The Bad Guy

1/2 Hour News Hour / Red Eye

1/2 Hour News Hour

At the end of “Sean Hannity’s America” this week, Sean reminded viewers to stick around for the new show “1/2 Hour News Hour.” He commented that Conservatives are the butt of most comedians jokes and that all that was going to change with this show. Yeah! What better way to start off a comedy show than by announcing that revenge was first and foremost in the minds of the producers.

I can not judge the 1/2HNH in terms of “funny / not funny.” This show was not made for me. Hell, when I turn on Comedy Central on a weekend and see the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, I tend not to laugh very much. I do, however, notice a lot of folks in the audience laughing. This leads me to believe that there is an audience for that brand of humor. It also leads me to believe that the comedians KNOW THEIR AUDIENCE. So how should I judge the 1/2HNH? The very same way. I will give them that the writers know their audience. I will also give them some constructive criticism in that all involved seemed a little too scripted and stiff in their delivery of jokes (case in point: the entire show). I’m sure if they keep at it, the awkwardness will subside. Or not.

What really got to me was the revenge aspect that I brought up earlier. With every joke, the only thing I pictured in my mind was Roger Ailes, Hannity or O’Reilly saying “Yeah! Suck on that one, bitch!” And I’m sitting there, watching, wondering how I’m supposed to feel offended, let alone compelled to suck on anything.

The best example of why I feel this show fails is Air America. AA was started as a way for the liberals to have their say on the radio and go toe-to-toe with Limbaugh, Hannity, Ingraham, etc. It was a disaster. What the folks at AA failed to realize was that conservative talk radio was not built in a day. It took many years to build it into the powerhouse that is. AA, on the other hand, was willed into existence. The talent wasn’t there, the hosts did not have the charisma of their conservative counterparts and the audience was not entertained. Hell, even I was more inclined to listen to conservative talk radio than AA, and I didn’t even agree with what they were saying. The final proof that all was lost (for me, at least) was the time Sean Hannity made Janeane Garofalo cry. It was a sad moment that exemplified all that was going wrong with the network.

Of course the 1/2HNH is not the enormous, costly undertaking that AA was and I’m sure that FOX has enough money to crank out one of these every week just to spit in the face of the Daily Show. But they are going to have to really work overtime to even dream of being in the same league. And all involved are going to have to think long and hard about how they can bring something new to the table. This show can not survive by being just the awkward knock-off of a better product.

What the 1/2HNH and AA also reminds me of is the Monty Python skit “the Funniest Joke in the World.” In this skit a joke is written that is so funny, those who read it laugh themselves to death. In retaliation, the Germans try to write their own “Funniest Joke” with disastrous results:

Red Eye

I’m not going to be as nice about this show. When I was watching Red Eye I was noticing a few things: Greg Gutfeld and the other people on the show (mostly bloggers of some renown) are extremely drunk and/or high and their humor suffers because of it. But you ask “Yeah, but could you do better?”

HELL YES, I could do better!!! It would be horrible, but it would still be better than Red Eye. But just like with 1/2HNH, there is a chance that this show could get better. It is obvious that none of the regulars have much, if any on camera experience, and with time they could improve. But they will need to cut out the drinking and the drug use (be it legal or illegal) when they are about to do a show. This is not a baseless, slanderous accusation I’m making. The personalities on the show admit they are messed up and it shows in their performances. The life blood of a show like this is crisp, witty banter and observations, and that is not coming through. And whether the personalities are using substances as a crutch against anxiety or as an excuse for lousy performances, it needs to stop.

Alright, I should stop being a such a player hater. If I could get paid to be high on TV I’d probably do it, too. I also should commend the producers for at least trying something new, even if it doesn’t work as well as they might have hoped. So I salute Greg Gutfeld and his merry band of heavily medicated compatriots. I will continue to watch this show and will be the first to salute them when and if they find their legs and cease to be the weak link in the FOX News chain. And though I have been a bit cruel, it’s because Red Eye (and not 1/2HNH) HAS THE POTENTIAL to be great. If all involved buckled down and introduced some discipline that might actually happen.


February 18, 2007 - Posted by | 1/2 hour news hour, FOX NEWS, Greg Gutfeld, News and politics, red eye, TV


  1. This may improve once Gutfeld’s codeine prescription expires (he had bronchitis last week).

    Comment by Jim Treacher | February 19, 2007 | Reply

  2. Yeah, but the first week? They all pretty much admitted to “taking the edge off.”

    Comment by thebadguy | February 19, 2007 | Reply

  3. Sadly, other than Gutfeld’s prescribed medication at the end of last week, we don’t even have the excuse of being drunk, stoned, high, tripping, rolling, x-ing our brains out or coked out of our skulls.

    The above should in no way be construed to mean that we discourage people from WATCHING the show while drunk, stoned, high, tripping, rolling, x-ing their brains out, or coked out of their skulls.

    The above should in no way be construed to mean that we encourage people to watch the show while drunk, stoned, high, tripping, rolling, x-ing their brains out, or coked out of their skulls.

    Comment by Andy Levy | February 19, 2007 | Reply

  4. Yes, I have the Slang Dictionary too.

    Comment by Myrtle | February 19, 2007 | Reply

  5. Well, I guess you showed me!

    Comment by Levy | February 21, 2007 | Reply

  6. Andy! Good to see you back around these parts. BTW, I watched the show on Monday and it was much improved over last week.
    Also, on tonight’s show you did mention that you were loaded (you are the “ombudsman,” correct?).

    Comment by thebadguy | February 21, 2007 | Reply

  7. Sweetness, I was only joking! Like when you guys were joking about the dolphin raping Anna Nicole Smith and fathering her baby. At least my joke was true. And kind of funny…. 🙂

    Comment by Myrtle | February 22, 2007 | Reply

  8. Myrtle, Andy, let me make one thing clear: I pick the fights around these parts. If you want to have a flame war, do it on your own blog. This is your one and only warning.

    Comment by thebadguy | February 22, 2007 | Reply

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