Tag Archives: television

Sesame Street to move to HBO in the fall, at last allowing for more violence and profanity

14 Aug

NEW YORK—in a surprising move, HBO and Sesame Workshop today announced a deal that would see new Sesame Street episodes airing exclusively on HBO, starting this fall.

“We’re delighted to announce our new partnership with HBO,” said Jeffrey Dunn, chief executive of Sesame Workshop. “Not only will this shore up our finances and ensure that we are able to produce original programming in the years ahead, but it will finally allow us to show the dark, gritty side of Sesame Street that we couldn’t use on PBS.”

Like many other producers, Dunn explained that he was looking forward to the “creative freedom” that cable television provided. “We plan to see a lot more hookers and blow next season,” he said. “Our new unconstrained format will allow us to provide educational programming to that underserved demographic, the children of rich white people with pay TV subscriptions.”

An HBO spokesman noted that “we look forward to welcoming Sesame Street to our lineup of award-winning shows, and then to making it really hard to watch and unpleasant, because that’s what great educational television is all about.”

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Kathleen Sebelius to replace Letterman as host of The Late Show

11 Apr

NEW YORK—only days after David Letterman announced his retirement, CBS has moved quickly to replace him, hiring Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to host the long-running show.

“No one has made us laugh more during this past year than Kathleen Sebelius,” said Leslie Moonves, CEO of CBS. “Her track record of practical jokes and absurd humor, always delivered with a straight face, makes her the natural successor to Dave.”

Some critics questioned whether Sebelius’s style was a good fit for late-night television. “While Letterman is known for his top-ten lists and pet tricks, Sebelius is better at long-running satire, like healthcare.gov, or very dry humor, like her claim to Congress that the rollout was going well,” said David Carr of the New York Times.

An as-yet unresolved question was whether Sebelius would host the show in-character as the “Secretary,” her best-known and best-loved persona. “I hope so,” said Carr. “The Secretary is just hilarious.”

Deep fears for America’s competitiveness as Russell Johnson, “The Professor” on Gilligan’s Island, dies at 89

17 Jan

SEATTLE—concern over America’s scientific and engineering capabilities grew today as Russell Johnson, better known as “The Professor” on Gilligan’s Island, died yesterday at age 89.

The cause was a falling coconut, family members reported.

Johnson was well-known for his pioneering ability to build sophisticated telecommunications products using only items commonly found on desert islands. After developing a series of radio receivers out of palm fronds in the 1960s, he went on to develop a range of mobile devices using fish parts, rocks, and native vegetation.

Working before the rise of the venture-capital industry, Johnson’s many startups were funded primarily by longtime friend and neighbor Thurston Howell III, who made a second fortune commercializing Johnson’s many inventions.

Although Johnson had been less active in recent years, he said recently that he felt vindicated to learn that his signature “clamshell” phone was experiencing a resurgence in popularity.

Obama outsources Syria decision to panel of celebrity judges

12 Sep

WASHINGTON–in a surprising about-face, President Obama today announced that he would not be seeking Congressional approval for an attack on Syria after all, but instead would leave the decision to a panel of celebrity judges, who would sift through the evidence around the recent chemical attack and then choose an appropriate response.

“The choice to go to war is the weightiest decision a president can make,” said Obama in a Rose Garden appearance. “So you shouldn’t be surprised to hear that I’m going to punt on it.”

The panel will consist of Oprah, Derek Jeter, Lady Gaga, Ryan Seacrest, Jay-Z, Don Draper, and Secretariat. The president brushed aside criticism noting that Don Draper is a fictional character, and Secretariat is a horse, calling them both “stone-cold badasses” who could be trusted to make the right choice.

According to the rules laid out by the president, if Bashar Assad is unwilling to accept the panel’s recommendation, he will have the ability to perform a physical challenge, as popularized on the old Nickelodeon show “Double Dare.”

Said a spokesman for the Syrian regime, “President Assad has been practicing, and feels particularly confident that he will be asked to perform the ‘Pie in the Pants’ challenge,” which will require him to don oversized clown pants and catch three pies launched by catapult in under thirty seconds. “He also feels very good about the Slopstacle Course,” added the spokesman.

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