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November 22, 2006 1:14 PM   Subscribe

This just in... FOX is reportedly shooting a two and a half hour pilot for a show whose working title is This Just In, which is described as being The Daily Show for conservatives. Joel Surnow, co-creator of "24" is behind the show and has been quoted as saying " [t]he way I look at it, almost every comedy show or satire show I see uses the same talking points against George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. The other side hasn't been skewered in a fair and balanced way." Oh really?
posted by Effigy2000 (140 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Ruh-roh.
posted by reklaw at 1:14 PM on November 22, 2006


I'm sure it will be the height of hilarity.
posted by empath at 1:18 PM on November 22, 2006


This is probably pretty smart.

When Hilary wins in '08 being on the right and making jokes will come into vogue again. PJ O'rourke and many others should be pretty pleased. Hopefully they'll give him a spot sometimes.
posted by sien at 1:19 PM on November 22, 2006


Maybe they can license that "didja know there's White House Dog?" joke from Limbaugh. That one never gets old.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:20 PM on November 22, 2006


The Daily Show is on a comedy network. Doesn't seem right to have satire on a news net--

Oh... Right.
posted by brundlefly at 1:23 PM on November 22, 2006


Harlan Ellison writes in The Glass Teat about a right wing satire show they tried to do in the 60s. It was made of fail and snore.

(I didn't realize until looking it up just now that half the main cast of Space: 1999 was featured on an episode, though... live and learn)
posted by fleetmouse at 1:25 PM on November 22, 2006


Tool.
posted by Aquaman at 1:29 PM on November 22, 2006


10 years after the Daily Show changes punditry forever, Fox is putting together it's own knock-off? That's so...pathetic.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:29 PM on November 22, 2006


Conservatives can't do comedy just like liberals can't do talk radio...
posted by wfrgms at 1:30 PM on November 22, 2006 [2 favorites]


Well, good luck to them in the ratings.

I don't find this outrageous. It's an entertainment product. Satire doesn't need to be "balanced", it just needs to be funny. Politicians of all colors and stripes provide plenty of fodder for the peanut gallery.

That said: Interesting that you linked the clip in the headline. The reason why I don't watch the Daily Show anymore is because, while satire is funny, a smug attitude isn't entertaining at all. I do not disagree with all of Jon Stewart's politics, but I simply don't find his attitude appealing. (Stephen Colbert gets a free pass; he's not nearly as self-congratulatory and aggressive about his personal politics) For similar reasons, I don't follow any pundit shows at all, even the humorous ones. Whether among a serious debate or a lighthearted conversation, self-righteous talking heads and politicians are thoroughly tiresome and somewhat infuriating. With so many issues to address in this country, no one is justified in patting themselves on the back and lobbing verbal bombs at the opposition until someone actually fixes what needs to be fixed in America. And although we live in a fine and healthy country, I can name at least four or five national issues that need serious work and improvement right about now. (Hint: Abortion, gay marriage, the estate tax, and domestic terrorism are not among them)
posted by brianvan at 1:30 PM on November 22, 2006


(directed of course at Surnow et. al., not at you nice folks.)

Mmmmm, Space 1999! I loved that show until a torpedo from an Eagle Lander toy shot me in the eye in 1975.
posted by Aquaman at 1:31 PM on November 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


Sounds like good fun until you remember that 'our conservative friends' simply lack a sense of humor. I see much money lost on this venture, kinda like 'Air America' imploding. Let the collapse begin.
posted by mk1gti at 1:32 PM on November 22, 2006


I support this show.
posted by Addiction at 1:33 PM on November 22, 2006


As I wrote in my friend's blog when he reported on this...

"Here are some more cutting edge comedic points that they will no doubt touch upon..

The gays have a lisp when they talk
Bill Clinton got a hummer
Saturday Night Live isn't as funny as it once was
That zany liberal media
Video games are different to real life
Poor people shop at WalMart
John Kerry tells poor jokes
Howard Dean yelled
Rock singers do drugs and have sex
Those crazy permissive times we live in

and of course

Black people and white people are different"
posted by cerulgalactus at 1:34 PM on November 22, 2006


If "Conservative Comedy" is what I imagine it to be, it will probably come across a little like Michael Richards' little effort the other day. Personally, I can't wait to see some rich white guy making jokes about unemployed single mothers...
posted by Jimbob at 1:37 PM on November 22, 2006


I support this show.
posted by Addiction at 1:33 PM PST on November 22


Support this show by bringing it home now!
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:37 PM on November 22, 2006 [2 favorites]


They are going to be painfully bitter about the failure of this little experiment.
posted by Kickstart70 at 1:39 PM on November 22, 2006


I thought the OJ show was to be their rebuttal to the lefties
posted by Postroad at 1:39 PM on November 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


HowIsThisNewsFilter: Wait - So FOX is going to start airing a fake news show that mocks liberals? How are we supposed to tell the difference?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:45 PM on November 22, 2006 [6 favorites]


Before we brand The Daily Show as a liberal show, let's keep in mind that TDS has been on for 10 years, the last six of which have been during the Bush Admin.
You can't fault TDS for targeting Bush and the conservatives when they controlled (until recently) all three branches of government.
posted by Lord Kinbote at 1:45 PM on November 22, 2006


Good Luck with that Fox.
posted by drezdn at 1:46 PM on November 22, 2006


What about Dennis Miller's horrendous attempt at it?
posted by empath at 1:46 PM on November 22, 2006


I thought Bill O'Reilly was the Jon Stewart for conservatives.
posted by b1tr0t at 1:47 PM on November 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


It will be scripted and may not have in-studio guests,

Yeah, 'cause how often can you have Kramer on?
posted by docgonzo at 1:49 PM on November 22, 2006


The Daily Show does a pretty good job of skewering Democrats (if not liberals) fairly regularly.

It's not really their fault that George Bush and Dick Cheney are every satirists dream-- evil and incompetent.
posted by cell divide at 1:49 PM on November 22, 2006


TDS is perhaps moderately left, but it's also somewhat centrist in its views. It's only under the absurd American political/news landscape that such a moderately left-wing show would be viewed the way it often seems to be.

The beautiful thing about left-wing comedy is that in twenty years people will look at it and go, "Yeah, that guy/girl got it." They'll look at things like this upcoming ill-fated fox attempt and think, "People like that existed?"
posted by The God Complex at 1:51 PM on November 22, 2006


Oh, it'll be black face and mammy all over again.
posted by boo_radley at 1:51 PM on November 22, 2006


It's about time someone put the 'fun' back in fundamentalism!
posted by maryh at 1:52 PM on November 22, 2006


The show lives or dies on the funny. If it manages the funny, good for it. Based on who is involved in the show, it doesn't look promising.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:53 PM on November 22, 2006


Wait. I thought conservatives have been claiming that the offensive squawkers like Ann Coulter were comedians and entertainers. Wasn't that what justified their offensive statements? The calls for death? The misogyny? The race-baiting?

Man, a show dedicated to conservative humor should really be something.
posted by verb at 1:54 PM on November 22, 2006


> The calls for death? The misogyny? The race-baiting?
>
> Man, a show dedicated to conservative humor should really be something.

We don't need Fox, we've already got South Park.
posted by jfuller at 1:56 PM on November 22, 2006


Joey Michaels: "The show lives or dies on the funny. If it manages the funny, good for it. Based on who is involved in the show, it doesn't look promising."

I couldn't disagree more, Joey! With Joel Surnow running the show, I imagine they'll simply torture the truth until it gives up the funny.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:57 PM on November 22, 2006 [2 favorites]


More likely, it's the 'mental' they'll be putting in it.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:57 PM on November 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


What about Dennis Miller's horrendous attempt at it?

I thought Bill O'Reilly was the Jon Stewart for conservatives.


Agreed. Don't Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Savage, Coulter, etc. do the same thing already?

They might not be funny to me and you, but they basically do the same thing as the Daily Show--point out what they see as political inanity. For TDS, it's a president who doesn't read and is barely familiar with "the google." For the con pundits, it's terrorist-loving liberals and Adam-Steve marriages. What's the difference?
posted by mrgrimm at 1:58 PM on November 22, 2006


Jon Stewart has done a great job of skewering everyone, regardless of their politics. Have we all completely forgotten what he did to John Kerry during the campaign - pretty brutal, pretty funny.

It's not his fault that Bush and Co. currently provide better fodder for his material!
posted by OhPuhLeez at 1:59 PM on November 22, 2006



They might not be funny to me and you, but they basically do the same thing as the Daily Show--point out what they see as political inanity. For TDS, it's a president who doesn't read and is barely familiar with "the google." For the con pundits, it's terrorist-loving liberals and Adam-Steve marriages. What's the difference?


They're really not that similar at all. One skewers the president for an illegal, poorly planned war, and highlights the activities of a bunch of crooks. The other claims Michael J. Fox is exaggerating his Parkinson's disease, is "going off his meds" for political gain. Moreover, Limbaugh has recently said he didn't even believe half the things he said about the Bush administration before they lost their control of the house--he was just toting the party line to make his thirty million a year. Whether this is true or not is irrelevant: he clearly has no integrity and no overriding principles behind his work (aside from making money, of course). One would be hard-pressed to make the same claim about TDS or The Colbert Report.
posted by The God Complex at 2:04 PM on November 22, 2006


That said: Interesting that you linked the clip in the headline. The reason why I don't watch the Daily Show anymore is because, while satire is funny, a smug attitude isn't entertaining at all. I do not disagree with all of Jon Stewart's politics, but I simply don't find his attitude appealing. (Stephen Colbert gets a free pass; he's not nearly as self-congratulatory and aggressive about his personal politics).

Um, the above clip was all colbert. What are you talking about?
posted by delmoi at 2:04 PM on November 22, 2006


Feminist sure have hairy legs, ha-ha ...
posted by RavinDave at 2:05 PM on November 22, 2006


Ah, this brings me back to the day when my dad handed me a copy of Slick Willy magazine, or whatever that thing was called.

It was a glossy "humor" magazine devoted ONLY to the mockery of Bill Clinton. Anyone else remember this? 'Twas odd.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:06 PM on November 22, 2006


This comment would be more appropriate if the dems hadn't taken the house and senate, but part of the major uses of humor is to diffuse the minor misery in the face of all that's going wrong in the world. Or we laugh, because we're powerless to do much else in the face of the absurdity that was the last 12 years of Republican rule.

The people in power are rarely funny because they have power.
posted by drezdn at 2:06 PM on November 22, 2006


Oh, and I predict that within the first four minutes of the very first episode of This Just In, things have devolved so absolutely into unintentional self-satire that the whole experience might even be entertaining.
posted by The God Complex at 2:06 PM on November 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


Hey Joel Surnow... WHAT HAPPENED TO NOWHERE MAN!?
posted by ninjew at 2:07 PM on November 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


>Black people and white people are different"

Naw, BET has the market cornered on that joke.
posted by you just lost the game at 2:09 PM on November 22, 2006



>Black people and white people are different"

Naw, BET has the market cornered on that joke.


Pretty sure the Fox take on it would be "Everyone else is different than us!", in keeping with tradition.
posted by The God Complex at 2:10 PM on November 22, 2006


Before we brand The Daily Show as a liberal show, let's keep in mind that TDS has been on for 10 years, the last six of which have been during the Bush Admin.

Yeah, from this side of the Atlantic, the Daily Show doesn't look overtly left-wing to me, it just lampoons those in power. If the Democrats take control, wouldn't Stewart et al go after them just as hard (if not harder)?

10 years after the Daily Show changes punditry forever, Fox is putting together it's own knock-off?

Or 44 years after TW3 did...
posted by jack_mo at 2:11 PM on November 22, 2006


Joel Surnow cancelled Nowhere Man?!?!?!

KILL HIM!!
posted by cerulgalactus at 2:17 PM on November 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


Joel Surnow, hmmmm.

Let me guess: Every other sketch will have the guest host's hot daughter kidnapped. The other bits will feature a cast member frantically hacking a secure socket to the Comedy Database.

I'm also guessing Jeanine Garafalo and Rosie O'Donnel will be mocked a great deal. Mmm hmm. Because Rosie O'Donnel is fat and Garafalo doesn't know what she is talking about. They will be played by guys.

I also suspect that most of the cast will have entered the field of comedy exclusively because their Frat Brothers, impressed by how well they can recite Caddy Shack, said "Bro, you a crazy hella-funny motherfucker. You should be on TV."
posted by tkchrist at 2:19 PM on November 22, 2006


We need a satire of political satire shows.
posted by The Power Nap at 2:20 PM on November 22, 2006


They're making a Mallard Filmore animated series?
posted by cortex at 2:30 PM on November 22, 2006


There are conservative blogs that attempt to do the same satire, but it falls flat. Unlike humor from free thinkers, right wing humor is never based on real events. It's just mockery.

Satire has to begin with something concrete, or it isn't funny. It's just frathouse humor.
posted by wfc123 at 2:32 PM on November 22, 2006


I thought the OJ show was to be their rebuttal to the lefties

this is a genius comment, seriously: it really made me laugh

(insert OJ/cut-and-run joke here)
posted by matteo at 2:33 PM on November 22, 2006


For clarity, they're shooting two half-hour long pilots, not a 2.5 hour-long pilot, like in the FPP.
posted by BeerFilter at 2:36 PM on November 22, 2006


well... where exactly will the funny come from? Are we talking Republican vs Democrat type comedy, or are we talking socially conservative humor, or something that is all over the map? Like any label, conservative can mean a number of things. Some aspects of which I can respect even if I disagree with, some things I think are abhorrent and should be kicked in the balls.

Can you make a bunch of funny comments about conservative fiscal policy? Or... well, race baiting, homo bashing, self loathing feminist hating is pretty strong stuff for consistent broadcast. I guess we do have 700 club Bill O'really etc, so strike that, still I don't know if you can build a consistently conservative funny show.

(the one thing conservatives and liberals can agree on: SNL is not as funny as it use to be)
posted by edgeways at 2:37 PM on November 22, 2006


empath : What about Dennis Miller's horrendous attempt at it?

I was wondering the same thing. I used to like Miller when he was on HBO, then he went crazy and started sucking. When he got the new show, I figured I'd give him a chance. I watched it for about 2 weeks before I gave up on it for good. (Anyone know if it's still on the air?)

The other thing that is interesting is this: FOX is reportedly shooting a two and a half hour pilot

A two and a half hour pilot? For a comedy news show? Are they high? I mean, Real Time with Bill Maher is an hour and that feels about right, but double and a half that? Insanity.
posted by quin at 2:43 PM on November 22, 2006


BeerFilter : For clarity, they're shooting two half-hour long pilots, not a 2.5 hour-long pilot, like in the FPP.

See, this is what I get for not using preview. Thanks BeerFilter, that makes so much more sense.
posted by quin at 2:44 PM on November 22, 2006


When Hilary wins in '08 being on the right and making jokes will come into vogue again. PJ O'rourke and many others should be pretty pleased. Hopefully they'll give him a spot sometimes.

Did anybody see the Daily Show in the 90s? The Dems were most certainly mocked. When your party controls all three branches of government, as it did for 4 years just now, your party will take the bring of the mocking. TDS aims its satire gun at Democrats on a pretty regular basis, that is to say, any time Dems are in the spotlight. If FOX thinks (good) satire can have a political bias, they don't understand satire. But then, we already knew that didn't we?
posted by eustacescrubb at 2:47 PM on November 22, 2006


For TDS, it's a president who doesn't read and is barely familiar with "the google." For the con pundits, it's terrorist-loving liberals and Adam-Steve marriages. What's the difference?

Perhaps the difference is that the terrorist-loving liberals they're mocking don't particularly exist very much? Who are Adam and Steve, anyway? I'm pretty sure neither of them is the President of the United States of America. Not only does TDS mock GWB because he's got a position of some power in the government, it'd be pretty much impossible to do a political comedy-news show without making fun of whoever's in charge. It's hard enough without such limitations.
posted by sfenders at 2:48 PM on November 22, 2006


Fred Phelps would make a great co-host.
posted by th3ph17 at 2:58 PM on November 22, 2006


I thought The Daily Show was for conservatives. Huh. I guess I can’t watch it anymore then. Is it an honor system or is there some sort of ‘V-chip’? Oh, wait, Clinton isn’t in office anymore so V-chip jokes aren’t funny. I guess I’ll just play some Grand Theft Auto. Oh, wait...
Maybe I’ll listen to some music, but gee, how will I know if the music is offensive to my conservative ears? If only some helpful liberal would label records for me - and there’s nothing funny about that.

C’mon. Get real.

“Satire doesn't need to be "balanced", it just needs to be funny.”

Dead on.

And Dennis Miller doesn’t suck ‘cause he was or became right wing, Dennis Miller sucks because he’s not funny.
And the reason he’s not funny anymore is because he got fat (metaphorically) selling out and getting attached to whatever sacred cows he’s on about.
At one point he liked Metallica. He might still. But he doesn’t bellyfeel Metallica (to borrow an Oceanian term). Not anymore.
(Indeed, Metallica doesn’t bellyfeel Metallica anymore.)

This is doomed to fail because it’s got an agenda. Comedy is one of the few purely sacred things. It can’t be sullied by lesser goals, the comedy has to come first.
QED - because if it’s not pure, it ain’t funny and no one laughs.
Oh sure it might be coupled with some message (Swift comes to mind). That’s why in myth Thalia bore the Palici - that explosive, sulphurous, acid tongued humor.
But she came first. The humor has to exist in the situation. And to find that - one has to listen first, not speak.

And really, a President furtively sticking a cigar up an intern girls twat isn’t funny? Oh, I don’t think it’s impeachable, but c’mon. What a maroon. Gerald Ford constantly falling on his ass isn’t funny? Chevy Chase made a career out of that. (Chevy on the other hand...)

But yeah, stupid idea this show. The Bizzarro Daily show would be pretty much Limbaugh or any of the other unfunny nastiness.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:58 PM on November 22, 2006 [3 favorites]


How much did George Soros pay you to say that?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:01 PM on November 22, 2006


“Who are Adam and Steve, anyway?”
Hackneyed trope shouted/painted on signs/etc. at anti-gay demonstrations by bible-based ...word escapes me here... assheads: “Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve”

(Not being gay m’self, I’m curious if this would work as a pick up line in a gay bar. “So...you’re Adam? Hey, I’m Steve, we should get together, piss off the Christian right.”)
posted by Smedleyman at 3:03 PM on November 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


Ridiculous. The Daily Show, and any other good political satire, trains its guns on whoever is in power, as others have pointed out. And anyway, The Daily Show has never given the dems a free pass, and I'm sure that now that they have Congress they'll get skewered even more.
posted by sklero at 3:03 PM on November 22, 2006


whomever?
posted by sklero at 3:07 PM on November 22, 2006


But how will we able to tell the difference between that show and a White House press conference?

Actually how can we tell the difference now between Fox News's entire lineup and a very clever Juvenalian satire of American society?
posted by clevershark at 3:08 PM on November 22, 2006


Git'r'done
posted by Tenuki at 3:09 PM on November 22, 2006


We don't need Fox, we've already got South Park.

South Park is more libertarian than conservative, but there are no sacred cows; conservatives get to be the butt of jokes as well as everyone else.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:14 PM on November 22, 2006


You know, I think the right could put out a funny show. They have the same kind of slant the left does (and regardless of what anyone says, stewart is clearly more liberal. Sure, he pokes fun at his team when they fuck up, but his bias leans left). The problem is, copying a show like that never works. It just doesn't. It will fall on its face for that reason alone.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 3:14 PM on November 22, 2006


The Daily Show for conservatives.

Cause the DS is for liberals ? I reject this kind of bipolar framing of reality as pure nonsensical bullshit, but I would welcome another show like the Daily Show, I mean as funny as.
posted by elpapacito at 3:20 PM on November 22, 2006


I think Fox just noticed that sometimes an entire day goes by with our current crop of comedians neglecting to mention Clinton & Lewinsky. It has never lasted as long as two days, but the danger is there. And Fox will be there to plug the gap, or at least stick a cigar in it.


And SNL is now as funny as it has ever been, and much funnier than it has usually been, despite now having the worst presidential mimics ever.
posted by hexatron at 3:25 PM on November 22, 2006


Conservatives can't do comedy just like liberals can't do talk radio...

Wait, do you guys not like NPR, or something? NPR is great! And liberal!
posted by Hildegarde at 3:28 PM on November 22, 2006


And really, a President furtively sticking a cigar up an intern girls twat isn’t funny? Oh, I don’t think it’s impeachable, but c’mon. What a maroon.

It's funny because he was the President, and therefore any illicit sex will be funny, but it isn't inherently so. Havana tobacco and intern pussy? That sounds to me like two great tastes combined.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:33 PM on November 22, 2006


whomever?
posted by sklero at 3:07 PM PST on November 22


You had it right the first time. It's "whoever."
posted by diddlegnome at 3:35 PM on November 22, 2006


When I first heard about this (TWO HALF HOURS, NOT TWO AND A HALF HOURS), I thought "live action Mallard Fillmore, just what we don't need." When I heard one of the minds behind "24" was behind it, I thought, "how does he know comedy?" But his project just confirmed for me that somebody on "24" had a serious pro-torture agenda to push, and now we know who it is!

How about if "This Just In" starts airing that "The Daily Show" dedicates a regular segment to rewriting the other show's jokes so they are funny.
posted by wendell at 3:36 PM on November 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


NPR is great! And liberal!

... and not "talk" radio
posted by cell divide at 3:36 PM on November 22, 2006


Wait, do you guys not like NPR, or something? NPR is great! And liberal!

I'm going to assume that was parodical, because NPR has the most consistently unbiased and unvarnished reporting of any American news outlet mainstream or otherwise. I realize that's setting the bar awfully low, but to call NPR liberal, is kind of not to understand what "liberal" means.
posted by psmealey at 3:38 PM on November 22, 2006


And more to the point, NPR doesn't do what people think of when they say "talk radio".
posted by cortex at 3:42 PM on November 22, 2006


Yeah, really, Tenuki. Aren't the Blue Collar Comedy halfwits conservatives?
posted by nyxxxx at 3:43 PM on November 22, 2006


but to call NPR liberal, is kind of not to understand what "liberal" means.

Reality has a well-known liberal bias.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:50 PM on November 22, 2006


What does "talk radio" mean to you? I thought it meant radio where they don't so much play music as, you know, talk.
posted by Hildegarde at 3:55 PM on November 22, 2006


I'm going to assume that was parodical, because NPR has the most consistently unbiased and unvarnished reporting of any American news outlet mainstream or otherwise.

...so when I tuned in to NPR to get election returns a couple of years ago, and they were all desperately sad about Bush getting in again, I should have understood that as "unbiased and unvarnished"?
posted by Hildegarde at 3:58 PM on November 22, 2006


Conservatives can't do comedy

hasn't anybody here ever seen South Park?
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:03 PM on November 22, 2006


"Havana tobacco and intern pussy? "

I wonder how the ad execs from Reece's would engineer that accidental collision. "You got your Havana tobacco in my"...and so forth.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:08 PM on November 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


Talk radio, to me, means a fairly specific, aggressive, agenda-driven demagogue-hosted semi-participatory show. Limbaugh, Dr. Laura, Air America, sports radio shows—that's what I think of when I think "talk radio".

The closest thing I'm familiar with on NPR is Car Talk. NPR strikes me as "primarily non-musical programming", if I had to stick a label on it. Similarly, I don't think of sermon broadcasts (as opposed to, say, call-in religious shows) as talk radio, precisely; there's a lack of participatory element, a lack of aggressiveness in the style of presentation.

It could be that I have a weirdly restrictive usage for the phrase, but there it is.
posted by cortex at 4:35 PM on November 22, 2006


...so when I tuned in to NPR to get election returns a couple of years ago, and they were all desperately sad about Bush getting in again, I should have understood that as "unbiased and unvarnished"?

So, what you offer is your subjective view of something that you heard and interpretted to mean two years ago?

Yeah, whatever. I'm turning the dial now.
posted by psmealey at 4:45 PM on November 22, 2006


hasn't anybody here ever seen South Park?

South Park takes the piss out of conservatives ("Kenny goes to Heaven") every bit as much as it does liberals ("Mecha Barbra Streisand"). Matt and Trey may talk a good game when it suits, but most they're libertarians that hate Dems as much as Republicans.
posted by psmealey at 4:48 PM on November 22, 2006


I welcome such a show! Conservative humor is about as subtle as handing a bag of shit to a stranger, so with this their humilation will be more than complete.

And really, did anybody bother to listen to whatever Dennis Miller had to say about anything once he started pushing cheap long distance?
posted by troybob at 4:50 PM on November 22, 2006


I would like to point out that Conservatives can, in fact, be funny. I would point to Aristophanes and Allan Sherman as two examples of this.

In so much as comedy addresses truth - and relies on that shared recognition of truth between audience and performer for its success - it is neither liberal nor conservative on its own.

Furthermore, I suggest that most of us at MeFi are not the audience for the humor of this show anyways. To that extent, it probably won't be funny to most people here.

Of course, Full House was never funny to me and yet many people apparently enjoyed it enough for it to last for a thousand years. Or what felt like a thousand years.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:54 PM on November 22, 2006


So, what you offer is your subjective view of something that you heard and interpretted to mean two years ago?

Mmmm okay, how about the special edition they did on This American Life around the last election about how republicans are stealing elections all around the country but the democrats have ethics?

Sorry, I don't live in the states, so I don't get to hear it regularly, but I've heard lots of evidence that NPR leans to the left. I'm lefter than NPR is, so I have no problem with it. But I didn't think it was a secret. Or controversial.
posted by Hildegarde at 4:58 PM on November 22, 2006


Hildegarde, that special edition would only be considered as leaning left if it weren't true.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:01 PM on November 22, 2006


Although I'll happily grant you that the only reason Democrats have ethics is that they cloned them from a fetus they sucked out of a homeless virgin camping out at the Hollywood Bowl.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:09 PM on November 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


whomever when it's a direct or indirect object.
posted by papakwanz at 5:12 PM on November 22, 2006


Whoever. Whomever. Whosoever. Whatever.
posted by hexatron at 5:23 PM on November 22, 2006


They're making a Mallard Filmore animated series?
posted by cortex at 2:30 PM PST on November 22 [+] [!]


"MALLARD FILMORE"
episode 8
ALONE, SO ALONE

LOCATION: Nowhere; white space. A computer monitor slowly pans through frame at random intrevals

CUT TO (no fade in): Mallard, center screen MEDIUM CLOSE-UP
(note to animation dept: use xerox of stock layout from episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7.)

Mallard: "[ad lib on any of these topics: Hollywood, political correctness, teachers who stress self-esteem above academic pursuits, feminists, "I missed the Veteran's Day strip because of the syndicate's left-wing deadlines", the food pyramid]"

(note to animator: please limit facial expressions to standard mono-eye OR mono-eye w/ implied brow elevation. thx)

CUT TO: Strawman (stock), MED. CLOSE-UP

Strawman: "[ad lib pithy remark to no one in particular]"

(note to animator: insert any Strawman from previous eps, esp. Puffy Feminist or Hook-Nosed Tenured Professor. thx)

CUT TO: Mallard, same shot. Continue for 22 minutes

CUT TO (no fade out): END CREDITS
posted by maryh at 5:31 PM on November 22, 2006 [3 favorites]


Stephen Colbert gets a free pass; he's not nearly as self-congratulatory and aggressive about his personal politics.
posted by brianvan

Are you watching the same Colbert Report I'm watching?
posted by NationalKato at 5:34 PM on November 22, 2006


calling South Park conservative by any measure has always baffled me. The FIRST EPISODE featured a satellite dish emerging from a swearing child's ass. This is not conservative humor.

The thing is, Matt and Trey clearly care far more about pissing people off than they do about political parties, thus the "they must be Republicans because they bash liberals" meme (and taking them at their word on ANYTHING is likely a risky proposition.) I'd say they lean towards the Kaufman style of comedy in this regard.

Did anyone else see the Comedy Central backstage special about South Park where they did all of their talking from the hottub with their arms around a young asian man the entire time and DIDN'T MENTION IT AT ALL?

This is not conservative comedy.
posted by haveanicesummer at 5:38 PM on November 22, 2006


Hey, I'm not saying NPR lies. But they seem to have a bit of an interest in getting rid of the Republicans, generally speaking. I'm down with that.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:40 PM on November 22, 2006


whomever when it's a direct or indirect object.
posted by papakwanz at 5:12 PM PST on November 22


True, but not in a construction like sklero's: "The Daily Show, and any other good political satire, trains its guns on whoever is in power ..." You'd say "He is in power," not "Him is in power," so it's "whoever."
posted by diddlegnome at 5:45 PM on November 22, 2006


Does this mean Bill O'Reilly's show isn't meant to be a comedy?
posted by runningdogofcapitalism at 5:45 PM on November 22, 2006


Oh, those wacky conservatives! Thinking they know Teh Funny!

Well, they don't. That's the whole fucking problem. Their sense of humor is based entirely on making fun of other people and never themselves.

They never laugh with, only at.

If you recall, that's the sense of humor that the bully in school had when he was smacking people around. It's the same sense of humor I'm sure George Allen has had all his life.

It's not that liberal politicians are any better at having a sense of humor. Hoo BOY god al-fucking-mighty they can suuuuuccck at it.

The real matter of it is that intellectualism is considered liberal now. And that's where most good humor comes from. A dumb sense of humor is, well, dumb.

Stick with your strengths, Fox: straw man arguments and embarrassingly idiotic blathers. It's worked so far!
posted by smallerdemon at 5:56 PM on November 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


I always thought PJ O'Rourke was funny... if he wasn't so old, he'd probably make a great complement to Jon Stewart.
posted by ph00dz at 5:58 PM on November 22, 2006


"This is not conservative comedy."

And indeed, "liberal" comedy isn't funny at all either. Heard of Al Franken's show? He's not funny. He can be interesting. Doesn't mean he's not a wonderful snowflake like the rest of us. But funny? No. Liberal comedy is crap the same way conservative comedy is crap and for the same reasons.
posted by Smedleyman at 6:06 PM on November 22, 2006


maryh: you forgot "the damn lazy benefit-sponging idiots at the U.S. Post Office".
posted by yhbc at 6:14 PM on November 22, 2006


The FIRST EPISODE featured a satellite dish emerging from a swearing child's ass. This is not conservative humor.

Not that I'm disagreeing with you with regard to South Park, but all conservative comedy in the UK is extremely graphic and relies heavily on swearing: Roy "Chubby" Brown, Bernard Manning, Jim Davidson. These people are not satirists (just misogynist, racist, homophobic, &c.) and I'm actually having trouble thinking of a sophisticated right-wing comedian, which, given that comedy doesn't appear to have anything to do with political affiliation, seems odd.
posted by jack_mo at 6:17 PM on November 22, 2006


Hey Joel Surnow... WHAT HAPPENED TO NOWHERE MAN!?

I can't believe someone else remembers that show. Ooo! It's out on DVD. Must ... own ... It still bothers me that I saw every episode except for the last one.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 6:45 PM on November 22, 2006


Political comedy is only funny if it makes fun of the absurd.

In the absence of absurdity, it's just news.

Jokes against Clinton or Bush or Kerry are funny because whatever the joke is, it's not US. It's absurd that anyone would come up with the same decisions as these jokers.

That's the joke.

That's why Limbaugh/Savage/Coultier has been grasping at straws for so long, and is just not funny.

Blaming the other guy for everyone's problems isn't funny.
Sensing the absurd, and pointing it out IS funny.

That's why TDS and Colbert ARE funny.

Centrist politicians (I take great pride in having no opinion one way or the other!) lack absurdity. Not funny.
posted by Balisong at 7:16 PM on November 22, 2006


Trying to imagine what conservative satire might look like... What do left-leaning people do when discussing the news? What indeed? Who knows what a newsroom full of "liberal" newswriters trying to pound out a story could sound like...

Producer: Cheney just shot an old man in the face with a shotgun while hunting quail. I need 20 seconds on this. See if you can work "farm-raised" in there, plus mention of "peppering." Go to it, people.

Writer 1: Hmm... I'm thinking 'Cheney Blast Peppers Man on Quail Farm' as the crawler text...

Writer 2: No, that's ridiculous. I disagree with 'pepper,' since it implies random dissipation. The shotgun in question fires it's shot in a distinctly non-random fashion. And that doesn't even give me any info on who got blasted. I would totally ignore that text.

Writer 3: Whatever. The 'pepper' things is totally a non-issue anyway. The trajectory of the shot should imply somehow that this was not accidental, because Cheney is more evil than Galactus in an Alderaan-eating contest. You don't know what you're talking about.

Writer 1: Shut up, douchebags. I'm trying to observe some integrity in this and remain objective. The text is text, if people want more info, they'll listen.

Writer 2: Ridiculous, but not surprising, coming from you. And why should we ignore the possibility that this was premeditated? Why do you feel a need to toe the Producer's line?

Writer 1: Just saying, it's our jobs to report. Not decide.

Writer 3: Yeah. You know who else did the deciding? Hitler.

Writer 1: Fine. 'Cheney Blasts Friend, Laughing. Quail Spared.'

Writer 2: Who cares. By the way, your grammar sucks.
posted by krippledkonscious at 7:29 PM on November 22, 2006 [2 favorites]


The Daily Show, and any other good political satire, trains its guns on whoever is in power

Ulitmately, this is why a conservative humor is rarely funny. Nobody likes to watch the powerful make fun of the weak.
posted by empath at 7:30 PM on November 22, 2006


Nobody likes to watch the powerful make fun of the weak.

Are you joking?! The powerful making fun of the weak is pretty much the cornerstone of humour, from the audience laughing at the performer who slips on a banana skin to every racist or sexist ever joke told.
posted by jack_mo at 7:40 PM on November 22, 2006


Al Franken's not funny? News to me. At least he can be self-deprecating and likable, unlike "talent on loan from God" guy.
posted by fungible at 7:41 PM on November 22, 2006


It didn't do so well when Colin Quinn tried it.
posted by Tenuki at 8:04 PM on November 22, 2006


You ever listen to his show? It sucks. Bad.
posted by bob sarabia at 8:24 PM on November 22, 2006


They're making a Mallard Filmore animated series?

I'm picturing something more like the just fucking awful Day By Day.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:26 PM on November 22, 2006


But his project just confirmed for me that somebody on "24" had a serious pro-torture agenda to push, and now we know who it is!

The number of times the day was saved by Jack Bauer torturing someone was disturbing. I thought agenda too...
posted by meech at 8:46 PM on November 22, 2006


The whole issue is about audience and target market. TDS: intelligent, questioning people who recognize the absurd --- and horrifying -- in our current situation. This FOX program: same as the rest of the Fox News audience, which is to say, the people who have supported an administration that has perpetrated absurdity and horror. Therefore, it may in fact succeed quite nicely.

Millions of Americans, sadly, find "humor" in the infantile schoolyard non-sequiturs of Coulter, Savage, Limbaugh, and the like. They also think Larry the Cable Guy is a riot. Therefore, they will most certainly enjoy a predictable sing-along mocking of all the usual frat-boy targets: Rosie O'Donnel (that dyke) Janeane Garofalo (that slag), Nancy Pelosi (that bitch/shrew/what the fuck ever), and so on. Don't count on this show failing just yet.
posted by scatman at 9:20 PM on November 22, 2006


This just in: Smells Like Ukelele
posted by bwg at 9:23 PM on November 22, 2006


wfrgms wrote:
Conservatives can't do comedy just like liberals can't do talk radio...

Exactly. Self-righteous indignation can't even recognize actual absurdities in order to laugh at them, and talk radio is for those who can't get enough preaching in church.
posted by Brian B. at 9:28 PM on November 22, 2006


Brian B.: but what if conservatives themselves think it's funny? One doesn't have to possess the capacity to recognize actual absurdities in order to laugh at moronic tripe.
posted by scatman at 9:37 PM on November 22, 2006


"Does this mean Bill O'Reilly's show isn't meant to be a comedy?"

Well, it is. But Bill doesn't know it. They just humor him.

"At least he can be self-deprecating and likable, unlike "talent on loan from God" guy." - posted by fungible

Ah, yes, the "it's funny because your guy isn't" line of reasoning. I like Franken. I just don't think he's that funny. Lately. Better as a writer. (Even at his best it's a wry smilely sorta thing. A watered down Joel Hodgson. Or an urban Garrison Keillor.) I dislike Limbaugh, and he's not funny at all.

By contrast, I dislike Garofalo. In terms of politics I think she's got her head way up her ass. But I think she's damn funny. And likable. Totally unlike a Rosie O'Donnell, who is subject to all the same criticisms being heaped on the right here.

But I don't think we're all talking apples to apples. George Carlin f'rinstance all over the board politically, mostly left, but some hard right in there - funny, but of late preachy, which is not funny.

Which I think is the thing. More message than comedy = not funny. It's why some of the best speakers, who may inject humor into their speeches and be quite good, aren't comedians. Politicians, whoever they are, aren't funny. Otherwise they'd do stand up.
Humor is an end in itself. Treat it as a means to an end and you'll lose the laughs.

(But what do I know? I'm a humorless, heartless conservative bastard. We're all "____" (Fill in the blank).
I'm not the Bill O'Reilly or Cheney kinda conservative, but hey, they never got on that bus in the first place.
S'why I so rarely use the term "liberal" in any sense and defend the misuse of 'conservative'. Hell, I hunt with some liberals. Apparently you can be a pro-gun liberal. Who knew?)
posted by Smedleyman at 9:40 PM on November 22, 2006


(should say I dislike Garofalo's speechifyin' as opposed to her stand up comedy. Never met her but she seems on the fence between optimism and nihilism)
posted by Smedleyman at 9:46 PM on November 22, 2006


This'd be that liberal humor then? (from)
posted by Smedleyman at 9:51 PM on November 22, 2006


Smedleyman, there are a lot of pro-gun liberals. You'd be surprised.

Also, that youtube thing sucks. There are also a lot of humor-impaired liberals. I suppose you wouldn't be surprised.
posted by maryh at 9:58 PM on November 22, 2006


Brian B.: but what if conservatives themselves think it's funny? One doesn't have to possess the capacity to recognize actual absurdities in order to laugh at moronic tripe.

This gets into the reasons why people laugh at all, but by laughing at liberal transgressions of their own dogmatic drivel, they risk not being funny, thereby bringing down their own ideology (by exposing it as unsuitable to the interests of their supporters). Religious paranoia is the opposite of comedy. I could imagine them laughing at tossing old granny off a cliff for wanting affordable healthcare, or laughing at a liberal who wants to balance the budget and pay for people to go to college, but they would be laughing as fools and miscreants, and this would expose many conservative views as the misanthropic tendencies they are.
posted by Brian B. at 10:10 PM on November 22, 2006


Next up, FOX goes to press with their satire news magazine, Die Zwiebel.

Anyway, count me as one who thinks that reports of this show's failure are a bit early. I mean, come on, conservatives are a laff riot. In a Keystone Cops sort of way. But with real guns.
posted by moonbiter at 10:14 PM on November 22, 2006


I find myself surprisingly in tune with Smedleyman's comedic assessments. I love me some Garofalo, but find her non-comedy to be a bit strident.

Franken. I just don't think he's that funny. Lately. Better as a writer. (Even at his best it's a wry smilely sorta thing. A watered down Joel Hodgson ...)

This is just so remarkably adroit that I'm irritated that I didn't think of it first.

But, our views on Carlin are where we have to part ways.

George Carlin f'rinstance all over the board politically, mostly left, but some hard right in there - funny, but of late preachy, which is not funny.

I don't see left or right with Carlin. I see an angry old man. And since I am slowly fitting that description myself, I find my self in more and more agreement. True, he does tend to use his well written diatribes as a soapbox, but it's a platform I've learned to trust and respect.

So goes Carlin, so goes quin.

Apparently you can be a pro-gun liberal. Who knew?

Of late, I think this applies directly to me. I wasn't a liberal before Bush came to office, but I find myself there now. And I deeply love my USP. It's a marvel of engineering, form and function. And don't get me started on my AR-15, I could go on about that for days.
posted by quin at 10:28 PM on November 22, 2006


I could imagine them laughing at tossing old granny off a cliff for wanting affordable healthcare ... (but) this would expose many conservative views as the misanthropic tendencies they are.

They wouldn't do that, though. Nor would they venture close to the idea of mocking a balanced budget, lest their empty ridicule be exposed for what it is. They operate by creating straw-targets (the welfare-mother, the brainless tree-hugger) or by taking advantage of ones that are somewhat easily caricatured (Hillary, Streisand, Sharpton etc.). It's about the scapegoating, man. And that's why I fear a show that dresses up some stupid asshole comedian like Rosie O'Donnell and mocks her as a stand-in for her politics, because it would probably work for a significant segment of the American reptile-brain population.

I say all of this, however, prefering to think that you're right and I'm wrong.
posted by scatman at 10:35 PM on November 22, 2006


hexatron writes "And SNL is now as funny as it has ever been, and much funnier than it has usually been, despite now having the worst presidential mimics ever."

Seriously? Watching recent episodes makes me feel like I've damaged the part of my brain that processes humor - I understand the joke, but I just can't make it to the laugh. Kind of like recent episodes of the Simpsons.
posted by concrete at 12:41 AM on November 23, 2006


Smedleyman writes "George Carlin f'rinstance all over the board politically, mostly left, but some hard right in there - funny, but of late preachy, which is not funny."

I think George is just getting old and is a bit fustrated that stuff he used to rant about in the 70's hasn't changed as much as he'd like. It can be embittering to see something like Golf which you think is the dumbest "sport" on the planet actually grow in popularity.
posted by Mitheral at 7:12 AM on November 23, 2006


Left and right have a lot in common--it's just the slant that's different. For instance, some members of both groups have a fondness for drugs. The difference is that the ones on the left joke about it; the ones on the right probably indulge in just as many drugs but they not only don't admit it, they rail against it.

Also, what passes for conservative humor in the Pacific Northwest are bumper stickers like: Save a tree! Wipe your ass on a spotted owl.
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:49 AM on November 23, 2006


Just because some hack writes a magazine article painting South Park as a conservative show doesn't make it so.

This is a show with an entire episode based on the journey of a hamster through a gay man's digestive tract?

A show where Paris Hilton took a pineapple inside of her?

Where Jesus lives in town and occasionally has to kick some ass, Rambo style to save Santa?

The whole "South Park conservative" meme always struck me as an amusing display of ignorance on the part of young conservatives who would like to think themselves "hip" and "with it."
posted by kableh at 7:49 AM on November 23, 2006


PinkStainlessTail writes "I'm picturing something more like the just fucking awful Day By Day."

I'd never heard of that cartoon before... and now that I went through a few of them I can see why I've never heard of it before.
posted by clevershark at 8:08 AM on November 23, 2006


The whole "South Park conservative" meme always struck me as an amusing display of ignorance on the part of young conservatives who would like to think themselves "hip" and "with it."

Matt and Trey are your typical "Swing voter" A lot of people in politics tend to think that the "Swring voter" is someone with a lot of conservative or liberal views, in fact that's not true. They're just disgusted with the whole process.
posted by delmoi at 8:18 AM on November 23, 2006


I predict they will be so hillariously bad, they will do a better job at parodying the right wing than TDS and CR combined, and will steal all their viewers.
posted by pcameron at 8:23 AM on November 23, 2006


Al Franken's not funny? News to me. At least he can be self-deprecating and likable, unlike "talent on loan from God" guy.
posted by fungible


Maybe news to you, but not to many. His show was like having a tooth pulled. Very painful.
posted by gtr at 8:35 AM on November 23, 2006


PinkStainlessTail writes "I'm picturing something more like the just fucking awful Day By Day."

I'd never heard of that cartoon before... and now that I went through a few of them I can see why I've never heard of it before.
posted by clevershark


I just looked at it and some of it is pretty funny.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:09 AM on November 23, 2006


What I love about Day By Day is that it's a strip about a black conservative surrounded by annoying white lefties... written by a white conservative. Kind of like the "voice of reason" conservative black family in The Leftersons (an example of conservative "humor" that makes Mallard Filmore look like Monty Python).
posted by brundlefly at 9:18 AM on November 23, 2006


The kid's name is Stalin! Stalin Lefterson! Geddit? 'Cause he's a pinko's kid! And you know how they worship Stalin!

Razor-sharp satire. Cuts so deep I'm in too much pain to laugh.

Oh and that Day by Day? Sweet mother of Marx, that's a piece of work. You think there's any kinda Freudian thing going on in the way he draws feminists with hourglass figures, clingy shirts and exposed navels?

Guess this explains why both PJ O'Rourke and Dennis Miller have become bigger and bigger in conservative circles as their humour's grown duller and duller. If you can't run with the big dogs anymore, might as well go sit on the porch next to all these yapping chihuahuas.
posted by gompa at 10:03 AM on November 23, 2006


My apologies, but I'm having a head-assplodes moment:

Been a long time since someone's made a really stinging Pig-Latin gag.

Za-za-zing!
posted by gompa at 10:07 AM on November 23, 2006


leftcoastbob writes "I just looked at it and some of it is pretty funny."

Meh... that reminded me of a funny quote by a critic about a play, something to the effect that "what was new wasn't funny, and what was funny wasn't new"... maybe someone can remember the actual quote, I'm exhausted today.
posted by clevershark at 10:25 AM on November 23, 2006


Razor-sharp satire. Cuts so deep I'm in too much pain to laugh.

Not all cartoons of the liberal persuasion are consistently funny and have no stereotypes, either.

Just sayin'.
posted by leftcoastbob at 12:55 PM on November 23, 2006


Substitute "Democrat" for "Republican" and vice versa on this one and I think that it would have people here frothing at the mouth.
posted by leftcoastbob at 12:59 PM on November 23, 2006


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