Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Soccer Or Comedy Or Religion

by Dick Mac

One might say that Soccer is Comedy and Religion; but that is not my point!

I had a relatively entertaining media-night last night.

I had planned to see Kristeen Young at Pianos, but was unable to make it. So, I watched an online broadcast of Red Bull New York v F.C. New York, debated religion online, and the watched The Daily Show.

The religious debates were dull because there were some young leftists and single-issue homosexuals involved in the discussions. I support, almost unequivocally the issues of the young leftist and old homosexual, but I tire of people who are unable to see a bigger picture -- unable to separate publicity stunts and ineffectual global policy from actual day-to-day political reality. So, if I were to rank the three events, that debate, which could have been dynamic and exciting, was certainly the dullest of the three.

RBNY mounted a come-from-behind victory against the lower-league FCNY, sparked by John Rooney's long-distance shot that totally surprised the visiting goalkeeper. I would have liked to have attended the match, but I was going to see the show at Pianos, which I failed to see, so I never made it to Red Bull Arena.

For about 99% of the year (that is, about 360 days) I am awake at 11:00 P.M. Sadly, I more often than not find myself at 11:59 P.M. saying: "Damn, I forgot to watch The Daily Show and Colbert Report again."

Last night, I settled in on the sofa and tuned-in to Comedy Central at 11:02, missing only the opening credits and initial joke(s).

I remain permanently impressed by Jon Stewart and The Daily Show. Stewart has taken the fake news genre to a level that even the real news can't reach. It is smart, analytical, entertaining, informative, and it is all of the things Comcast, Disney, Viacom, and New Corp. have failed to do on their actual news programs and networks.

For years now, Fox News has perpetuated an on-air pissing contest with Comedy Central about who is more or less or better or worse of something or another.

This has, always will, and never ceases to amaze me.

I know that Fox News has nothing to do with news, you know Fox News has nothing to do with news, I suspect that the more intelligent of the Fox News viewers also know that Fox News has nothing to do with news. Still, News Corp. continues to market this network as a news outlet and defend it vociferously as fair and balanced.

A few years ago, Stewart appeared on a Fox News show and condemned the two hosts for destroying America. This was not comedy, he was very serious and presented his position clearly, succinctly, without drama or hysteria, and made both of the blowhard hosts rather uncomfortable. He nailed that performance. I think that was the beginning of Roger Ailes' rather unbecoming obsession with Stewart and his comedy show.

Remember, The Daily Show is a comedy show presented in a news format, it is not a news show.

Recently, every single piece of Fox News talent (and I use that word lightly) sang the same song for a news cycle: Jon Stewart must be a racist because he used a funny voice when mocking a black Republican who is running for some office or another, and which candidate is one of the funniest Americans on television - without even intending it!

One of Stewart's most effective and funniest shticks is his ability to mimic stereotypes, and he does it often. He is particularly good at The New York Jew and The New York Italian Guy, both of which he has done recently.

So, now that the grown-ups over at News Corp. have taken him to task for his comedy routine, Stewart decided to face the music. In a segment titled "John F#*cks Himself With His Mouth," the producers at The Daily Show strung together a series of clips showing Stewart's use of various funny voices to illuminate either (1) his point, or (2) the absurdity of another person's point. It's called comedy!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Oh, for Fox Sake - Stewart Eviscerates Stewart
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

So in his self-deprecating way, Stewart again remains the funniest man on cable news. Oh wait . . . Stewart is on a comedy show.

Yep! News Corp. and Roger Ailes compare themselves to only one show: a comedy show.

Ahhh! Last night was a good night and Comedy won!

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