I try to find the TiVoed "Daily Show" from last night, but the Convention got recorded instead. (We'll pick up "The Daily Show" on an early evening repeat.) Oh, here's "The View," not because I TiVo "The View," but because we have "Al Franken" on our TiVo "wish list." So let's see what "The View" is like.
There's a long chattery opening segment about bridesmaids' dresses and Jennifer Lopez, then a long sequence of commercials, after which, we've been promised, "funnyman Al Franken" will appear. But first, they must set the View-style tone by splattering chattishness about. Can't just cut to Al Franken; gotta chat about the Convention to establish a View atmosphere for the discussion. What did the Viewsters think about John Edwards speech last night?
JOY BEHAR: I thought it could have been a little harder. It was a little too nice, I thought. I'm lookin' for some action here. We hadda go to Al Sharpton for the action.Why didn't Edwards even mention Bush?
BEHAR: That's the ultimate dis. You don't even say the person's name. Isn't that what you do with an old boyfriend?Finally, we get Franken, standing by in the empty hall. "Do you think that there's not enough Bush-bashing, Al?"
FRANKEN: Well, not enough for my taste. ... Well, Jimmy Carter hit him pretty hard. ... He said ... John Kerry showed up when he was called to duty, which used to be pretty faint praise, but when you're comparing it to President Bush, it was pretty harsh.Yes. Ouch! Ooh, Jimmy, that hurt!
How's Kerry going to do tonight? Behar warns "if he drones on tonight ..." The Viewster that isn't one of the three I recognize -- I'll call her Viewsterette -- asserts, "He doesn't drone." Is that an idiotic or a smart point? If I had to defend Viewsterette, I'd say that technically what Kerry does is not droning, per se, because it's not an even monotone, there's more of a rhythmic rising and falling of the voice that is just as soporific as a drone, but more fun to imitate.
FRANKEN: There's somewhere between being more charismatic than Bill Clinton and droning on. I think if he gets there ... he wins."Franken, who's kept a straight face so far, breaks into his characteristic smile as he says "there," I think because he realizes he's finally said something that can count as a witticism. He prolongs the joke with busy hand gestures indicating other places on the continuum between "more charismatic than Bill Clinton and droning on." Okay, so much for "funnyman Al Franken."
Enough "View" for me. I can see why people watch that show though. Meredith Vieira does a great job of keeping the pace going even as people appear to be merely chatting like girlfriends at a long lunch, and Joy Behar spikes in with jokes at well-timed intervals. Star Jones fills the spaces with sassy remarks, and the Viewsterette chimes in occasionally just to show that a nonentity -- like the home viewer? -- can be in the group.