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July 31, 2014

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Why the Joan Rivers Roast should be tighter and funnier than her current facelift

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jul 28th 2009 4:30PM
Joan RiversThe traditional comedy roast has been hijacked by the cable networks and reproduced with more disappointing results than a sperm bank run by General Motors.

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.

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TV 101: The inauguration running diary (OR: History huddled together like a gaggle of newborn puppies)

by Jay Black, posted Jan 21st 2009 10:03AM
The Dean and the Duh.I've been waiting a long time for a piece of history big enough to justify writing a running diary for this column. I thought I had it when Rock of Love: Tour Bus was announced (has one show ever advanced the cause of dimwitted, surgically-enhanced skanks more than this one?), but my editors wanted to wait until we had something just a little bit bigger.

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...

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The Daily Show: April 15, 2008 - VIDEOS

by Annie Wu, posted Apr 16th 2008 10:21AM
Jon StewartIf you've been having trouble touching yourself recently, it may be because the Pope is in the States. Because he doesn't really have anything better to do, President Bush picked up the Pope from the airport. More coverage has been promised for Wednesday night, so I guess anyone that was expecting some in-depth Popewatch was sorely disappointed.

"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.

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A Daily Show: January 29, 2008

by Annie Wu, posted Jan 30th 2008 9:28AM
Jon StewartJon started off by pointing out that the other night's guest, Phil Simms, called him "Tom" at the end of their interview. I could have sworn he called him "Josh", but I thought I was just hearing things. I suggest that Jon relieve the cutting pain of having an idol screw up one's name by convincing himself that Simms was just so floored to be in his presence, he got nervous. Instant restoration of self-esteem!

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.

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A Daily Show: January 15, 2008 - VIDEO

by Annie Wu, posted Jan 16th 2008 11:01AM
JonAww, Jon Stewart has Restless Leg Syndrome. To be honest, even after hearing Jon's explanation of it, I'm still not quite sure what to make of all those Restless Leg Syndrome med ads. Increased gambling? That's surprisingly scary.

"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.

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The Daily Show: August 9, 2007

by Annie Wu, posted Aug 10th 2007 1:42AM
Tal Ben-Shahar"President Bush: In His Own Words": FOX News' Neil Cavuto had a chat with his good buddy President Bush. Of course, much ass-kissing ensued. However, even with all the creepy love from Cavuto (or perhaps because of it), Bush managed to stumble over his words. Naturally, more coverage of Bush's clumsy talk followed, including clips of his failure to get over the joys of "prioritizing", "priorities", and "prioritization". It's been a while since Jon has done a really ridiculous, pointless prop gag. I didn't really care for the split-second gloo jar bit. Jon, baby, when will you understand that your show is better than that?

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What's new and what's coming back on Comedy Central

by Adam Finley, posted May 2nd 2007 12:50PM

lil bushHere'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.).

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Family Guy: Boys Do Cry

by Brett Love, posted Apr 30th 2007 11:59AM
family guy(S05E15) After better than a month off, finally a new episode of Family Guy. I'm not sure I understand the thinking behind the scheduling of the show this year, but the list of behaviors from the networks that I don't understand is a long one. So, we'll take what we can get. Whatever the reasoning, it was nice to have the Griffins back with a fresh adventure.

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.

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Movie about Florida recount to hit HBO in 2008

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 2nd 2007 4:23PM

sydney pollackIf 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.

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The Daily Show: March 5, 2007

by Annie Wu, posted Mar 5th 2007 11:59PM
Jon Stewart"M*E*S*S": God, this was so depressing. Our wounded soldiers are being treated in awful conditions. Senior Military Analyst John Oliver elaborated on the situation. There is no longer any doubt in my mind: John Oliver lives in the Daily Show studio.

"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.

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Keith Olbermann gets four more years

by Anna Johns, posted Feb 16th 2007 1:21PM
keith olbermannNews anchor Keith Olbermann just signed on to four more years with MSNBC. His show, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, has seen a steady rise in ratings lately, most likely due to his contempt for the Bush administration and his "Special Comment" segments that are popular with like-minded folk. Olbermann's Bush smackdowns are particularly popular on YouTube. He's also pretty well known for his campaign against Bill O'Reilly, who shares the same time slot over at Fox NewsChannel. "Bill-O", as Olbermann calls him, is frequently on the list of "Worst Person in the World" for something he has said. Despite all the goofy business, there is some actual news value to his show. Olbermann often runs reporters' packages from NBC Nightly News and then analyzes (as cable news networks like to do) events with various experts.

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.

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Frontline investigates the press in the march to war

by Anna Johns, posted Feb 8th 2007 9:04PM
pbs logoBack in 2003, were you wondering why the mass media was beating the drum to war in Iraq? I sure as hell was. I was so confused as to why Tom Brokaw would go on David Letterman and advocate a war, and I was stumped as to why the New York Times continued to plaster reasons for war all over its front pages.

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.

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The Daily Show: November 8, 2006

by Annie Wu, posted Nov 9th 2006 8:30PM
Jon Stewart"Donkey Party" (haha): This has been a week of amazing break-ups. First, Britney and K-Fed (I, a solid Alternative Rock fan, am unusually excited about the return of hot-Britney) and now, Bush and Rumsfeld. Oh, hell yes.

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.

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The View: It's Elisabeth vs. Joy - again

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 2nd 2006 8:51AM

The ViewThere'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.

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The Daily Show: October 5, 2006

by Annie Wu, posted Oct 6th 2006 5:12PM
The Daily ShowCongress has $20 million for an Iraq victory party. I thought this was a joke. It's not. However, the ice sculpture of Saddam pissing freedom was a joke. Unfortunate.

"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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