12 votes

How 'Liberal' Late-Night Talk Shows Became a Comedy Sinkhole

4 comments

  1. [4]
    dubteedub Link
    I think the author here has a pretty good take on late night comedy shows being so focused on Trump and repeating the same clips with almost always the same jokes night after night. But as the...

    I think the author here has a pretty good take on late night comedy shows being so focused on Trump and repeating the same clips with almost always the same jokes night after night. But as the author mentioned briefly in the beginning of the article, that same kind of hack political commentary has been a stable for light night comedy for decades and I would say its kind of the point of these shows.

    Yeah, its not great comedy, but these shows are meant to appeal to the lowest common denominator audience for the largest tv networks and they have to do an hour long show every weeknight. There really isn't time for them to come up with some crazy original work or do ground breaking in-depth analyses with their schedule, and if you do want that, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is over on HBO. I would say Samantha Bee is also usually pretty solid in going beyond the standard Trump jokes and clips, again I would argue given she only has 1 night a week and she has more freedom given her show is on a cable network.

    7 votes
    1. [3]
      rkcr Link Parent
      The article does address that point - some original work is killed by execs. Though it is true that if you're pumping out five shows a week it's hard to be super original. The Daily Show (with Jon...

      There really isn't time for them to come up with some crazy original work

      The article does address that point - some original work is killed by execs.

      Though it is true that if you're pumping out five shows a week it's hard to be super original. The Daily Show (with Jon Stewart) had to do that and I'm not quite as rose-glasses about that time as the author. There were plenty of Daily Show duds of shows that were just Jon Stewart yelling at Fox News for 10 minutes.

      3 votes
      1. NaraVara Link Parent
        The Bush administration was also entertaining in more nuanced ways than the Trump administration is. They were more earnest and self-serious, so doing comedy about them takes some level of skill....

        The Bush administration was also entertaining in more nuanced ways than the Trump administration is. They were more earnest and self-serious, so doing comedy about them takes some level of skill. You could only mock Dubya's malapropisms for so long.

        Under the Trump administration, it's already such a clown show that there isn't much comedy to do there. The joke's all basically write themselves and all that's left to do is point and laugh to keep away the tears and rage.

        6 votes
      2. dubteedub Link Parent
        The difference with the Daily Show and Colbert Report was that they also only had 30 minutes to fill. I would also just add that Trump is not just sucking the air out of late night comedy shows,...

        The difference with the Daily Show and Colbert Report was that they also only had 30 minutes to fill.

        I would also just add that Trump is not just sucking the air out of late night comedy shows, he is doing the same with mainstream news as well. Every day is a new piece about some horid Trump policy, some hack GOP politician defending / covering for him, the latest Trump official facing some kind of investigation or resignation, another former staffer going to jail or getting indicted, etc etc etc.

        So if you are doing a monologue every single night covering the latest news stories, while it kind of sucks, but to many Trump is the biggest news every day.

        1 vote