Hannity and Combs: They are funny, yes?
September 28, 2005 8:57 PM   Subscribe

The Daily Show: Great Moments in Punditry as Read by Children. I just don't get it.

(Google says: Your search - daily show punditry site:ask.metafilter.com - did not match any documents.)

I just finished watching tonight's The Daily Show, and I had my very first small chuckle at the "Great Moments in Punditry" segment. Almost everything else I find funny and/or disturbing or I at least understand what's supposed to be. With "Great Moments"...ehhh, not so much. What're they trying to do, and what's the joke I'm apparently missing? Surely there's more to it than "look how childish Sean Hannity is."

Subquestion: Anyone have a .wav file of Stewart's Bush chuckle I can download for email notifications at work?
posted by phrits to Society & Culture (16 answers total)
My assumption would be that they are trying to point out the similarities between the arguments of the pundits and those of schoolchildren.
posted by clawtros at 9:11 PM on September 28, 2005

I think those segments are sorta hit-or-miss, but I believe the intended humor is related to these ideas:
  1. "look how childish Sean Hannity is" (or, what clawtros says)
  2. the words that spew forth from these pundits' mouths can sound totally ridiculous or even moronic when they are read slowly and out of context in a voice devoid of emotion
  3. these are not the sorts of things that children usually say
Put it all together, and you've got Funny. Sometimes.

(Of course, nothing kills the joke like analyzing it. Now I'll probably never laugh at that segment again. Thanks.)
posted by Galvatron at 9:14 PM on September 28, 2005

4. You see children saying these things, and you realize, "I don't want my child to ever think like this." It makes the idea of letting your children watch the news horrifying, but in a funny way.
posted by dsword at 9:24 PM on September 28, 2005

To elaborate on point 2 above: when I listen to pundits arguing emotionally on some commentary show, I don't always analyze their words in much depth, because I get distracted by the conflict. When those same words are read slowly and emotionlessly, there's nothing to distract me from grasping their full meaning--at which point, I often realize that the commentary is total crap. And hey, it's funny that people get paid to deliver crap commentary, and somehow get away with it.
posted by Galvatron at 9:35 PM on September 28, 2005

I didn't get it, either, but they vaguely explained it when my daughter was asked to audition. The explanation they gave was roughly the Galvatron theory. Mostly #2.
posted by majick at 9:55 PM on September 28, 2005

I've always taken it as something close to explanation #2. When kids read it out of context, it's incredibly obvious that they're all just spewing crap.
posted by I Love Tacos at 10:33 PM on September 28, 2005

I thought that the Daily Show just couldn't get access to the original video clips, so they decided it would be funny to get kids to read them out.

I don't get it either and I always skip over that bit if it's in an episode.
posted by krisjohn at 11:03 PM on September 28, 2005

I skip it as well...and usually the interviews too, I'm finding.

posted by jikel_morten at 11:14 PM on September 28, 2005

posted by dhartung at 11:15 PM on September 28, 2005

I for one enjoy it, for the reasons listed above. I think most mainstream media is a joke, therefor deserves to be mocked.

I'm reminded of how Stetson Kennedy delievered a huge blow to the Ku Klux Klan by having their secrets scripted into a children's Superman radio program. Once kids started acting out the stories "Superman defeating the Ku Klux Klan" members of the Klan started see how childish their ways were and it reduced membership involvement (read about it in Freakonomics).
posted by packphour at 12:37 AM on September 29, 2005

It was mildly amusing the first time they did it. Since then, it seems like filler, since the point was made the first time.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:00 AM on September 29, 2005

Thanks, all. I guess it just doesn't tickle my funny bone. dhartung's comment highlights that I might "get it" more if I ever paid even the slightest attention to the pundits they're mocking. I don't watch that much TV, though, and when I do, it's dedicated to truly important stuff like Desparate Housewives, Weeds, and Veronica Mars.
posted by phrits at 4:02 AM on September 29, 2005

That skit reminds me of when Letterman has his blue collar stage crew people reading Oprah scripts. Also much funnier as an idea.
posted by my sock puppet account at 6:18 AM on September 29, 2005

Dissenting voice. I love the kids' punditry segment, myself.
posted by matildaben at 6:24 AM on September 29, 2005

It all related to John Stewart and his dislike for pundits, as seen in the Crossfire episode with Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala. This is his way of mocking them even more, and just calling them showboat actors. Ironically, John Stewart is becoming like a pundit, but he was always an actor/comedian.

He should do more Nancy Grace. How I loathe that woman.
posted by Number27 at 6:38 AM on September 29, 2005

I love those segments, they're not that funny, but the kids are so cute. I think people would enjoy it a lot more if they had small children themselves (I don't). I like the segments.

And yes a big part of it is "look how childish these people are" as well as "look how silly they sound without emotion in what they say"

He should do more Nancy Grace. How I loathe that woman

Lol. Someone once wrote "CNN's Screaming Lawyer woman" and I knew exactly who they were talking about.
posted by delmoi at 8:34 AM on September 29, 2005

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