The CNN reboot was supposed to go for serious news. Instead, it’s going to be a joke. Since CNN is already a joke, perhaps the idea is getting the audience to laugh with the failed news network, not at it.
CNN is considering hiring a comedian to host one of its prime time shows.
The “news entertainment” personality could fill the primetime 9 to 11 p.m. hours with a nontraditional version of the news, five people familiar with the planning said. CNN executives have floated names including Bill Maher, Trevor Noah, Arsenio Hall, and Jon Stewart, and have looked at other comedic news-focused talk shows for inspiration.
Trevor Noah abandoned the Daily Show. And most of the Daily Show imitators have collapsed apart from John Oliver’s perpetual HBO smirk. For a while there were 5 and now there are hardly any. Jon Stewart all but abandoned the genre in his Apple TV comeback which has been a miserable failure.
Turning lefty agitprop into a bunch of punchlines delivered with a raised eyebrow was an effective counter to post-9/11 patriotism and seriousness. But it’s faded away, along with most comedy, because woke zoomers are particularly incapable of grasping humor more sophisticated than hurling insults at opponents. That’s why SNL has become a pathetic humorless virtue-signaling fest.
Why would Noah or Stewart go back to doing what even they don’t want to do anymore? For CNN? Which couldn’t even begin to pay them enough. Bill Maher has his sweet spot and I’m not sure anyone needs an Arsenio comeback.
CNN president Chris Licht hinted at his desire to sign Stewart in an interview last year with the New York Times, saying he’d love to bring on the former late night host, but Stewart remains under contract with Apple.
Licht claims that he wants to be serious, but he was also working for Stephen Colbert. And Colbert, like Stewart and Noah, got the hell out. That should have been a message. There’s no further market for smirking at your opponent while reading headlines with bad puns. Like goldfish swallowing and patches, it’s done.
But then so is CNN.