Sunday, December 28, 2008

Morning Show Madness

What the hell is wrong with morning news shows lately? Back in high school I'd watch The Today Show every day while getting ready for school, and I seem to remember it being somewhat normal, with Katie, Matt, Al, and Ann having fun but acting like regular human beings, not Bellevue escapees. And then I worked evenings for a while, then went to college and scheduled all my classes around my nocturnal habits, so I went a long time without watching any television before noon. But my current internship requires me to watch a copious amount of morning TV, and holy heck is it all insane. Over on The Today Show, Katie's gone, Matt peaces out halfway through the broadcast, and they've added a fourth hour hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb that regularly devolves into alcohol-fueled shenanigans. And the other morning shows aren't faring much better, either. Here are just a few of the recent wacky morning show clips I've found and edited:

*On Good Morning America, a disgusting demonstration of a Baby Alive doll causes Diane Sawyer to double over in embarrassment while her co-anchor mumbles "I know this is important, it's not good television but I know it's important...". The producer then cuts suddenly and inexplicably to commercial.

*In The Today Show's hilarious fourth hour, Kathie Lee decided to teach the world all about Irish People when Enya comes to visit. Specifically how we all look alike, and how we can all play either the flute or the violin. I took lessons on both when I was a kid, and my kindest act of altruism to date has been the cessation of said lessons. I'm not completely musically hapless, however - I sing very well, which is more than I can say for Kathie Lee, whose lack of pitch doesn't stop her from joining in on a gleeful slaughtering of Silent Night! A week prior, she'd made a joke about rising to fame via the "casting couch" that suddenly doesn't seem so jokeish.

*I've written before about some of the insane stuff on Fox News that I have to watch for my internship, but my favorite by far is their morning show, Fox and Friends. The anchors simply do not give a shit what they say, they're just there to have fun, man! Don't harsh their buzz! Like all media everywhere, they did a piece on Twilight the day it was released. Unlike all media everywhere, they claimed that 81% of all females - "better known as babes" - planned on seeing the movie. They also claimed that most teen girls were turned on to the series by their mothers, which, no. But I found my new favorite Fox and Friends clip on Friday, when a Hooters girl came on to promote something for the restaurant and the anchors pretty much kidnapped her and made her read half the sports update, then dragged her over to the couch for a segment. The girl clearly looks terrified, and as soon as they cut to a graphic for the "annoyance law" segment she flees, and the male anchors instead turn their attention to their female cohort. They begin literally poking her for an awkward amount of time. Later, she has what sounds like some kind of seizure on air while doing a voiceover.

By the way, in case you can't tell, one of my favorite parts of making these videos is finding the perfect still teaser screencap to encapsulate the insanity contained within the clip. If you want to see all the clips I've pulled for Gawker to date, I've been keeping a list here. That list is a mix of clips I was assigned to pull for the editors who needed them and clips I found and pitched myself that the editors chose to pick up for the site, but all of the morning show antics I linked to in this post are ones I found myself.

But that's not all! I put two Fox and Friends clips I pulled that didn't get used up on YouTube. This one is from November 21st, featuring a "new craze" (a dubious claim at best) called chain surfing, which involves jumping on a chain and trying not to fall off. It's about as safe as it sounds and I can only assume the F+F crew is trying to force the hand of Darwin and kill off some of their less intelligent viewers. (Does Fox even believe in evolution?) At any rate, the best part is at the end, when one of the anchors calls the weatherman "white boy" which serves only to confuse the oft-confused weatherman:

This next one is from December 12th, when Fox and Friends took a moment out of reporting the "news" to reassert their douche supremacy. Apparently, McDonald's put an anti-Starbucks billboard in front of Starbucks HQ in Seattle, and the Fox and Friends anchors would like to remind you that they pulled the same lame move first, with CNN, in Atlanta, back in who the hell cares because these people are insane:

I don't know when it became mandatory for morning news show anchors to drop a boatload of peyote before going on air, but clearly it's something that reaches across all channels. Look for Fox and Friends to do a trend piece on it in 2009.


Sex Mahoney for President said...

I think the reason I prefer the evening is so I can sleep through TV in the morning. All these things sound horrible if you're just waking up, but hilarious if you're just getting to sleep. Maybe TV market research focuses on third shift speed freaks and the chronically unemployed.

smd said...

See, that's the thing, whenever I watch these shows I wonder who the target audience is exactly. Because they're all relatively normal up until 8 a.m. or so, when people are watching as they get ready for work or school. But after that they slowly lose their marbles. So who's watching then? Third shift speed freaks, chronically unemployed, bloggers, stay at home moms, and rich ladies. So yeah, I guess the madness is right on target then.