Lesson #47 in How to Run a Dog of a Webzine Yet Still Pull in Enough Undiscerning Readers To Stay Afloat: Publish an article about how this year's (um) "best" comedic attempts -- from "My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss" to "The Joe Schmo Show" -- actually showed respect for thinking adults. And I quote:
After years of turning to soggy, reheated "Saturday Night Live" sketches for our comic fix, after years of renting the same Monty Python movies and watching as shows like "In Living Color" and "Kids in the Hall" came and went, 2004 was the year that satire sank its razor-sharp teeth into a mainstream audience. Scathing, sophisticated humor seemed to spring up all over the place, from trusted old friends like "The Daily Show," "Doonesbury" and the Onion, to unexpected and bold new sources like "My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss" and "Team America." Suddenly nuanced, even odd humor is warmly embraced -- and not just by stoners and comedy enthusiasts who can recite the punch lines from every Mel Brooks movie ever made. From the bold and bizarre comic stylings of David Chappelle to the strange postmodern twists and turns of "The Joe Schmo Show," we were finally -- after what feels like a lifetime of Adam Sandler vehicles -- treated to comedy that wasn't targeted at an 8-year-old audience. But how did we go from fielding a steady flow of insipid comedies starring Tim Allen (who keeps hiring that man?) to watching Ali G quiz Pat Buchanan about whether or not Iraq has "BLTs"?
Now, I won't argue that Chapelle and Ali G are funny (brilliant, no, but yeah, they induce laughs). What I will say is that anyone who runs a piece about how extraordinary and adult-respecting this year's comedic entertainments have been is clearly just trying to win over the people who both produce and consume such mediocrity. Adam Sandler may be childish, his films low-brow and less than challenging, but if Salon doesn't think stuff of that caliber (or lower) didn't make up the majority of this year's entertainment fodder, than it deserves the financial problems it will endure forever.