Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Late Night TV Update - Comedy Central

While watching last night's BCS Championship Game, I completely forgot about the return of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Caught the rerun of the Daily Show just now, and it's what you'd expect. A lot of talk about the writer's strike, with jokes sprinkled in. I wonder how this process works, because clearly Jon Stewart was without writers, but there were still jokes and graphics that appeared on screen. Certainly, there was a rundown for the show, and an outline, but to what extent is that allowed?

Same changes in the show, during the strike the show will be known as "A Daily Show". Stewart sported a clever "strike unibrow". There was a clever bit about how there is "no money in the internet" yet you can buy the show on iTunes for $1.99. There was also a risky joke in there about how 9/11 kept their show off the air for a week, and this has kept it off for nine weeks, and therefore the strike is 9 times worse than 9/11.

The first segment wasn't terrible, but then he had to go straight to a guest (a Professor of Labor Relations) to kill time the rest of the show. He then went to Colbert (with major strike beard). He also called Jon Stewart out for how scripted his show seemed. That was funny.

For the Daily Show, I think they are in trouble. They did well with the intial episode back, but not being able to go to writers during the Presidential Race, and the low quality of guests, the Daily Show might be hit harder than the talk shows.

Ah, the Moment of Zen was WGA members picketing the show. Interesting.

As for The Colbert Report, the first segment was good. The beginning was funny, when instead of his jokes while he turned from camera to camera, he just said, "Tonight. Then. Plus. Hey. Colbert Report (pronouncing the T's). He stayed in character, being hardline against unions and not showing sympathy to the writers, which I didn't mind, it's his character on the show. I read that he milked two minutes of the show by going for applause, which was cut out of the rebroadcast.

Funny bit about not having to be able to go to "The Word", but he did depend on a lot of clips. Again, I don't think, because of the format, that the Comedy Central shows will do as well as the other talkers.

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