My vote goes for NPR’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” a decent news quiz show spoiled by the horrific spectacle of NPR personalities trying to be funny. The host has a braying type of laugh reminiscent of a hiccupping donkey and on this morning’s show I was treated to the indescribable experience of listening to a roomful of NPR correspondents try to outdo each other with their Jerry Lewis impressions. It’s enough to make you rip up your pledge check.
Even though I like NPR (hey, they brought me Red Green and other alternative stuff), some of it is pretty feeble.
I love the SNL parody of NPR programs, even thought it makes me wince through the laughter. Two spectacularly bland and atonal ladies, really nice but really boring, hesitantly discuss knitting patterns, etc. It’s cruel but dead-on humor.
That said, I listen to NPR a lot. Morning Edition is interesting, though a bit precious at times, and I adore Car Talk. And I’ll take the pretension and classical music over shock-jock-wannabe dreck with 10 minutes of actual music any day.
BTW, ever catch the CBC? (Now, Canucks, relax!) I once spent an endless (8 hour) night drive to the maritimes listening to a Brit import on roses. Now that was deadly. But in fairness, some of the Brit game shows are light years ahead in pure interest, pace and erudition. So it was probably a program scheduling thing, okay?
(Sadly, this entire rambling post was not intended as a parody of NPR discussions. I’m really this boring.)
Granted, some of the NPR programs aren’t very good, but what’s any better? On the commercial radio stations, you can listen to a) music or b) music surrounded by some DJ’s making obnoxious comments. I’ll take NPR’s mix of mediocre to excellent programs instead. (Actually, recently I’ve started buying discounted Superstar Teacher tapes and using my time in my car learning things.)
I never thought that “The Delicious Dish”, the Saturday Night Live parody of an NPR program, made much sense. What show is it supposed to be parodying? It’s vaguely like some of the cooking shows that PRB uses to fill their Saturday and Sunday afternoons (when they know they’re going to get low ratings anyway, so they don’t care), but it doesn’t really resemble any of the programs on NPR. When Saturday Night Live parodies TV programs, they parody real programs like Nightline, Larry King Live, or Jerry Springer. Why can’t they at least parody a real NPR program instead of making up one that doesn’t sound like any real program?
I always thought they were parodying “The Splendid Table”. I don’t listen to that show very frequently, nor do I watch SNL very much, so I can’t say for certain. However, the first time my brother heard “The Splendid Table” he was laughing uncontrollably from how much it resembled the SNL parody.
I agree about “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me”. The questions are interesting and the banter sucks untrimmed rooster toenail. The worst is that dude from Esquire. The worst stuff in the world comes from Esquire, or so I thought until I saw ads for FHM.
But I digress. The funniest thing about NPR is the names of the people and their voices. I think it’s really great when that woman who does The Splendid Table moans ecstatically at descriptions of bean soup. The names are funny in combination (some of these are Oregon Public Broadcasting names, I just forget which are which). Corva Coleman and Cory Flintoff. Ira Glass and Ira Flayto (sp?). And the best of all is Nor Romm (sp?), who broadcasts for See Pro (sp?). “This Nor Romm with See Pro.” Huh? Say that again…
Carl Kassel (sp?) has a great voice, but sometimes it really sounds like his tongue is too thick.
Any similarity in the above text to an English word or phrase is purely coincidental.
I’m probably the only SDer who actually likes Wait, wait, don’t tell me. I agree that most of the panel shouldn’t quit their day jobs to do stand up but it works for me on a Saturday morning. Ira Glass’ This American Life cheers me up so I must be weird. That reminds me I need to get my tickets for Prairie Home Companion for when it comes to Phoenix.
I think the “Nor Romm” you’re talking about is Nora Romm (or something like that). “See Pro”? That might be a mumbled Seattle Public Radio. I don’t understand why you think the names are so funny. Cory Flintof, Ira Glass, Ira Flatow - I assume that these are Jewish or Eastern European names, no funnier than Ted Kopple. Some of the other odd names are their correspondents in foreign cities, who are often local people who also do reporting for the BBC.
NPR jobs pay pretty poor, incidentally, compared to how widely the shows are broadcast. A hot DJ in a local market makes $200,000 a year, while the people you’ve named make $70,000 to $90,000.