Game show gives new meaning to “buzzing in.”
By Jake Rehm
Over the years, Comedy Central has provided us with some pretty classy shows. South Park and The Daily Show have so captivated mainstream America that it is hard to go a day without hearing about something new and controversial one of these shows is responsible for (Tom Cruise, you know what I’m talking about).
However, aside from the hilarious Win Ben Stein’s Money, the channel has come up somewhat short in providing the traditional viewer with a game-type show. It makes sense when you think about it. After all, how many of your fellow EWU students get excited at the thought of watching shows like Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy? Perhaps a few, but I’m willing to bet not as many as who would rather watch an old episode of Chappelle’s Show.
The closest thing we would be willing to watch that would involve contestants duking it out over a prize either involves the letters NFL, MLB, NCAA, etc., or some crazy person who is willing to eat fermented horse nasal passages for the opportunity to win $50,000 on extreme shows like Fear Factor.
Regardless of what the reasons are, it’s easy to assume that most of this country’s popular game shows are aimed at the working class individual who gets off of work at 5:00 p.m., gets home at 5:30 p.m., and eats dinner as they watch Pat Sajak. Not exactly the same crowd who would enjoy a wholesome episode of Drawn Together.
Well, my fellow students, Comedy Central has done it yet again. They’ve not only created a game show that involves people going to great lengths to win, but they do so in a manner that one would only expect from such a volatile channel. This, of course, is the outlandish Distraction.
Hosted by Jimmy Carr, Distraction is to game shows what South Park was and is to traditional animated sitcoms.
In a nutshell, you have one English comedian for a host, four contestants who must answer a variety of questions in order to win the prize (usually a new car), and some of the funniest methods of play that have ever been put on television all at the same time.
Though the questions that Jimmy Carr asks aren’t exactly the most difficult to answer (typical questions involve mainstream topics such as movies, gossip, sports, etc.), some of the ways in which the contestants must chime in to answer the question are what make this show so funny. Some grand examples of this show’s profoundity include contestants having to sit on a toilet while attempting to answer questions. The catch is, that even if the contestant knows the answer, he or she must urinate enough for a sensor to pick it up and let Jimmy Carr know they were “ringing in.”
Another great example would include the episode in which contestants had to constantly wrap rubber bands around their face while they tried to answer correctly.
Contestants fight like wolves to answer questions while doing their absolute best to not get distracted by their own humiliation to a national audience. Not only that, but they have to endure the extremely dry, but hilarious, commentary that one would expect from an English comedian such as Carr.
In short, South Park will probably end up with higher ratings compared to Distraction, but for those students who never were interested in game shows, this is probably your best chance to become part of that audience, while at the same time laughing your rear end off.
Comedy Central’s crude cartoon reality show crosses line from funny to wrong
By Sophie Swecker
Student Life Editor
After getting a NC-17 rating slapped on their first movie, Orgasmo, for a scene where an ex-porn star mentions “fisting,” Trey Parker and Matt Stone hit gold with a medium that allowed them to get away with virtually anything on cable TV: cartoons.
Since then, South Park’s gross-out humor and mix of social commentary have been supplemented with the wild popularity of shows like Family Guy and American Dad, and Cartoon Network’s entire Adult Swim line-up proved that cartoons weren’t just for kids.
Comedy Central decided to take the trend a step farther last year. Taking the reality show format to the one area of television that it hadn’t yet leaked into, Drawn Together saw what would happen if archetypal characters from different cartoons throughout the years lived together in a house, ala Big Brother.
The show’s characters include Sockbat, a Spongebob Squarepants rip-off, Captain Hero, a heroic albeit perverted and slightly voyeuristic superhero; Foxy Love, former member of a mystery-solving girl band; Princess Clara, a chaste and somewhat bitchy Disney-esque princess; Ling-Ling, a Pokemon rip-off who is mostly fodder for Asian jokes; Toot Braunstein, a fat black-and-white cartoon from the ’50s; Xandir, a gay video game warrior, and Spanky Ham, voiced by Adam Carolla, who, like Corolla is also an asshole.
The writers of Drawn Together have seemingly scoured all other adult cartoons out there to see if there were possibly any lines that haven’t been crossed. The problem is, there haven’t really and that leaves Drawn Together to just make jokes that are crude and tasteless, but not really funny.
For example, in a recent episode, the radiation from Captain Hero’s x-ray vision caused Foxy Love to turn into a racist stereotype. The episode escalated as Foxy was taken to a cartoon death camp where she would be erased for being too offensive, and Captain Hero was stripped of his powers, leaving him confined to a wheelchair. That left Spanky to deliver the moral of the story at the end of the episode, something about how racist stereotypes in cartoons are important because erasing them is kind of like denying the Holocaust. He might have had a point, but what’s really at stake is there aren’t any laughs from something like that.
Crude humor can be funny and often is, but in the case of Drawn Together it’s just tacky. Maybe it’s Adam Corolla, or maybe it’s just that the show doesn’t cover any new ground, but whatever they’re doing, its not working.