Comedy Central has done the best job for the most part while others like A&E's extremely mismanaged Gene Simmons Roast made for lower quality television are as horrific as those painfully dated Dean Martin's Roasts that are sold on infomercials in the wee small hours of the morning.
The secret to doing a good roast isn't really that much of a secret: hire people who are actually paid to be funny. That's why the Roast of Joan Rivers could be the best one yet.
TV 101: The inauguration running diary (OR: History huddled together like a gaggle of newborn puppies)
It occurred to me last fall that Barack Obama being inaugurated would be a pretty big deal. So I called some of my friends in the liberal media and asked them to arrange for Obama to win the election, then waited patiently until yesterday. Now, after months of waiting, we're ready to roll.
The running diary starts after the jump...
"House of Pain" (the alternate was "Itty-Bitty Torture Committee", which is so much better): To further creep out the entire country, Bush admitted that six of the top members of his administration have extensively gone through what is considered torture. No wonder CIA Director George Tenet and company have freely and happily repeated that the government does not torture. Their definition probably stops just short of killing the interrogation subject. Asf for Condoleezza Rice's chuckle-inducing evasive maneuvering from that interview clip, it really shouldn't have been so chuckle-inducing. Ha-HA! Sadist government.
President Bush delivered his final State of the Union address the other night. He encouraged the nation to do stuff and promised to do some other stuff and then talked about some other, other stuff. Anyway, we're strong. I swear I actually shuddered a little bit when Cheney smiled. That damn inverted scowl makes me feel cold deep in the pit of my soul. I would also like to point out that, for some reason, Jon's Bush impression has been slipping into weirdly hilarious zones lately. He suddenly turned into a Mr. T/George Jefferson hybrid during the Kyoto Protocol joke.
"Bush's Bucket List": In his final year in office, Bush has been making the rounds in multiple Middle Eastern countries, chilling out with his token black friend, Jack Nicoholson/Morgan Freeman style. Not only that, but he's been getting showered with flowers of all sorts and holding hands with leaders. Jon's jokes about Bush getting fooled into doing culturally "eccentric" acts were fantastic, but mainly because I've wondered a lot about that sort of thing. I often get to see Chinese-based news programs and I can't help but laugh at some of the things that world leaders have to go through to look like they know all about China.
Here's the rundown on what Comedy Central has in store for this summer:
Returning series include Mind of Mencia (new season starts July 8 at 10:00 p.m.), and a new Comedy Central Roast premiering sometime in August, though we don't know who'll be roasted just yet.
Now on to the new stuff:
In June look for new stand-up specials from Larry the Cable Guy (Larry the Cable Guy: Morning Constitutions on June 3 at 8:00 p.m.), Brian Reagan (June 10 at 10:00 p.m.) and Daniel Tosh (Daniel Tosh: Completely Serious on June 17 at 10:00 p.m.).
I think I probably came into this one with my expectations set a little high. Those previews that revealed the family packing up and taking a trip put the thought in the back of my mind that this could be one of those classic episodes. It called to mind the season three episode "To Love and Die in Dixie." Unfortunately, now having seen it, it wasn't a classic.
If you don't remember the presidential election debacle in Florida in 2000, here's a brief summary of what happened:
First, networks declared Gore the winner, then they declared Bush the winner, then they decided it was too close to call, then they decided no one was the winner, then they decided Bush and Gore were figments of our imagination, then James K. Polk was posthumously re-elected and immediately impeached within a six-minute time frame, and then after that it just got really confusing.
"Dodge Caravan": What was up with that Tony Snow clip? It looked like it was pulled from, like, YouTube or something. Damn interns and their inability to find high-quality clips. Anyway, this segment actually managed to top the "M*E*S*S" bit and make me even more depressed. What a downer.
If politics shift in this country after the 2008 presidential election, it will be interesting to see whether Olbermann can keep the wind in his sails.
Frontline is going to explain it all in a four-part investigative series that I cannot wait to see. Starting next Tuesday (Feb. 13th), the PBS program will investigate the way the Bush White House planted confidential tips in the media and then used subsequent media stories as evidence that America had no choice but to invade Iraq. The first hour "untangles the snarl of events" that show how the Bush administration won approval for the war from the public and the media. The second half of the program, on Feb. 20th, investigates just how much the press can reveal about the government's "war on terror" without putting the nation's security in jeopardy. The other two hours, on Feb. 27th and March 27th, look at the future of journalism in the U.S. and at journalism around the world.
Obviously, the Republicans aren't taking all the Democratic wins that well... As for the blue folks themselves, they don't quite know how to handle the concept of "victory" either. Senior Political Correspondent Rob Riggle briefly checked in, sporting a nasty black eye (due to a "way ward high five"). QUESTION: Is Riggle just, like, completely unable to find a suit jacket that fits? He's almost always either only in shirt and tie or wearing a creepy Ambramoff-ish trenchcoat. Senior Political Correspondent Dan Bakkedahl talked a bit about how Republicans didn't do enough negative campaigning. I stopped paying attention about a sentence in because I just noticed that Bakkedahl no longer has that creepy, bald/curly Frasier Crane hair. Instead, he has an awkward little combover. I uess it's more reporter-ish, in a way.
There's something seriously wrong with Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
On yesterday's show, the conversation turned to John Kerry's remarks the other day about President Bush, and before you knew it, Elisabeth and Joy were going at it again. Hasselbeck not only said the words "flip-flop" (wow, she must have the talking points in needlepoint on a pillow back at home) she actually said that Kerry was "like Mel Gibson without the booze."
Yeah, well, Elisabeth Hasselbeck is like Dr. Laura, without the brains.
Before it got too much out of hand - if it didn't already - Rosie put an end to it all with a little song.
"Operation: Just Clause": Holy crap. Bush quote on the Iraq War... "When this chapter of history will be written... it's going to be a comma -- the Iraqis voted, comma, and the United States of America understood that Iraq was a central front in the war on terror and helped this young democracy flourish." A comma? Jon was spot-on... The Spanish Inquisition can be summed up as just a tilde (~). The extended montage of Bush trying to explain what is job is... that was brilliant. Jon seemed genuinely pissed about it. Oh, and the part when he plugged the cord into an avocado was great.
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