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Posts Tagged ‘DL Hughley’

“Dork” Abrams Hosts “Cool Kids” Comedy Writers

abrams_10-21.jpgLeaving the home of Saturday Night Live, MSNBC’s Dan Abrams hosted a lively panel of comedy writers at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater last night. “Pencils Down: America’s Funniest Writers Talk Politics,” which was a 23/6 event, took place in front of a standing-room only audience.

Abrams, sporting a five o’clock shadow, joked with the comedians, “Don’t feel actually obligated to answer my questions.”

He brought up the big role comedy is playing in the election coverage this year — with Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show and more. “The mainstream media are the dorks who want to be associated with the cool kids,” said Abrams, as the panel agreed.

Giving some insight into The Daily Show, writer Kevin Bleyer told the crowd that the show has what equates to an ombudsman and, while focusing on accuracy, the writers want the jokes to be, “justified, not just accurate.”

With the new DL Hughley CNN show starting on Saturday, Red Eye on Fox News and Headline News’ Not Just Another Cable News Show, comedy/news hybrids are popping up. But, as Abrams noted, one that left was FNC’s Half Hour News Hour, which, “was just awful.”

Around 9pmET, as the Q&A was under way, panelist Baratunde Thurston of The Onion joked, “So, what’s the Verdict, Dan?”

“Well, you know, I’m so glad you brought that up,” said Abrams.

“The election has never before been seen through the prism of comedians,” Abrams told us after the panel. “There’s a deep sense the news media is sort of saying, ‘My big brother can play great baseball.”

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Comedy News Network?

Yes, the cable news channels have gotten funnier over the years. Sometimes it happens without even trying and sometimes they just try too hard. But a comedian getting his own cable news show? That’s news.

Fox News tried news-omedy with Half Hour News Hour (canceled) and keeps some overnight viewers laughing with Red Eye; Headline News injects humor in to Not Just Another Cable News Show; and MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann is funny, when it’s not drenched in politics.

Yesterday, CNN announced it is adding comedian DL Hughley to the lineup. Network president Jon Klein told Variety, “The basic premise of the show is, what if a guy like him was let loose in the CNN building for a weekend after the lights went off?”

That’s quite a change in tone from 15 months ago when Klein described CNN’s mission at the TCA Press Tour: “We committed ourselves a couple of years ago to really being a news channel, and that means covering the breaking news, and also providing more insight into what’s going on in the world,” Klein said.

Breaking news, insight and a comedic take on the news. Can they do it all? Maybe. The bigger question is, will people watch a comedian on CNN?

Will You Watch DL Hughley’s New CNN Show?
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