The Onion has succeeded well providing the fake news in print and on the Internet. But in making a foray onto TV, they faced an obvious problem – there is no shortage of fake news on TV. Between the one-two punch of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, plus “Weekend Update” and Fox News, America’s fake newshole is filled.
So they made a move that at least sounds smart at first – they went not for news news, but for sports news. Onion SportsDome is a mocking take on SportsCenter. Now, this puts me at a stark disadvantage. For one thing, I’ve never watched SportsCenter; no matter how much I might love the behind-the-scenes comedy SportsNight, I’m just not much of a sports guy, and really don’t care about ht news. And that leads to my second problem: I don’t know much of the reality they’re mocking. When the sportsDome anchors throw out a name, I don’t always even know if it’s a made-up athlete or a specific player who has certain attributes that makes the reference funny.
Even if I did know my stuff here, though, I’m not sure I’d really like the show. The delivery rhythm that the two anchors are using is a rapid, flat delivery meant to optimize information conveyed in the time available, which is not ideal for comedy. The show is not without its actual laughs; there was a sharp bit about a handicapped fighter who was being discriminated against because he had solid metal replacement hands – but even then, they didn’t know when to rein it in, offering up a bloody scene that took the effective cartoonish edge off of the humor.
So this is not for me. If you’re a sportshead, it may well be worth a try.