Fox News host and extremely funny person Howard Kurtz isn’t too keen on Obama’s recent appearance on “Between Two Ferns.” But unlike some of his Fox News peers, his issue isn’t that Obama has “demeaned the office of the Presidency.”
No. Instead, Kurtz just doesn’t think the video was funny:
But there is a problem when the president does the web show “Funny or Die” with Zach Galifianakis. He wasn’t funny. He died. Which senior administration officials thought this was a good idea? What’s next, driving around with Jerry Seinfeld in “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”?
1) You are perhaps the only person -certainly the only media critic -who thinks this video is not funny.
2) It was Valerie Jarrett who thought this was a good idea, and she’s telling everyone.
3) Obama is not a comedian, but yes, going on Jerry Seinfeld’s web show would actually be a great idea too. It is also funny and beloved of the kids.
More brilliant insights from Old Man Kurtz, after the jump…
With Galifianakis asking him about being the “last black president” and pardoning turkeys, I have to say, this video was a turkey.
About the only semi-humorous line that Obama got off in “Between Two Ferns” was when he was asked if he wished for another term: “If I ran a third time it would be sort of like doing a third ‘Hangover’ movie. Didn’t really work out very well, did it?”
That was actually probably the least funny part of the video. Again, Obama is not really a comedian, so his deadpanning and awkwardness were really the main attraction here -not his one-liners.
Now some folks online found it funny, so maybe I’m in the wrong demo. Some people on Fox thought it was wildly inappropriate, which I think overstates the case. Time’s James Poniewozik calls it “a cringe-humor show whose whole idea is playing off staged discomfort with the guest.”
This is perhaps the most tragic paragraph of this entire “takedown.”
1) “Some folks”? “Wrong demo”? Wait, maybe Howard Kurtz actually is a comic genius and this is a piece of brilliant self-parody. Cuz that totally sounds like something Howard Kurtz would say out loud, but would never get past an editor because it would make people think that he knows nothing about the Internet.
3) Ironically, the standard Fox News “demeans the office” critique is probably the safest one Howie could have made here. But by distinguishing himself from the rest of his Fox cohort, and instead taking the route of cultural critique, Kurtz sets himself up as an authority on what’s funny and what’s not -which is fine, until…
4) …you mistake a description of what the show literally is for someone’s analysis of the show. Then you just reveal yourself to be hopelessly, hopelessly out of touch.
Will it prompt anyone not related to Zach to sign up for health insurance? White House officials say it was the number one source of referrals to the health care site Tuesday. But the jury is out.
Fair enough. You really should have just tweeted out this one sentence, Howie.
It’s good for a president to show his lighter side. Maybe he’s eyeing his next career.
Here’s something Kurtz actually knows a lot about -eyeing his next career move. In fact, we’re pretty sure that’s what he spent a good portion of his last days at CNN doing -they certainly weren’t spent putting time and effort into his show.
You have to wonder -would Howie even be attempting this flailing, grasping critique of a medium he simply doesn’t understand if he wasn’t now at Fox? We doubt it. But then again, would Fox have even hired him if he wasn’t willing to put himself out there as the one media critic brave enough to say “I just don’t get it?” We doubt that too.
After all, that’s what the vast majority of Fox’s audience must be thinking right about now.