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October 3, 2015

How's Your News? -- An early look

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 7th 2009 7:11PM
How's Your News? CrewThe prospect of a news show featuring people with disabilities interviewing celebrities and people on the street sounds like a sick way to spend a Sunday evening. That assumption doesn't help when you see South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker's names under the executive producer heading, two guys who made the phrase "Timmy!" and "cripple fight" part of the American pop culture lexicon.

But as Stone said himself in my soon-to-be awarding winning interview (my boss said he would put a gold star on my next paycheck), How's Your News? -- which premieres at 10:30 tomorrow night on MTV -- aims to change the audience's perspective on more than one level.

It's a journey of self-discovery for both the participants and the viewers and that's a big step for a network that has had a hard time figuring out what it's supposed to be.

The show is essentially a scaled-down clone of the indie documentary and film shorts that precede it. A group of fun-seeking reporters travel the country in a huge tour bus that looks like one of the remodeled backups from the set of Almost Famous.

Along the way, they interview big name celebrities and little people on the street without any real rhyme or reason. There aren't any themes or topics for each show, giving the people on camera room to breathe and be themselves, rather than force a situation or a topic into something that resembles sausage.

The premiere episode takes the news team to Los Angeles just in time for the Grammys. They stop to talk to big names like Jimmy Kimmel, Ben Affleck, Sarah Silverman (minus the talk show boyfriend) and John #*$&ing Stamos. They also comb the beaches for hippies and Hollywood douchebags to talk about everything from medical marijuana to porn, which easily makes for the most entertaining part of the show.

The celebrities also never talk down to the reporters; instead, they feed off of their energy and fun, which makes for a better and more enjoyable show. Silverman jokes around with reporter Robert Bird as if he were Carson Daly or Craig Ferguson. Some of the questions throw the celebs for a loop, like when Jeremy Vest asks John #*$&ing Stamos if he talked to the Olsen Twins about him. There is fun to be had in just about every nook and cranny.

Despite its ability to draw laughs from unexpected places, it's hard to define it strictly as a comedy. Some parts are designed to give bands some airtime, since CNN Headline News airs more music videos these days than MTV. Others are just a chance to meet a big-name celebrity, whether it interests the audience or not, like Vest's blushing encounter with a dolled-up Miley Cyrus.

But the show isn't about the stars, the bands or even the music. It's about the reporters; we are just along for the ride. It does offer audiences a chance to learn a little bit about themselves. It's an entertaining litmus test for humility. It has a lot to say about acceptance, humanity and even being offended. And for once on MTV, it doesn't involve a grown man running around east L.A. in a monkey suit or getting hit in the crotch with a sledgehammer.

Not that those things aren't funny, mind you. It's just hard to take away any important life lessons or feelings of closeness with the universe after you've watched that.

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Lol. You write about this like it's something new. How's Your News has been around for over 10 years. They are just now doing a show on it. There is even a documentary on it circa 1999.

February 10 2009 at 3:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really enjoyed the show, Jeremy is awesome. I would watch the show if it were just him, the others so far are icing on the cake.

February 10 2009 at 4:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great write up for what appears like it's going to be a great show.


February 09 2009 at 10:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Man there's so much earnestness and whimsy in this article. Good job.

February 08 2009 at 11:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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