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The election and the end of funny TV
No matter who wins the election, TV comedy and news will lose
 

If “you can’t wait for Election Day to be over,” said Joal Ryan in E! Online, you clearly don’t work for “Saturday Night Live" (click for NBC video). Or for Jon Stewart, Tina Fey, David Letterman, Fox News, MSNBC, “The View,” or “any other TV show or TV star that, in a fall of crushing economic news, has gotten fat off the presidential campaign.” This election has produced huge ratings boosts for cable news and political comedy shows, but the fun's over come Wednesday.

Yes, “it’s all fun and games until someone gets elected,” said Tim Goodman in the San Francisco Chronicle. But the election won’t hit all shows equally. Stewart’s “The Daily Show” will “remain vitally important and relevant” no matter who wins. But after being “revitalized” by Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin, “‘Saturday Night Live’ immediately goes back to being unwatchable.”

That may be for the best, said Thomas Schaller in Salon. “Our perverse Palin-mania revealed a deeply felt need for a humorous escape from a broken government and financial system,” and for all the good political comedy this year, “now is a very unfunny time for America.” Hopefully, what’s bad for the “satirical industrial complex” will be good for the rest of us.

 

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