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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Huh? What? “Glenn Beck comedy show”?

Words fail:

NEW YORK (AP) — Glenn Beck, Fox News Channel’s latest sensation, is taking a comedy show on the road for six live performances over six days during the first week of June.

Beck calls his act a “poor man’s Seinfeld” and intends to mix topical humor with his modern-day reimagining of Thomas Paine’s 1776 pamphlet “Common Sense.”

The radio and TV talk show host will start June 1 in Denver, then perform in theaters in Phoenix, San Diego, Kansas City, Houston and Richmond, Va., over the next five days, he said. The Kansas City show on June 4 will air as a live simulcast in select theaters across the country and as a recorded broadcast in theaters a week later, a spokesman for Beck said.

I assume Beck’s humor will consist of his usual schtick — as Jon Stewart calls it, “speaking crazy to power.” I also assume Beck realizes that most of his audience will have not the foggiest idea who Thomas Paine is.

But I have so many questions, too. If Beck is a standup comedian, why does he have a regular berth on Fox News Channel, and does this mean that even Fox News is now admitting that it’s all a joke? And if that’s the case, then should we start referring to Comedy Central as CCNews? Or do Stewart and Stephen Colbert remain “merely” comedians, not journalists given the benefit of a certain doubt? Why does the AP article linked above read more like a press release than a news story? (Beck has “become a favorite target for Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert to lampoon, and been criticized by liberals for over-the-top criticisms of President Barack Obama.” See, it’s not that Beck actually is over-the-top, just that wacky libs say he is. And no, you don’t need any examples of the kinds of things Beck proudly says on his show so you can judge for yourself.)

Mostly, though, I have to wonder: Huh? What? “Glenn Beck comedy show”? How will anyone know the difference? Will he actually be funny?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me.)



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  • bitchen frizzy

    –“Will he actually be funny?”

    That’s the question, isn’t it? If he’s funny, he’s funny.

    –“If Beck is a standup comedian, why does he have a regular berth on Fox News Channel, and does this mean that even Fox News is now admitting that it’s all a joke?”

    Why not? You’re not implying that journalists are inherently humorless, are you? :)

    If Al Franken can be a Democratic Senator, does that mean that the congressional Democrats are a joke?

  • Katie Dvorak

    Perhaps his recent behavior – ya know, the absolute insane behavior – is just him rehearsing a few acts for the “comedy show”.

  • AJP

    It probably is a press release, the AP has been simply takine company press releases and putting them out as news for a while. Hiring actual journalists who write original stories costs money, but regurgitating a press release is basically free.

  • Chris

    “But I have so many questions, too. If Beck is a standup comedian, why does he have a regular berth on Fox News Channel, and does this mean that even Fox News is now admitting that it’s all a joke? ”

    Come on now. I dont see anyone rushing out to tear down Keith Olbermann who seems to think everything he doesnt agree with is a joke or the most evil act against mankind, nor do I see anyone questioning the seriousness of Senator Al Franken just because he is a former sketch comedian. Glen Beck has been doing tours like this for years, the difference though is that you have never noticed because he was on Headline News where as now he is on center of liberal hate, Fox News. I dont agree with anything the man says but talking about this like its some big deal just seems like a waste of good thoughts.

  • JoshB

    I dont see anyone rushing out to tear down Keith Olbermann

    I’ll tear down Olbermann. He’s no more a journalist than Beck or O’Reilly. The differences are that he’s actually funny (though not as funny as the CCNews duo), and he takes himself with a grain of salt.

  • Der Bruno Stroszek

    The thing that really annoys me about Beck trying to take on the mantle of Thomas Paine is that if Paine was around nowadays, you just know that Fox News would be smearing him as a sinister, godless Euro trying to destroy our way of life. Remember when Mike Huckabee gave that speech at the Republican National Convention last year fretting that Barack Obama had brought “European ideas” home through customs from his world tour? Those “European ideas” were vital for America’s foundation. Though I suppose Beck is a Mormon; if you’re prepared to believe Christianity originated in America, you should have no problem retconning Thomas Paine into a proto-Republican.

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