15 February 2007

"A Botch"

Fox News is already in the business of "fake news" so it's understandable that its attempt to rip off the "Daily Show" would backfire. Their regular newscasts are funnier and more absurd than the "1/2 Hour News Hour" (garbage title) which debuts this Sunday.

Even the most whitebread conservative bloggers and TV writers are calling it "a pus-filled abscess of a show" that "sucks decomposing dog ass." Yikes.

It's impossible to disagree: The only thing funny about this clip is the desperately exaggerated laugh track. The "Don't Tell Mama, I'm for Obama" t-shirt bit would be funny if they hadn't stolen it. The format is also a blatant rip off of SNL's Weekend Update. It should be clear to everyone that there is not an original, funny thought in any of the follicly-challenged heads at FNC.

From Hal Boedeker's review:

"Jon Stewart knows how to do slashing comical commentary. He weighs in on what's happening, such as the media's bizarre coverage of Anna Nicole Smith's death.

David Letterman knows how to do slashing comical commentary. He takes President Bush's awkward speeches and contrasts them with the lasting words of John F. Kennedy and Franklin Roosevelt.

Fox News Channel does not know how to do slashing comical commentary. The channel debuts "The 1/2 Hour News Hour" at 10 p.m. Sunday. This show was meant to be a conservative version of "The Daily Show." It is a botch.

"The 1/2 Hour News Hour" does not comment on what is happening; it simply takes swipes at people. These people include Howard Dean, Hillary Clinton, Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama and Ed Begley Jr. Other joke topics are the ACLU, Time magazine, children's books and global warming.

Laughter, of an awfully canned variety, greets all the gags. Nothing happening on screen justifies these outbursts.

Hey, I'm all for a good dig at the high and the mighty. But these satirists fall short of hitting their targets with wit, timeliness or punch.

Which raises the point: What is a comedy show doing on a news channel?

"The 1/2 Hour News Hour" was developed by Joel Surnow, who has given the world many minutes of entertainment through "24." On the basis of the premiere, Surnow should stick to political thrillers. At the top, Rush Limbaugh puts in a cameo as the U.S. president (the year is 2009); Ann Coulter drops in as his vice president. Then they disappear, a smart move.

Fox News Channel will offer a second episode at 10 p.m. March 4. If we're lucky, we'll never hear of this dreadful show again."

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