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Must See Guerilla TV

Triumph the Wonder Dog interviews four Republican congressmen about global warming. Must viewing for Earth Day!

Hat tip: The Corner.

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Discussions - 7 Comments

Steve, I’m guessing that you didn’t find that funny; or did you just find it funny in a different way than was intended?

I’m guessing that you didn’t find that funny; or did you just find it funny in a different way than was intended?

Of course a liberal can’t understand how to laugh at himself. Stop taking yourselves so seriously and you might actually win an election.

Why can’t Steve find that funny? The four congressmen certainly seemed to be having a good time. I would be concerned for somebody who took an interview with an insult comic dog puppet seriously.

My favorite part was how the guy on the left kept putting Triumph’s cigar back in his mouth. Good times Steve. Thanks.

"Stop taking yourselves so seriously and you might actually win an election."

For God’s sake, I’m not trying to win an election! But are you suggesting that Republican victories of the last decade or so have been due to the Republicans’ sense of humor? Like Bush calling Rove "Turd Blossom"? D’ya think that swayed voters? "Gosh, that sure is cute how he calls Mr. Rove "Turd Blossom" - I think I’ll just go and vote for him!"

I’m not certain that I would attribute Republican success to their senses of humor, but there is an underlying quality to humor that is important for our public figures.

I certainly hope that Bush’s "turd blossom" comment had no effect on voters (however, pointing to it as an example of humor may suggest how difficult grasping humor is for our liberal friends), but could you imagine John Kerry ever calling somebody "turd blossom"?

While I don’t believe that Republicans are the new stand up comics, I think there is a lightness, an ability to laugh, and an air of playfulness that comes from the ability to cut loose. And dare I say it, a certain level of self-reflection is necessary to make or take a joke.

I think this is an extension of the "regular guy" debate. Nobody wants a regular guy to be President, but we do want somebody who seems willing to laugh, to share a good story, and to take a moment to keep their head when all about them others are losing their’s.

If you want an example of how poorly liberalism and comedy are blended, tune into Saturday Night Live. It’s liberal bias has created some of the most stultifyingly awful sketches of recent years (and that’s saying something). Its parody of Bill O’Reilly is funny only to those who never watch his show. It’s not a parody of O’Reilly so much as it is a parody of the liberal vision of O’Reilly.

It’s particularly awful in light of some rather good liberal comedy in the Daily Show and the Colbert Report. The Daily Show has effectively become a mouthpiece for the left (but remains amusing), but occasionally lays into Democrats. However, when they do, the heavily liberal audience falls dead silent. The same audience that whoops in delight for a "Bush is an idiot" joke is deathly quiet. It’s really awkward television.

Furthermore, every night Stephen Colbert destroys O’Reilly (and all talking head news), but rarely forgets the laugh comes first; political venom is secondary. To further demonstrate my point, watch Colbert’s interviews. Liberal guests are often thrown, unsure of how to react to Colbert’s pompous character, until Colbert starts lobbing softball questions. However, when Harvey Mansfield was recently on, Mansfield spent the entire interview bemused by the whole spectacle - he was in on the joke.

I’m sorry this post has grown so long (and no, I don’t work for Comedy Central), but I do think this is an interesting topic and I look forward to hearing other’s thoughts. Thanks.

I certainly found it very funny. However, I got the impression that the joke was on the interviewees not the dog:-)


However thats my bias no doubt ...

You’ve thoroughly confounded me with that last post, Moaner (yikes - what a name!).

First, I don’t know how you could miss it, but I was clearly indicating that I DON’T find "turd blossom" to be very funny. I was racking my brain for examples of conservative humor, perhaps from their Leader, and that’s the first/best thing that came to mind. Of course, if his Bushisms count, then I guess I’d give him some credit for a particularly odd sense of humor (make up awkward-sounding and unnecessary new words and sound like a stooge, for laughs, as part of a presidential schtick?) Also, where do we actually see Republicans/conservatives "cut loose" (as you put it)?? Is that what they were doing with Triumph, in that clip? I will give them a bit of credit for participating (did they know what they signed up for?), but they don’t come off as smart guys whooping it up and letting their hair down, they come off as stiff, clueless pols dutifully reciting White House and lobbyist talking points, being played for the fools they are, and the cigar "improv" was the best they could do - well, that and maybe their agreement that Saddam would be tied to global warming (although I can actually imagine Scott McClellan trying to convince us of that "fact.")

Second, I disagree with your premise that Saturday Night Live is a "liberal" comedy show. It has been well over a decade since I’ve watched more than 15-20 mins. of any episode, but from what I’ve seen of the recent stuff, it seems that maybe 10-15% of it was clearly "liberal" humor, but only about 20% of the entire show, at best, was actually funny. I think most of America - right, left, center - is appalled at just how bad the show is (although their reasons might differ somewhat). It’s a sad institution, a shell of its former self, coasting on its laurels of seasons long past. Also, if you’ll recall, there were plenty of impressions and jabs at Clinton during his Reign of Terror. I laughed at many of those.

Third, I don’t think you made your point very well. First you cite ONE show - SNL - that prolly has horrible ratings compared to The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, and is not nearly as liberal as TDS or TCR, as an example of how liberalism and comedy don’t mix. Then you give us The Daily Show and The Colbert Report as TWO exceptions to this rule, but even you concede that TDS is a "mouthpiece for the left." And we both know that those are probably two of the very funniest shows on TV. Stewart and Colbert have both described themselves as quite liberal, and it’s obvious, of course. Colbert is almost exclusively mocking O’Reilly (and, to a lesser degree his righty cohorts). I have laughed at some of Stewart’s rare jabs at Dems, but often they come off more as obvious -and pointless - attempts to be actually "fair and balanced" and mock everyone. Who’s he kidding? He’s a big liberal, as is Colbert. Colbert throws off some of his liberal guests because his obnoxious character is actually on ALL THE TIME. He doesn’t relent, even for those he obviously agrees with. What’s funny is that Colbert is only a slight exaggeration of the real O’Reilly. As O’Reilly is his own best parody, Colbert has his work cut out for him in successfully taking his O’Reilly impression to the comedic extreme. I have found, though, that the interviews are the least funny part of TCR, mostly because they’re too short. Taking the focus off of Colbert - whoever his guest may be - makes things less funny. But man, I would’ve loved to see Mansfield on there. Of course, Mansfield could’ve just sat there picking his nose and you’d see him as a supreme genius. If the joke was that Mansfield is really just an out-of-touch ivory-tower academic who wishes he was a macho viking rescuing his damsel wife in distress by opening jars for her, then isn’t it sort of crazy if Mansfield was "in on the joke"?? Being "bemused" doesn’t really save him. And of course, it’s important to remember this distinction - O’Reilly actually assumes the position of some kind of actual news man, a truth-seeking journalist. Stewart and Colbert make no such claims, but ultimately their shows are, in many ways, more informative than O’Reilly could ever hope to be in his wildest dreams (well, excluding his loofah/falafel dreams, that is).

I enjoyed it too even though I agreed politically with the Congressmen (and I realized that the joke was on them). Can’t liberals laugh at themselves? Can’t you understand a good parody even when it is attacking your own principles? I usually enjoy SNL skits mocking President Bush even though I generally support and respect him. What’s the big deal? Good comedy is good comedy.

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