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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

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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