Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Awwwww. Isn't this too bad?

Faux News cancelled its Colbert-ripoff show.

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.

More proof that wingnuts just can't do funny. HuffPo breaks it down in more detail.

The problem is that Joel Surnow, who created both Half Hour and Jack Bauer, thought he could deliver the right wing's answer to The Daily Show and carve a niche in the market for conservative humor. Only he forgot some important parts, among them, obviously, the Comedy part. Dennis Miller couldn't go on the show and be a comedian; he had to be a commentator. And commentators aren't funny (Miller, when allowed, is still funny, just tragically misguided). And those whose job it is to actually be comedians leave you feeling like you've been pounded over the head with a joke instead of zapped in the gut with it.

Secondly, Surnow forgot the single-most important value of timeless Comedy: it unites. Richard Pryor did as much for the easing of racial tension as Julian Bond, and Jim Carrey proved that a white man could kick it with a black cast. Colbert and Stewart make Democrats and Republicans laugh at themselves. They succeed not because of language, political bias or controversy, but because the material is researched, painfully structured and impeccably timed.

Those details were lost on Joel Surnow. He was just out to make a point (or counterpoint, perhaps). But if the jokes land flat, all is lost. Today, Comedy wins.

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