Down the Ballot

Monday, September 24, 2012

Election Entertainment: Newsradio

Due to the nature of the season, a lot of stuff on tv or online can get the typical voter and even the  seasoned politico down. You might not realize it, but there is a lot of great election themed television out there from our friends in Hollywood. From now until Election Day I'll profile some of the better election themed television and film out there to view.

The first, is perhaps one of my favorites. It comes from the NBC television show Newsradio. That aired from 1995 to 1999. This show is special for many reasons. The cast was dynamic. Dave Foley, of Kids in the Hall fame, Stephen Root (King of the Hill, Office Space, Star Trek The Next Generation....and many, many more), Maura Tierney (ER, Liar, Liar, Primary Colors), and they are rounded out by Andy Dick, Vicki Lewis, Joe Rogan and Kandi Alexander.

Newsradio is centered around the staff of WNYX New York, a typical AM News program and their eccentric billionaire station owner's crazy antics. Plots usually involved the most grounded of the characters (Dave Foley as the station manager) attempting to get the employees to do work only to end up involved in their zany office and life problems. Station owner Jimmy James (Root) is often in the center of the difficulties in getting focus in the workplace. For much of one season, Mr. James is on the search for a wife. He keeps a large list and is continually adding and crossing off names. In the season 3 opener Mr. James surprisingly announces that he will be a candidate for President in the 1996 presidential race.

The episode is entitled President. In the hilarity of his 7 minute campaign, he challenges his own staff to find any skeletons he has in his closet. He even reveals, "I got so many it's like a skeleton city in there...but you'll never find them". During the press conference Lisa Miller (Tierney) figures out his game when he announces that he is looking for a literal 'running mate'. After he has been found out by the press he drops out of the race.

A fun political episode for the political season. If we can't laugh at this process we'd all probably go mad.

The b-story in this episode deals with Matthew's (Andy Dick) mustache. It gets resolved thanks Phil Hartman.
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