Friday, November 05, 2004

Colin Quinn's Final Repose

Living in Montana last year was boring like late night showings of Tora, Tora, Tora boring. By December I had broken down and bought a TV. But even that wasn't enough, so by March I had cable. Hours of college BB helped for a while. Come summer though, I had started a nightly tradition of sorts. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at midnight, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn at 12:30.

Everyone know about the Daily Show, but not enough people stuck around for what came next. Where Jon Stewart is lovably liberal, Colin Quinn is one of the few New York comics who is unabashedly conservative. And some of his friends were too. Sure, it was more jokes than discussion about world events, but what was so great about it was, they weren't liberal jokes, they were blue collar ones. And not that inane crap you might find courtesy of the Mason-Dixon, Jeff Foxworthy set; these were occasionally offensive, very politically incorrect, blue-collar New York jokes. And it never caught on. It's been quietly cancelled by Comedy Central.

I watched the last episode just a few minutes ago. They openly discussed why the show might have gotten cancelled, and why it never had the ratings of its lead-in. Basically, Tough Crowd had a little too much testosterone, couldn't find good reviews in the liberal Manhattan market, and was too offensive for most people. The shame is, it seems like liberal viewers don't get offended quite so easily when the humor appeals to them (see the Daily Show and Chappelle's Show), but when they don't get the humor, all they see is a racist/sexist/etc comment. So for Tough Crowd to make it, it needed more conservative viewers. But conservative viewers tend to steer clear of offensive or controversial TV altogether. Not finding an audience, Tough Crowd just died.

Tough Crowd was always the common-guy response to the elitist leanings of the Daily Show. That one-two punch was probably my favorite hour on TV. To be honest, Jon Stewart just isn't enough for me. I mean, the man has funny. But he's lost his foil in Colin Quinn. Whereas Jon always has the right comedic phrase for any situation, you can barely understand half of what Colin is saying. They were like that Stevie Wonder song. Only not really.

Maybe I'm making too much out of this. It's just TV. But for the longest time, while in Montana, my midnight hour on Comedy Central was the only time of the day I could just forget about all the crap at work; forget about how all my friends were a 1000 miles away; forget about how civilization was a days drive to the south; forget about how I still didn't have a clue what I wanted to do with my life. It was good. And all I'm saying is, I'll miss it.

That's all.

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