Sorry, Jon Stewart, but Sean Hannity is the king of television comedy.
Yes, of course, “The Daily Show” is hilarious.
But the Emmy Award-winning Comedy Central program featuring Stewart’s cutting comments on the foibles of campaigners for president and spot-on parodies of network election coverage by his crew of fake news reporters is just too intellectually advanced. If you want to see fall-down funny political humor on cable television, click over to the Fox News Channel and watch Hannity “interview” members of the Republican ticket.
No, Hannity does not fashion himself a comic. He doesn’t even know he’s funny.
It is that unintended quality that makes Hannity’s “interviews” so remarkably ridiculous that it is impossible not to laugh. When the men who run the country come on his show — as they have been for “energize-the-base” appearances in recent days — Hannity greets them with a demeanor reminiscent of the “Wayne’s World” guys falling to their knees before Alice Cooper and crying, “We are not worthy!”
There will be those who suggest that it is unfair to pick on Hannity because, as a Fox host, he is not supposed to be concerned about his credibility as a television interviewer. But Hannity’s “interviews” are not Fox bad, they are William Shatner singing “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” bad.
Hannity’s suck-up session with Vice President Dick Cheney last Thursday was so syrupy that it made those Julia Roberts celebrity interviews on “Entertainment Tonight” look like Prime Minister’s Question Time in the English House of Commons.
Hannity, the wide-eyed conservative who is paired up with in-his-place “liberal” Alan Colmes on Fox’s creepily amusing “Hannity & Colmes” show, did not so much fawn over the vice president as desperately beg the big guy for approval. Hannity wasn’t merely tossing softball questions; he was playing up to Cheney like a half-wit intern trying to get on the good side of an annoyed boss.
“Well, here you are in the all-important swing state of Ohio,” Hannity began.
“Right,” Cheney replied.
“The president yesterday mentioned the shameless scare tactics that are being used by the Democrats and more particularly John Kerry, who is now on the stump regularly saying that there’s a big January surprise,” Hannity said, referring to talk of privatization of Social Security.