Tuesday, April 28, 2009

TV: Will Obama Sink the Daily Show?

*Posted November 11, 2008*

If you want to know the whole story, here's a rare article from the NY Times that isn't absurd, and another from NY Magazine that talks about something similar. For the past 8 years, smug hosts like Jon Stewart have been hammering the Bush administration and pointing out everything that is wrong with the country. We've heard countless jokes about a dumb, fumbling Bush, an old, cranky McCain, and an oblivious Palin. But finally, the liberal media has gotten their way. Obama is President, hope is renewed, and a new day has dawned. Who are they going to take potshots at now? You can't joke about Obama's skin color without appearing racist, and there's not much there in his personality to lampoon. Think of SNL over the years. Clinton was a sleazy womanizer (funny), Bush was a hapless idiot child (funny), McCain was a doddering old man (funny), but the Obama impression was never funny. How can the Lettermans and Kimmels stay funny if there's nothing funny about the President (yet)? I personally think this is the beginning of the end for the Daily Show's relevance. They either follow their heart and not blast Obama regularly (but then the audience that expects D.C. bashing is turned off), or they give in and blast him on a nightly basis (but then their audience's feelings are hurt because Obama is their hero). The only person ready to prosper from this is Stephen Colbert. It's easier for him to make fun of Obama because his character doesn't like him and the audience expects him to joke about liberals. Whereas no white comedian or host has found something good to joke about, Colbert's running gag on the Report is that Obama is a secret Muslim. It's easy for the liberal media to stay afloat because they can continue to gush about how great this presidency is (Chris Matthews, the loony MSNBC "newsanchor" actually said that it's his job to make Obama's presidency a success). But it will be interesting to see how the nightly comedians handle their hero.

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