Comments: Comedy...Or ComeDIE?!?

Very illuminating. I think there's an even simpler explanation for why this "1/2-Hour News Hour" thing is not funny -- the agenda gets in the way, because the agenda came first in the development process. "The Daily Show" sets out to be a funny fake news show, and in the process it ends up with a liberal bent most of the time. But this show is setting out to be anti-liberal, and hoping to be funny in the process, which is not a super recipe for entertainment success. It's hard to be funny when you're already resolved to be defensive. But I guess that's not that different from what Cleese and Skynner are saying, is it?

Posted by Mollie at February 16, 2007 09:18 AM

The canned laughter is really, really bad.

Posted by Anthony Paul Smith at February 16, 2007 09:19 AM

That's a promo clip? Whoa. It seemed like a desperately childish effort to defang the snake that already bit you and left you writhing in agony.

Posted by Aunt Deb at February 16, 2007 10:06 AM

Hmm, I dunno, Ben Stein's funny, and he's conservative. There are also a number of good centre-to-right comedians and comedy writers. Douglas TenNapel is one of the finest and funniest graphic novelists working today, and he once commented that George Bush was a "superhero".

Is it just the wrong people? I think that I can write better Obama jokes from the right if you put me to it.

Posted by En Ming Hee at February 16, 2007 10:24 AM

Ben Stein is not a comedian, he's called in as a professional straight man whenever he's on something that's supposed to be funny. He's not funny in and of himself.

Posted by Gordon at February 16, 2007 12:53 PM

When someone calls Bush a "superhero" you don't laugh with them though. You laugh at them.

Posted by darrelplant at February 16, 2007 12:57 PM

I agree with this post, although I'm not a comedy expert like SOME of the people around here. However, I'd like to ask - does the Fox target audience think the promo clip is funny? It's really not surprising that we don't think it is....

Posted by Aaron Datesman at February 16, 2007 02:53 PM

Yeah. It sucks. But, to be fair, teh funny is subjective. Every comedian has to find his or her audience. Paula Poundstone used to be hot among fat lesbians who watch kiddie shows on Public TV, for example. And, while Emo Phillips does well with college coffee house types, he would bomb with FOX viewers.

Posted by Lloyd at February 16, 2007 05:04 PM

Another, really major, difference between this and The Daily Show is that magazine -- Jon Stewart would be saying a bunch of funny things while the magazine graphic was displayed, sporting a few funny article titles on the cover, and *not mentioned them*. These guys, though, feel the need to show each section up close and read the headline aloud, suggesting (to me) contempt for the viewer's intelligence.

Plus the timing and audience response gave me the feeling of watching someone bomb terribly. But hey, TDS was kind of crap for a few years (Remember Craig Kilborn?). Still, I doubt these guys will ever be funny, as it's all about the politics (the Marion Barry thing was a little bit funny, but way more of a cheap shot).

Posted by That Guy at February 16, 2007 05:37 PM

I finally saw the Prairie Home Companion movie - and in case you haven't seen it, here's the most repeated joke in it -

One penguin says to the other, "You look like you're wearing a tuxedo."
The other replies, "How do you know I'm not?"


Posted by mistah charley, ph.d. at February 17, 2007 05:41 PM

There's nothing wrong with mean, exclusionary humor, it's just that you can't exercise it from a position of absolute power.

A conservative comedy show could work if they didn't control everything (slim Dem majority in the congress doesn't count as long as the right defines the discourse).

This thing just sucks, though. It's comedy by non-comedians, and most comedians can barely do comedy, as 85% of Comedy Central specials can attest. People say the Fox thing's not funny because the agenda comes first, but that implies there's a horse behind the cart.

Posted by clarke at February 18, 2007 07:17 PM

In Living Color used to have some bits that could be considered conservative humor - the Damon Wayans wino character who was always using the wrong words, like "Excuse me while I expose my colon" in court.

The band the Offspring has some songs that could be considered conservative humor that work.

Posted by Jon H at February 22, 2007 02:09 PM