine.

A Charitable Review... from Hog On Ice:

Sometimes a late-term abortion is not a bad thing. Seriously, this baby poses a threat to the health of the mother.

Thanks to Alex for that.

I suppose that all the internet funny guys are "just jealous." Well, jealous, yes, but "just" jealous, no. The consensus opinion is that Gutfeld's show is pretty amusing, for example. So if it were just a case of "we should have a crack at this," we'd be dissing Gutfeld too.

The show is, to use a word I haven't used in twenty years, heinous.

Second Thoughts: Watching it again, it's not as bad as I first thought. It's bad -- but John Steward pretty much sucks too, I think, and the average Leno or Letterman monlogue is not exactly bursting with comedic brilliance. SNL's Weekend Update has about three decent jokes per ten minute installment.

So maybe I was too hard on the show. Maybe it is jealousy and all that, and knowing I, along with about one tenth of the American population, could do better. It's not a show I'd watch, ever, but then, there are a lot of shows I won't watch, ever.

Enrique comments at Hot Air:

More frightening than Ace’s false flag theory is this: The writers are conservatives and are writing jokes that conservative Fox viewers will like.

And they might be right. Aren’t most Fox News viewers in their 50’s? Most 50-year-old conservative people are traditional, probably religious, and would likely blanche at anything other than totally safe, obvious jokes.

This is grandma/grandpa humor. And I’m betting that Fox News viewer demographics skew heavily towards grandmas and grandpas.

That may be true. I remember a lot of Leno's early-in-the-show comedy bits like the "Big Head Jay" stuff were real cornball crap. And yet his ratings were/are very strong, higher than anything a cable news channel could manage.

As they say, no one ever went broke underestimating the public.

Still, even if the wocka-wocka-wocka stuff sells, you'd think there'd be room to slip in gags above that level.

The one good joke in the segement -- Barack Obama's "A Life In Politics: My 18 Month Journey" -- could be expanded into a Ken Burns style documentary on his eventful life, with letters back and forth to his wife about just making it to the Senate floor in time for a bill to increase public awareness of the American cod fishing industry, for example. Playing into the Obama Messiah thing.

And I still think that any comedy show has to take a break from relentless wocka-wocka-wocka gaggery to get into the absurdist and unexpected. There just wasn't even an attempt at that here.

I realize they're on a short leash here, and we won't be seeing Sarah Silverman type gags like the "I stubbed my vagina," but still, ya gotta explore the studio space a little, right?

digg this
posted by Ace at 05:49 PM

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