Sunday, November 15, 2009

     Comedy Central tends to give most shows only a season or two, and this fall is shaping up to be no different.  Two new shows have premiered, The Jeff Dunham Show and Secret Girlfriend, and neither one is shaping up to be a keeper.  Dunham's standup act is hilarious, but broken into twenty minute episodes with skits that send his puppets to the real world, it just falls flat.  There have been a few laugh out loud moments in the first few episodes, but only a few.  It doesn't appear destined to air for long.  Similarly, Secret Girlfriend, while a novel and original idea, just can't hold interest.  Horny teenage guys may drool over it, but once a boy has had a serious girlfriend, or a few hookups, the show should loose interest quickly.  It's little more than filthy softcore porn.  Traditionally, though, the genre has belonged to women, so it's interesting to see a young male's perspective.  However, one episode is plenty.

     These recent failures are not a sign that the network is down for the count.  It has shows like these every year.  It banks on a string of strong, long-running series that continue to deliver.  Jon Stewart has never been funnier, and for anyone who though Stephen Colbert would loose relevance once Bush left office, they were dead wrong.  The dynamic duo keeps late night funny, and still delivers topical political news stories.  Recently, after Walter Kronkite's death, Time Magazine conducted a poll finding Jon Stewart the most trusted newsman in America, beating even Brian Williams, proving that he is more than fluff.  Colbert triumphed again just this month when convincing followers to support the US Speedskating Team.  Not to mention South Park, which after a season or two of mostly duds, which followed some of the best episodes of the series, is fully back to relevance.  Last week there was a great satire on Fox News, among other things, and other recent episodes tackled the meaning of the word fag, dead celebrity ghosts, prostitution, Japanese fishing, and wrestling.  The Sarah Silverman Program should also be back soon, and though Reno 911! has ended a six season run, the network will be bringing back new episodes of Futurama, six years after Fox cancelled it.

     What will be Comedy Central's next big hit?  Afterall, there tend to be about a dozen or two flops in between each successful show.  Luckily, the network seems to have the resources to keep trying, and part of the fun in seeing what they come up with next, even if you have to wade through garbage to find it.

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