Political Humor

Ken AshfordRight Wing and Inept MediaLeave a Comment

What a surprise.  Fox New’s The Half Hour Comedy Hour, which was intended to be the rightwing answer to The Daily Show, has been "shelved":

In a memo to senior producers this afternoon, FNC’s SVP of programming, Bill Shine announced the network "will not continue the Half Hour News Hour beyond its current 15 episode run." Shine did leave the door open, however: "we are considering ways to retool the show for future scheduling needs."

The TV news satire show which airs Sunday nights, stars faux anchors Kurt McNally, played by Kurt Long, and Jennifer Lange, played by Jennifer Robertson.

I watched the premiere episode back in January. Take a look at this clip:

Get it?  Rush Limbaugh as President and Ann Coulter as his Vice President.  But other than the joy of knowing that they agreed to do this segment, is anything about this actually funny?  Hardly.  In fact, it is so incredibly lame that they couldn’t even get a cigar in the oval office joke right.

Now, I understand that the "targets" of this show are going to be lefties and Democrats.  And that’s fine.  South Park often has the same targets.  But The Half Hour News Hour was unlike South Park in one key respect:  it simply was not funny. In fact, it was abyssmal.  It had canned laughter, and the "audience" laughed WILDLY at things that really weren’t even remotely funny.

By contrast, part of the success of The Daily Show is that Jon Stewart and his writers often rely on the truth.  A typical TDS moment would involve a film clip of Bush saying something, and the a cut back to Jon Stewart saying nothing.  He wouldn’t have to say anything, because the humor comes from the reality of what Bush is saying.

Stewart also took plenty of potshots as weak-kneed Democrats, and the media.  From what I understand, The Half Hour News Hour targeted only the left, and it was, even according to rightosphere bloggers, "over the top".

Good political humor is always based on the truth.  The Half Hour Comedy Hour, like the rest of what appears on Fox News, as an alarming amount of, well, fiction (or at least wishful thinking).  The whole thing really is faux, from the premise of the humor to the names of the "anchors" to the canned laugh track.

I can’t imagine why it failed.