November 26, 2003


I try very hard to avoid television. So much of it is utter rubbish. My favorite programs are also my favorite channels. That is, CSPAN 1 and CSPAN 2. Mainly BookTV and BookNotes.

In the past year I also kind of got swept up into heading to the television at 11pm to catch Comedy Central's The Daily Show. Problem with this show is, it's not always funny. When it is funny, it is the best thing on television. When it isn't funny, it's just another Comedy Central waste of time after which you feel hustled.

Another problem -- worse, even -- is that you never know if it's going to be a new show or not. The show runs four nights a week. Each night, when the show begins, the very first thing you see is a date, and an announcer reads off the date. The rule is, if you see and hear the date, you know what you're about to watch is a new show with fresh content. If on the other hand ComedyCentral goes straight into start of the show, with The Daily Show title segment, you know it's a rerun. Reruns of The Daily Show tend to be about as funny as two-week-old comics that you already read in the old Sunday paper. Unfortunately, The Daily Show takes a lot of vacations (or has budget problems) because increasingly, they show reruns. This is not a good sign.

I'm also noticing they're featuring more Hollywood starlets or glamour models as the guest interviews for the latter half of the show. This is a major clue that the show is hurting. Anyone who watched and loved ComedyCentral's Battlebots knows that when Carmen Electra arrived on the scene, the show was soon kaput.

Lately three words come to mind when I think of the three-word phrase, "the daily show." The three words that come to mind are "jumped the shark."

When I think about whether that's true or not, that is, whether The Daily Show has jumped the shark, I think, well, if I have reached the point of wondering whether The Daily Show has jumped the shark, maybe it has indeed jumped the shark . . .

Posted by brian at November 26, 2003 06:30 PM

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