While I turn to The Daily Show for a bit of humor and perspective, it seems that Mr. Stewart and his merry band are dropping a growing number of bleeped out f-bombs every evening. I suppose after two years of election coverage, the writers have got to be getting a bit burnt out (not that candidates aren't gift wrapping new material every day) so perhaps those bleeps are simply a sign of comedic exhaustion. It's an easy laugh because that's one of those words that still isn't allowed to appear on basic cable or broadcast TV after 11 PM.
On Tuesday, it was Stewart going off on the "pro-America/anti-America" statements from Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and Nancy Pfotenhauer, leading to a rousing "What the phuck?" Tonight it was a segment called "Who the f*@k is that guy?", a look at the growing ranks of interchangeable political pundits and strategists for hire on the news programs.
Don't get me wrong. I'm as much a fan of a well-timed and well-placed f-bomb as the next person and I've been known to let one fly when appropriate. It's an extraordinarily versatile word (listen to this brief language lesson if you want proof). However, its value comes from the shock of its appearance.
I remember seeing Beverly Hills Cop as a kid and thinking it was one of the funniest things I'd ever seen because you never knew when Eddie Murphy was going to hit you with another bomb or other swear in some totally inappropriate situation. The second time I saw it...not funny at all. The shock value was gone. I knew when the bombs were going to explode, and it just didn't work anymore.
And so it's going with The Daily Show. So to the writers at The Daily Show, I beg, "Don't get lazy, folks! We depend on you to puncture the inflated, to expose the absurd, and to help keep us somewhat sane as this interminable election season slowly, painfully grinds to a weary end."