That’s Entertainment

News today that John McCain’s greatest ally in the fight to conquer Obama Democracy, Joe the Plumber, has vacated his position as an unskilled bathroom drain unblocker, to become an ace reporter for Pyjama TV. Joe is headed to the Middle East on assignment, where he intends to interview Israeli soldiers and uncover the shocking truth behind the Gaza war. And all in the guise of media entertainment.

When Jon Stewart and his Daily Show took a prolonged holiday over the Christmas/New year period, the Adams family searched for alternative entertainment. This involved perusing other late night talk show hosts in the hope of finding someone, if not as funny as Jon Stewart, then at least remotely entertaining.

When you consider that the Adams household Tivos BBC News, NBC Nightly News, The Daily Show, and the Colbert Report (the latter mainly for Mrs Adams) and this is our sole viewing of the day, the loss of Stewart and Colbert for nearly three weeks over the holidays constituted a major drop in the entertainment quota provided by our cable provider. At a figure in excess of one hundred dollars per month for cable access, it was imperative to remedy the situation by seeking alternatives.

Research, in the form of recorded programs from Conan O’Brien, David Letterman, and Jay Leno, produced decisive results. Letterman was decidedly unfunny, so relied entirely on the quality of guest to determine whether the show might be watchable, or not. O’Brian clapped his hands far too loudly every few seconds, darted backwards and forwards in front of the camera in a manner guaranteed to induce motion sickness, or epilepsy in those prone, and only managed to raise a taped titter with the pre-recorded studio audience, leaving the live viewers chez Adams shaking their heads in bewilderment.

Jay Leno, on the other hand, is every inch a professional entertainer. Undoubtedly, one of the funniest stand-up comics America has on offer today. Yes, he may be a trifle ‘dated’ for some, in which case I say – fine, watch O’Brien and suffer the motion sickness. Leno is of the old school, a guru for the younger, up-and-coming comedians of the day. His rapport with the band is exquisite, his ability to wring the best from his guests, profound.

No doubt, it’s these very qualities that induced NBC to consider sacking Leno and substituting his program slot for Conan O’Brien’s second-rate show.

Well, it’s par for the course, isn’t it? No doubt O’Brien is cheaper than Leno.

Thankfully, Leno has negotiated an earlier time slot, but it bodes ill for the permanence of his exposure on NBC. But, then, NBC was always second-rate, so maybe Leno could do better elsewhere, on a network that recognizes his own singular brand of genius.

On the other hand, this is America, where the dollar is way more important then genius.

One thing’s for sure: the Tivo line-up chez Adams is now BBC News, NBC Nightly News, The Daily Show, Colbert Report, and the Late Show with Jay Leno.

It will stay that way until NBC decide, in their infinite stupidity, to finally replace Leno with Joe the Plumber.

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5 Replies to “That’s Entertainment”

  1. Did you try Rachel Maddow, RJ (MSNBC)? I haven’t watched recently but whenever I’ve caught her show I’ve enjoyed it.

    We tend to watch Letterman in preference to Leno – I find Leno creepy and the husband is a Letterman fan of many long years. Dave’s not funny, but he knows it, and he does have a certain charm, which, to my mind Leno lacks totally.

    Craig Ferguson who follows Letterman is the best of ’em all – and a Brit to boot. We don’t often see his interviews but his monologues are better then any other late nighter I’ve seen.

  2. But that’s how Show Bizz is, RJ, daarlink. And didn’t you know that there’s no business like show business Ask an American. They know. They’ve seen it on the movies. Probably on TV, too.

    Why, a few of them have even read it, I bet.

  3. Twilight – Rachel Maddow is very good at political commentary and we do occasionally watch her, though there’s so much political discourse on American TV one easily tires of all the half-baked opinion and immature snipes. Much less of that on Maddow’s show, I agree.
    Must admit Craig Ferguson leaves me cold. Leno’s the only one of the late night bunch, except Jon Stewart, who interests me, and even Stewart’s show contains a few characters it would be better without. I do like John Oliver most of the time.
    Not sure why you find Leno ‘creepy’? 😉

    TOB – why do I get the distinct feeling you hold a similar opinion of American TV to mine?

  4. Now that I have the 900 channel universe at my disposal, RJA, there is very little to watch. I do love Jon Stewart and some local public programming but have to admit I’ve disliked Leno from day one. Intensely. He butters his own bread politically and did advocate the Iraq war and I find his interviewing technique bordering on the sycophantic King.
    I do like Craig and sometimes Kimmel but on the whole the offerings on every single channel are too paltry for my taste.

  5. I don’t know exactly, why I find Leno creepy – something in his attitude, something in his appearance. He reminds me of one of those characters in animated films – not quite flesh and blood. And he’s comes over (to me) as having very little compassion – in my book the worst sin of all for a presenter. 🙂

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