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John Oliver’s New Take on the News-Comedy Genre

John OliverVariety examines how HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” fits into the news-comedy landscape, concluding that Oliver’s show is “shaking up the genre anew, providing a sort of investigative journalism that is not seen in any of the other comedy-news hybrids on the air”:

In recent weeks, Oliver has presented a segment lasting than 13 minutes on the “net neutrality” debate and one of more than 16 minutes about the troubles of dietary supplements pitched by luminaries such as Dr. Oz. He eviscerated FIFA, the governing body behind the World Cup, in a bit lasting 13 minutes and 14 seconds, according to a video posting from HBO on YouTube.

How different are Oliver’s content pieces? The typical segment on the often hard-hitting “60 Minutes” typically comes in between 11 minutes and 13 minutes, according to a spokesman for the CBS newsmagazine. Producers at “Last Week Tonight,” declined through an HBO spokeswoman to comment.

“I see Oliver as the next logical extension of the genre,” said Dannagal Young, an assistant professor at the University of Delaware who studies the use of political satire. Oliver, she said, “is going beyond traditional satire to give audience members specific directives that allow them to take action on the issues he deconstructs on the show.”

At the TVNewser Show in April, Fox News’ Bret Baier praised Oliver for his coverage of the elections in India: “After I saw that, I said ‘we are dropping the ball on that coverage.’ And it’s something that people, I think, need to know about, just for the betterment of us,” he said.

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Jon Stewart Has Something to Say About the ‘Exclusive’ Hillary Clinton Interviews

After Hillary Clinton wrapped up the television interviews for her book tour this week, Jon Stewart poked fun at CNN and Fox News, both of which called their interviews “exclusive” — despite the fact that Clinton talked to the two networks back-to-back on the same day.

“Wow, imagine that! Two news networks expressly promoting exclusives with Hillary Clinton … on the same day! It’s like words have no meaning anymore,” Stewart quipped. “But good get! They should be proud of themselves to score an exclusive interview with the Salinger-like recluse Hillary Clinton, a woman who’s secretive nationwide book tour had restricted her access to NBC, CBS, ABC twice, and the Arltington, Virginia Costco.” Watch:

[h/t Washington Post]

Stephen Colbert to Jay Carney: When are You and Jonathan Karl Going to ‘Get a Room?’

CarneyIn his final 24 hours as Press Secretary, Jay Carney answered questions from Stephen Colbert—including what his post-White House relationship will be with one of his most prominent sparring partners.

“You two had some tense moments,” Colbert said of the occasional barbs traded between Carney and ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl in the briefing room.

“When are you guys gonna just get a room?” Colbert followed up.

Carney answered that Karl and other White House correspondents are just doing their jobs when grilling him on politics of the day. Last month, Karl told us “of course” he’d miss Carney, and “it was never personal” between he and Jay.

WATCH:

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Jason Biggs Thinks ‘Good Morning America’ Has ‘Sticks Firmly Inserted Up Their…’

Actor Jason Biggs has no qualms about sharing his wife’s birthing process on social media, and wants “Good Morning America” to know it.

“People thought that this was too much…people apparently with sticks firmly inserted up their a**holes, including the wonderful people at ‘Good Morning America,’ who decided to bring in a panel of experts [on celebrity oversharing],” Biggs said last night on “Chelsea Lately.”

The “Orange Is the New Black” actor called it ridiculous that “GMA” allotted time and experts to the subject.  “What makes you an expert on oversharing by the way? Do you get a Ph.D in oversharing?”

Brian Williams Raps ‘Baby Got Back’

It’s probably a good thing Jimmy Fallon is 1,000 miles away from 30 Rock this week. As he kicked off a week of shows from Orlando, the “Tonight Show” host debuted another Brian Williams mash-up. This time, Williams rapped Sir Mix-A-Lot’s classic “Baby Got Back,” with an assist from Kathie Lee Gifford and some other familiar NBCNewsers.

A few months ago, Williams went on the “Tonight Show” to make clear he doesn’t knowingly participate in the Fallon videos. “You’ve done this to me 7 times!” Williams said. “We’ve done this for you,” Fallon shot back.

Anderson Cooper’s ‘Mini Cooper’ Gets a Friend

CooperDollAnderson Cooper arrived to guest host “Live with Kelly and Michael” this morning with a surprise for Kelly Ripa: her very own version of the CNN host’s “mini Cooper.”

Cooper had the mini-Kelly created by the same viewer who made his doll last year, pointing out that Kelly has been “obsessed with” the mini-Cooper. Kelly’s version features a custom-made Diane Von Furstenberg dress and a pair of Miu Miu shoes that Ripa actually owns. “This is the best I’ve ever looked, by the way,” Kelly joked. WATCH:

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David Letterman’s Sunday Show Lookalike is…

On “The Late Show” this week, David Letterman revealed he often gets mistaken for one of the Sunday show hosts. “I can’t go anywhere — honestly, every time I go out, people think I’m Bob Schieffer,” Letterman said. “It’s crazy. ” Watch:

“This sort of thing happens to me all the time,” Schieffer tweeted at Letterman in response. “I just say I am whoever they want me to be!”

Stephen Colbert: ‘Clearly I Must Work Harder at Informing You Less’

On “The Colbert Report” this week, Stephen Colbert responded to a study that found his viewers were better informed about campaign finance than viewers of the major news networks. “I did a better job informing the public about campaign finance reform than every other news organization. And CNN,” Colbert joked.

Interestingly enough, Colbert played clips poking fun at all the major news networks except for his future home, CBS. The CBS logo was also excluded from an over-the-shoulder graphic displaying all the broadcast and cable networks’ logos.

“I never intended to be an educator. What’s next, getting paid like one?” Colbert said. “…Clearly I must work harder at informing you less.” Watch:

Matt Lauer to Jimmy Fallon: ‘I Gotta Get Up Early for the ‘Today’ Show, so Cut the Bullsh*t’

Popping up on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” last night, Matt Lauer grew tired of Fallon ignoring his audience’s wishes.

“Stop beating around the bush, listen to your audience, listen to that man…it’s for his wife,” Lauer implored Fallon, who had been declining his audience’s request to perform the “Gangnam Style” dance.

“I gotta get up early for the ‘Today’ show, so cut the bullsh*t,” Lauer said, raising a boom box with the song blaring. Jimmy finally caved, but didn’t quite meet Lauer’s performance standards.

Is Stephen Colbert More Informative Than TV News?

stephen colbert_304x200Informative might not be the first description that comes to mind when mentioning Stephen Colbert, but a new study suggests his activism during the 2012 presidential cycle trumped TV news.

Apparently, Colbert’s satirical super PAC and faux 2012 presidential campaign did more to inform viewers on campaign finance laws than major news outlets.

According to the authors of a University of Pennsylvania study, watching “The Colbert Report” served as “an extended civics lesson” compared to CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, broadcast evening news, talk radio, and newspapers.

“Colbert did better than any other news source at teaching,” Bruce W. Hardy, the lead author of the study, said. “There were two reasons. First was the narrative structure. He walked us through creating a super PAC and every episode was a continuation of that story. And second was the use of humor and satire.”

1,232 adults over 18 were surveyed over the phone for the study, which took place between December 13, 2012 and December 23, 2012.

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