Kent Brockman News
"And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords. I'd like to remind them as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves."If TV writers need cheap exposition, the easiest way is to have a news Show Within a Show do it. Usually, the news anchors provide a Practical Voice Over. Sometimes, they do more than that (see Coincidental Broadcast and News Monopoly). Of course, it gets boring having bland talking heads give information, so animated shows spice up their Practical Voiceover with a little parody. On any show including a fictional newscast intended for adults, you are likely to see anything but a news anchor simply telling the news. Instead, you will see anchors who:
- Bring way too much of their personal life into their discussion of the news.
- Feud with each other, or with the field reporters.
- Have a blatant political bias, and bring it to every story they cover.
- Indulge in bizarre (usually sexual) habits when they think the cameras aren't on.
- Sometimes mutter what they truly think of their audience (thoughts that are downright nasty).
- Try to make their stories more interesting with tortured metaphors and unfunny jokes, with bonus points when it's about something that isn't at all funny.
- Speak in a weirdly smarmy monotone that never changes no matter what the story is (they say "eight hundred people died in an earthquake" and "happy new year" in the same way).
- Similar to the above, react inappropriately, usually with slightly smug laughter, to any sudden (and usually horrific) developments in a way that suggests either sociopathy or a lack of attention being paid to what's going on ("And the beast is coming up Fifth Avenue — oh my God, it's on me! AGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!! OH MY -" "Hahaha, that's great, Eddie.")
- Segue without a beat from a horrific or bizarre story to a "lighter side" one. Especially if we only hear the wrap-up of the horror story. (As in, "... which if true, means death for us all. And now, 'Kent's People!'")
- Facetiously commenting on fashions, cooking or other "lifestyle" matters in front of stills or footage of an ongoing war, or on location in the war zone itself.
- Give some or all of their air time to weird, random stories instead of anything important.
- Ask leading questions to a few favored guests on their show, and ask randomly hostile questions to everybody else.
- Skew any "human interest" stories to allow the most blatant emotional manipulation of their audience.
- Suddenly interrupting the newscast with frivolous new stories, often leading in with "This Just In..."
- Are unable to finish their story because of sudden crises within the newsroom.
- Very visibly could honestly not give two shits about the news, the audience, professionalism or anything to do with his/her job except for his/her ego.
- Directly addresses the specific character watching.
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Anime and Manga
- The characters on Cowboy Bebop sometimes got their info on new bounties from a news show called "Big Shot", which was aimed at bounty hunters. The cowboy hosts were a black man with a Mexican accent ("Punch") and a blonde bimbo ("Judy"). In one of the last Bebop episodes, it's revealed this was all an act:
Punch: We've been cancelled! Adios Amigos!
"Judy", in a very different tone: WHAT?!
- In the next episode, Faye sees Punch picking up his mother at the spaceport, but she cannot figure out why he looks familiar (probably because he doesn't have the weird accent or costume). Note that Punch's weird accent shifted from Mexican to Texan whenever he said the show's various catchphrases - in the sub, he simply said the catchphrases in English.
- Transmetropolitan has enough examples of this to cover the inside of a barn. Just to give an idea, one of the most straightforward and reputable shows in future America is built around its host being a giant, grim, stern, intense, scar-faced, concealed weapon-carrying Violent Glaswegian who's not afraid to bully the president to his face.
- In February 2012 DC Comics' New 52 introduced a line-wide backup strip called Channel 52, about a rolling news channel focusing on superhero-related news. While anchor Bethany Snow seems to be fairly normal (although in previous continuity she was a Brother Blood cultist who hated superheroes), the rest of her team comprises Ambush Bug (roving reporter), Calendar Man (lifestyle) and Vartox (alien affairs and sport). In reverse order, that's one Boisterous Bruiser, one apparently reformed Idiosyncrazy villain, and one guy who's just completely weird.
- Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy had one of these as its main character, although he was a consummate professional until the events of the film take place.
- The Kentucky Fried Movie, where between skits a newscaster would pop up with oddball news flashes like "I'm not wearing any pants, Film At Eleven." And again when he says in the same deadpan tone "Moscow in flames, missiles headed towards New York. Film At Eleven."
- The 1989 Batman featured newscasters on a Gotham City news show, talking about a recent rash of killings by The Joker, when a female newscaster starts laughing uncontrollably and her astonished partner looks on in disbelief, trying to ignore her, before she collapses dead on the ground. Turns out she'd been given a dose of the Joker's poison.
- The two classic movie examples: RoboCop (1987)
Casey Wong: "On the international scene the Amazon nuclear facility has blown its stack irradiating the world's largest rainforest. Environmentalists are calling it a disaster."
Jess Perkins: "But don't they always."See our brave boys and girls on the front line of the bug war! Research on captured Bugs informs us about the enemy! [Censored shot of a bug tearing apart a cow]; Army representatives visit schoolchildren and let them try live ammunition! Join the forces: service guarantees citizenship! Would you like to know MORE?
- Bananas begins with Howard Cosell himself presenting the "live, on-the-spot assassination" of the dictator of San Marcos for Wide World of Sports.
- One of the news anchors in Die Hard speculate that the hostages have developed "Helsinki Syndrome, named after Helsinki, Sweden," and the other corrects him - Helsinki's in Finlandnote . Then the cut back to Nakatomi Plaza shows quite clearly that they're talking out of their asses.
- Bruce Almighty
- Bruce/God's "adjustments" to Evan Baxter's brain reduce Evan to babbling incoherence: "Caca poo poo pee pee…"
- Bruce's own live televised reactions to the news that Evan got the anchor position...
Bruce: Back to you, fuckers!!
- In the Live-action/cartoon movie Osmosis Jones, cellular newscasters get into a brawl against each other as the film peeks into the stressful climax. When the ordeal was over, we see them again, but this time with bandages as a comedic result of their feud.
- Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird has a scene where an anchorman, played by Chevy Chase, reports on the disappearance of Big Bird from his foster family's home in Illinois. He responds to a question by Grover (who is watching the broadcast), has to be corrected by someone offscreen on the pronunciation of the word "sesame", and finally gives the weather report as "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine?" in a completely deadpan tone. It then cuts to Kermit the Frog reporting on the scene, and things just get more Kent Brockman-esque from there...
- In Groundhog Day, this is usually Phil Connors' style of reporting. He has nothing but contempt for Punxsutawney, its people, its festival, and anyone in his TV audience who actually cares about the festival. Part of his Character Development involves him growing out of this, and he eventually gives a genuinely heartwarming speech.
Live Action TV
- On The Weird Al Show, while flipping through channels, Al would always pass by a newscaster (also played by Yankovic) who would be reporting on a mundane, nonsensical, or just plain pointless "story". ("This just in... Ping-Pong spelled backwards is Gnop-Gnip.")
- Red Dwarf used 'Channel 27' News to explain the Better Than Life game. Featured subtle jokes such as having a month called 'Geldof'.
- Miranda Veracruz de la Jolla Cardinal from Married... with Children, who really didn't like her job.
- The improv show Whose Line Is It Anyway? features the game "Weird Newscasters," where the actors perform a quick bit of Kent Brockman News. Not to mention "Newsflash", where the twist is that the 'reporter on the scene' has no idea what he's reporting on. The two "anchors in the studio" usually open the sketch with a vaguely sexual comment before they "realize" the cameras are rolling.
- The spoof news show The Day Today and its documentary spin-off Brass Eye both used pretty much every single one of these tropes.
- The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, spoofs of "traditional" news shows, use these tropes frequently. And were naturally delighted to discover a Real Life example on MSNBC, when anchors segued from footage of a cute jumping squirrel to the Columbine school shooting using the words "On a serious note..."
- They featured another news anchor who detested the silly gimmicks his coworkers kept using - but fell back into this trope from another direction by openly loathing them, and complaining about them on air.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus sent up BBC News in a great many ways. This is helped by the fact that Richard Baker, an actual BBC newscaster, often appeared in this role on the show.
- Jimmy Mcdonald's Canada portrayed a 1960s-era conservative pundit gradually going mad because of the liberalism of the time. The last episode ended with 'technical difficulties' as Jimmy went Ax-Crazy on set.
- In classic first season episodes of Saturday Night Live, Chevy Chase was responsible for the "Weekend Update" news segment. It would always begin with him on the phone with an unidentified lover, saying things like "No, lots of people scream." This is unique in that the implied perversion is at the start of the report, rather than interrupting it.
- From then on, "Weekend Update" has often incorporated this trope; the most memorable examples being those in the Not Ready For Prime Time Players era (seasons 1-5) that had such characters as Roseanne Roseannadanna, and John Belushi's editorials where he started off quite well but then breaks into his trademark catchphrase: But nooooooooo! and goes into a flurry of madness.
- More recent non-"Weekend Update" examples include a reporter (Kristen Wiig as Michelle Dison) who clumsily hits on her attractive female subjects in the middle of interviews, a promo for a Sioux City newscast that brags about being "America's most Youtubed news team", though it turns out to be for things like constant off-color bloopers, and Bill Hader's Herb Welch, an elderly reporter for WXPD New York who antagonizes his interview subjects by whacking them in the mouth with his handheld mic and feuds with the anchor (Jason Sudeikis) during the broadcasts.
- During the Kevin Nealon era, as a Running Gag, a picture of a figure in the news would appear, Kevin would name him, and then Kevin would cut to the next story.
- The Fast Show had a repeating sketch where a news reporter would appear to offer a special report, which was always something inane such as her American friend pronouncing "yogurt" differently. They also had "Chanel Nine" news, which seems to use some elements of this trope. It's hard to tell, since it's done entirely in Foreign Sounding Gibberish.
- Mock the Week has done "Things a newscaster would never say" as an improv sketch, naturally almost entirely composed of examples of Kent Brockman News.
- In the pilot episode of Just Shoot Me!, Maya gets fired from a news program after rewriting the teleprompter so that a pompous anchorwoman says that a decrease of gang violence was due "to the removal of the frontal lobe of my brain. And in related news, I wet myself."
- Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! has a carryover from their previous show Tom Goes to the Mayor in Jan and Wayne Skylar, the "Channel 5 Married News Team". They added John C. Reilly as Dr. Steve Brule (who has since gotten his own bits—and eventually his own show) who provides useless health information.
- Robin on How I Met Your Mother has done numerous silly things on the air: ridiculous Could This Happen to You? stories, Incredibly Lame Puns, and bizarre fluff pieces, especially when Barney's getting her to do a bet. When she transferred to Japan, Robin got to report actual news — with a chimpanzee. Also her job on the morning news show, in which she gives CPR to the weatherman after he and the green screen catches on fire. Then she helps deliver the child of her guest that goes into labor.
- Minor version on Pushing Daisies, where after the Coincidental Broadcast, the follow-up is bizarre: "Up next: kittens on parade!" and "Can apes drive? We'll find out!"
- Drop the Dead Donkey was mostly about the chaos behind the cameras, but occasionally Henry's temper or Sally's idiocy would carry through to the broadcast. There's also Damian's sensationalist field reports (which always resulted in the cameraman being injured).
- Occasionally seen in sitcoms set in TV/radio stations: The Mary Tyler Moore Show, WKRP in Cincinnati, Murphy Brown, NewsRadio, Back to You, etc.
- The cases on Boston Legal are occasionally commented on by outspoken legal analyst Gracie Jane, a parody of Nancy Grace. One episode also featured a reporter named Wolfgang Blitzkrieg.
- Arrested Development has actual Los Angeles Fox News anchor John F. Beard (who also appears in several other Fox shows in the same capacity in a landmark 15 episodes, which ties him with Henry Winkler/Barry Zuckercorn for the most appearances of a cast member/character not featured in every episode.
- "Next up; weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq. Find out what this means for your weekend, after the break."
- An important part of Ken Finkleman's The Newsroom Canada, with Peter Keleghan's Jim Walcott serving as the Brockman.
- Lexx had a recurring anchor for the season set on present-day Earth, whose twin obsessions were fluff pieces and the US stock market.
Bob: Here are some of the stories we're following for tonight's edition of News Plus. The Dow Jones is up 456 points. Firefighters have been called in to retrieve a cat stuck in a power line along I-95 — film at eleven. And Cuba was nuked off the face of the Earth late this afternoon by President Priest, in retaliation for yesterday's evil attack on Orlando. There has been no reaction so far from Havana.
- An episode of The Flip Wilson Show featured Flip and George Carlin in a newscaster skit that allowed Carlin to use this bit (and I'm paraphrasing) "Scientists discovered a new number between 6 and 7. They're calling it bleem."
- Pretty much the entire news team in Back to You.
- In the Monk episode "Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa," Monk shoots and severely wounds Michael Kenworthy, a retired parole officer who was dressing up as Santa to throw toys off a roof, in self-defense (with Kenworthy's own revolver). The details are ambiguous, but Captain Stottlemeyer cringes upon seeing news reporter Brandy Barber (played by Gina Phillips) show up on scene. He calls her "a vampire with a press pass" and for good reason: most of her reports are emotionally charged rather than done rationally, and often has her skewing the story to humiliate the interviewee. Her story skews the events and makes it seem like Monk is some kind of Grinch with a grudge who deliberately shot Kenworthy, which is out-of-character for the description of a 48 year old detective with OCD who served on the San Francisco Police Department for 14 years with a badge, and has solved numerous high-profile cases as a consultant for that same department. For whatever reason, pretty much every civilian in town - except officers in the SFPD - seems to believe this broadcaster.
- In Parks and Recreation, the local Pawnee news programs are often a source for comedy. Joan Callamezzo, host of the morning show Pawnee Today, is extremely catty and will try to humiliate her guests for ratings and for grudges. News anchor Perd Hapley is a Captain Obvious and all-around doofus.
- On an episode of The Armstrong and Miller Show, there is a sketch wherein a reporter in the Middle East speaks over satellite, while the presenter in the studio uses the delay as an opportunity to accuse him of various unsavoury things.
- Attention Scum had a recurring skit starring Johnny Vegas: 24 Hour News, As Read By a Man Who Has Been Up for 24 Hours. It started as a reasonably coherent, if tired and slightly drunk sounding location anchor, but gradually devolved until it was just Johnny Vegas in a rumpled and soiled business with a bottle of cheap booze yelling "NEWS!" over and over again.
- Frank Zappa's "Billy The Mountain" has running commentary from (a parody of real-life) "right-wing fascist radical creepo pig" newscaster George Putnam:
Word just in to the KTTV News Service undeniably links THIS MOUNTAIN and HIS WIFE to drug abuse and pay-offs as part of a San Joaquin Valley SMUT RING! However, we can assure parents in the Southern California area that a recent NARCOTICS CRACK-DOWN in Torrance, Hawthorne, and Lomita, will provide the SECRET EVIDENCE the Palmdale Grand Jury has needed to seek a CRIMINAL INDICTMENT, and pave the way for STIFFER LEGISLATION, increased FEDERAL AID, and AVERT A CRIPPLING STRIKE of Bartenders and Veterinarians throughout the INLAND EMPIRE. But it is This Reporter's Opinion that ETHELL is a FORMER COMMUNIST!
- Body Count's "Now Sports":
"This weekend, seventeen youths killed in gang homicides
- Roland Hedley from Doonesbury.
- The French puppet show Les Guignols de l'info, running since 1988, is entirely about this trope. The anchor Patrick Poivre d'Arvor never misses an occasion to make snarky comments just after interviews or shows naïve agreement when explained horrible things by "officials" (like the marketing plan to sell... the War in Irak). He is not above bullying (puppets of) journalists of other channels who have been fired or suspended for some reason, like David Pujadas or recently Harry Roselmack, treating them like trainees who must learn from him. And sometimes, we switch to this inside the show, presented this time by Jean-Pierre Pernaut, the anchor of the 13 o'clock news on TF1 (a channel considered blatantly rightwing, pro-government, anti-strikers and anti-public servants) which has a tendency to show anecdotes about the "deep traditional France" or the holiday departures rather than important news.
- The Muppet Show had the recurring "Muppet News Flash" sketch, where a myopic commentator would deliver some odd bit of news, for example a downpour of anvils or localized tidal waves hitting people, and then snidely comment on how ridiculous it was. Whatever it was would then happen to him. An alternate version had him interviewing some eccentric character played by that week's Special Guest.
Newsman: Well, whenever big news breaks... you certainly won't hear it here.
- In the '70s Sesame Street would frequently send reporter Kermit the Frog to cover the re-enactment of some classic fairy tale or nursery rhyme; these would never go as planned.
- The 'weird, random stories instead of anything important' version was a staple of radio satirists Bob & Ray, usually personified by inept roving reporter Wally Ballou (Bob). Sent to meet interesting people at the airport, Wally manages to find the guy who was headed to Paris to lobby for tunafish as the traditional meal for Bastille Day. Even when Ballou found himself pursuing an actual legitimate story, it quickly lapsed into absurdity - as when he discovered that a paperclip company was able to keep costs down because they only paid their workers 14 cents a week. ("How in the world could they live on that?" "Well, we don't pry into the personal lives of our employees, Wally...")
- Additional amusing touch: Wally's broadcasts always started in mid-spiel. "-lly Ballou here..."
- This sketch was parodied at least once on The Al Franken Show on Air America Radio. Wally Ballou is interviewing a British Airways passenger whose flight has been delayed, and Ballou remains oblivious that the person he's talking to, Muhammad al-Khazmani, is implied to be a terrorist hijacker.
- Transformers has "Around Cybertron", an Official Fanclub mini comic about the eponymous in-universe newscast. It features the various journalist characters from the franchise, typically reporting humorously on the major events of whatever the latest Fanclub storyline is. The comic (and show) thus spans several different universes in the franchise.
- Shattered Glass Rook probably hews closest to the Kent Brockman model. Being a mirror-universe Autobot, he's actively psychotic and offered highly propagandistic reports where he expresses his disgust at the dastardly Decepticons saving orphanages. He also frequently cuts to reporter Punch giving exposes on the deeds of himself in a Paper-Thin Disguise.
- Ratchet & Clank
- Early games had recurring robot reporter Darla Gratch.
- Ratchet: Deadlocked had a male alien, Dallas, and female robot, Juanita, as news anchors and announcers, who alternate between snarky comments about each other, showing off their extreme personality flaws on camera, and slandering the titular character (until he saves everyone after the Big Bad's goes off the deep end and tries to Kill 'em All).
- A Crack In Time gives us Kip Darling and Pepper Fairbanks, a pair of radio personalities. In the first level of All 4 One, they do a running commentary on the Light-Eating Z'Grute's rampage through Luminopolis. Besides giving us a play-by-play of the beast's destruction, they also comment on Galactic President Qwark's regime, as well as taking time to plug some of their sponsors.
- Fehn Digler from Beyond Good & Evil is a Quisling-flavored news anchor with a habit for outrageous propaganda, flip-flopping sides, and a tendency to get a bit too... "in your face," shall we say. Guess who's one of the first to start sucking up to the good guys when the truth of the Alpha Sections is exposed?
- Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines has a TV in the protagonist's hideout. It's delivering pretty normal news... Except when you play as Malkavian, which turns the news into Kent Brockman variety.
Anchor: Los Angeles was left shocked today, following a vicious gun battle between the LAPD... and you. They were all like, "BANG! BANG! Ya filthy varmint!", and you were all like "POW! POW! Oooh, you wascally wabbit! You got me!"
- There was an old FMV PC game about art trading that would end each level with a news report on current events that would affect the values of certain paintings. The news anchor would smirk triumphantly while delivering tragic news and scowl while delivering upbeat news.
- GTA Radio is full of this, especially WCTR in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
- Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories has a news show with two anchors - one of whom is entirely mute, between each chapter of the game, talking about demon-interest pieces or actual plot relevant information. Inverted in one such "episode", where only the mute character is present; the entire episode is spent in silence, giving absolutely no information at all.
- Trivia game You Don't Know Jack would often have fake bumpers for Kent Brockman News over the credits. "Coming up: I couldn't string two sentences together to save my life. Tonight."
- Midtown Madness 2 had at least one announcer like this (out of three or four); one of their race-opening lines ended in "... probably because I'm not wearing any pants!"
- PC space shooter Galactix opened with this report: "In today's news, Brazilian lumberjacks cut down the last tree in the rainforest. A spokesman for the Acme Toothpick Company said, 'Gee, that's too bad.'" only to be interrupted by the alien overlord announcing his intention to conquer and enslave humanity. The anchor even looked a bit like Kent Brockman.
- Starcraft II has news anchor Donny Vermillion blatantly paint Jim Raynor's rebels as ruthless terrorists even when his respondent tells him most of the civilian casualties in the most recent battle were caused by overzealous Dominion soldiers. This is further accented with ridiculous censorship of an interviewed subject, lots of talk over the logo, and other antics. Then he finds out that Mengsk, the guy he had been shilling the whole time, was the one responsible for his brother's death on Tarsonis. The final news broadcast is on how Donny Vermillion has gone insane and the respondent is taking over as anchor.
- The news show seen at the beginning of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots doubles up as a fairly straightforward marine biology documentary, with the news relegated to bouncing, barely readable tickers displaying the weirdest stories ever (such as describing an accident victim as 'beheaded but in stable condition' and mentioning a 'Ghengis Khan impersonator spotted near Vancouver armed with an automatic machete').
- SimCity Enhanced had Full Motion Video clips including reports on the disasters that you unleashed, er, happened to befall your city, which were usually happening right on top of the newsroom. The news anchor thinks that reports of a rampaging monster are all just a joke until it squashes her, reports a plane crash with some odd details, fails to take her own advice over remaining calm in the face of a meltdown and also reports the meltdown at a nuclear power station next door to the studio: everyone else has been rushed to hospital except her because "I don't have insurance".
- Jane Valderama in Saints Row 2 speaks in the weirdly smarmy monotone and a WASPish accent that only slips when she says her Hispanic last name. Also indulges the tortured metaphors, especially while giving running commentary as an embedded reporter in the Gang War — she rides shotgun with the Boss, bringing her own shotgun.
- The second Oddworld game, Abe's Exoddus, has the "Magog on the March" news bulletins, where a Slig anchor presents the latest crimes of the "terrorist" Abe and the declarations of Glukkon directors, with ads for various Glukkon products sprinkled throughout.
- A newscast from the "Multipimpcity" episode of Pimp Lando has shades of this, especially in the sports and weather sections (the sportscaster is more excited about his awesome wallpaper than reporting the sports).
- Penny Arcade occasionally features stories by anchorman Randy Pinkwood, who will report on gaming news with the comic's characteristic farcical style. He ends each one by making some sort of reference to his incredible, and often bizarre, sexual escapades. (His name itself is, of course, a Double Entendre.)
- Something*Positive had one strip starting with a news anchorwoman saying: "... And that's all for the Baby Pageant Massacre" and then segues into a report about Kharisma getting arrested.
- The Nifty News 50 team from Sluggy Freelance fits this trope pretty darn well (one of them is even named "Qwirky").
Reporter: We have just received word that news is breaking on the set of Sluggy Freelance. We are not sure what the news is at this time, but we wanted to beat the other networks to it. I'm sure we will have more information any moment.(pause)Reporter: Well, while we are waiting, let's speculate wildly. Is Torg forming a cult? Is Riff a lesbian in a man's body? And what happened to that annoying "Sam" character? Foul play?
- This VG Cats strip.
Anchor: In other news, I'm not wearing any pants. More on this after the weather.
- The Onion:
- While reporter Carol Brown from El Goonish Shive is typically a bit more professional than this trope implies, she does occasionally deliver a proper silly news broadcast. Some examples:
- She once proposed that reports of an "evil monkey" attacking a high school could be the work of an evil monkey trainer determined to terrorize our children. She then quickly dismissed this theory, and admits it was only an excuse to show a silly graphic.
- After reporting on an attack on a public school she quickly managed to convey all of the information that she had access to, as many details of the incident had been covered up by The Men in Black. At this point, she openly admits that she is out of things to report on, and is only interviewing random bystanders as an attempt to fill time.
- A news anchor in Tales Of Gnosis College shifts from a national security story to a discussion of deep issues about the meaning of human life to the local sports report, treating all as being about equally serious.
- Fox News in Ansem Retort. "More on this, at eleven. What, it's eleven? Now? What the fuck? Do we have a crackhead running the teleprompter or something?"
- Act III of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog gives us two rather hammy TV news anchors whose coverage of Captain Hammer's "inspirational acts of heroism" segues neatly into the following gem — "Next up, who's gay?" (For extra humor, the next line is sung by Captain Hammer's Camp Gay Fanboy.) They are later shown weeping uncontrollably on the air over
- Segments on the Onion News Network tends to run with this, especially In The Know and Today Now!.
- Rod Putman in Bite Me!.
- Cecil in Welcome to Night Vale, who reports the constant horrors of the town calmly and almost cheerfully and frequently interjects personal opinions. Things he's dropped the smooth radio voice for include whenever Steve Carlsburg, Desert Bluffs, or the Apache Tracker (who he hates with a passion), reacting to cat videos, and waxing lyrical over Carlos the scientist, who he is in love with and describes as perfect, beautiful, etc whenever he comes up. Whenever something big happens, such as Carlos calling him in episode 16, almost dying and then returning his affections in episode 25, and their first date in episode 27, then it will invariably hijack Cecil's attention and subsequently the focus of the episode. Even when he's not dropping his radio voice, he'll imitate the original speaker if he's quoting someone, and frequently waxes poetic seemingly at random, which frequently comes across as extremely creepy.
- Anchorman Kent Brockman of The Simpsons (for whom this trope is named) had it all, and may have been the first example of this trope (or at least the character who popularized it). He blatantly skews reports to fit his political or personal interests, and his helicopter newsman hates him. He has been fired in mid-story at least once, quit in mid-story at least once, and always brings his personal views to a story. In "Radio Bart," he ignores the rescue of Bart from a well to cover a squirrel that looks like Abraham Lincoln (soon afterwards, the squirrel is assassinated, and a shaken Brockman pledges to "cover this (story) all night if we have to").
Kent: Oh my God! (Shakes fist at the heavens) Damn you, snow!
- At one point it's implied that Brockman only covered the fall of the Berlin Wall because his infant daughter convinced him to. This is referenced in an episode wherein, at the advice of said daughter, he dedicates his entire half-hour news broadcast to a children's doll (this reporter found it hard to stop talking), and mentions only just before the fadeout that, on that same day, the president was arrested for murder.
- The tail-end of a report: "... leaving the vice-president in charge." It's accompanied by a very small picture of the White House, with a thin trail of smoke leaking out. He then goes on to cover some plot-related local issue.
- In the same vein: "... making this the most recent Segway accident to claim more than 1000 lives."
- or "... and the fluffy kitten played with the ball of string all through the night. On a lighter note, a Kwik-E-Mart clerk was brutally murdered last night."
- Played with in another episode when, having delivered the plot related exposition and complained about the slow newsday Kent is then given a breaking report that "Paris is no more. The legendary city of lights has been extinguished forever as a massive-" (the television is switched off before we hear what happened).
- Brockman's story about the military. "Tonight, on 'Eye on Springfield': just miles from your doorstep, hundreds of men are given weapons and trained to kill. The government calls it the "army", but a more alarmist name would be... The Killbot Factory."
- Springfield Action News is made of said alarmism, usually thanks to double-entendre: "Tonight's top stories, a tremendous explosion in the price of lumber. President Reagan dyes ... his hair". He then proceeds to hype up the "killer storm" bearing down on them, whose death count is currently zero but "is ready to shoot right up"
Kent: Arnie, this isn't the time!
- When faced with the imminent destruction of Springfield by meteor, Brockman chooses to spend his final broadcast listing people who are secretly gay.
- There are times when he is fairly competent in the newsroom, and his editors and camera crew are the ones who are screwing up. There was the time, for instance, when he wanted to show his interview with Pope John Paul II - and instead was presented with footage of a baby goat being fed a bottle of milk.
- Another time he was trying to be professional was when he was covering Freddy Quimby's assault and battery charge against a waiter, but was upset that his station had dubbed the case "Beat Up Waiter". (He had suggested "Waitergate", but had been voted down.)
- Amusingly enough, when he is trying to be professional, he has to deal with Arnie Pye in the Sky, who can't seem to keep his personal feud with Kent off the air
Arnie: You're not the time, Kent! YOU'RE NOT THE TIME!
- In the episode "You Kent Always Say What You Want", it is also subtly implied that he was not happy about having to interview Homer in regards to winning his 1,000,000th Ice Cream cone at the ice cream parlor, especially when it forced him to abandon doing a heated discussion on the War in Iraq, but he ended up having to do so due to one of his show's sponsors being the same Ice Cream company that Homer won the contest in.
- Futurama has co-anchors Morbo and Linda. Morbo claims to be a scout for his species' upcoming alien invasion, and regularly voices his hatred and contempt for all things - especially humanity - on air. His co-anchor, Linda, always responds to his threats with an empty-headed laugh.
- South Park
"Tom, I'm standing in your bedroom doorway with an important announcement!"
- In the episode "Krazy Kripples," the reporter tries to liven up his story with creative metaphors ("If irony were strawberries, we'd all be drinking smoothies now, Tom.") Possibly a reference to Dan Rather.
- In an episode where a whale is stolen from an aquarium, one on-site reporter makes a fairly on-topic joke: "It certainly is a WHALE of a problem down here." To which the reporter at the desk responds, "Yes, I can hardly BEAR it." Cue odd looks.
- There are a variety of weird field reporters, generally Threefer or Fourfer Token Minorities, to do remotes. (Curiously, almost all the weird field reporters, when on-screen, appear to be consummate professionals for the most part: "Thanks, Tom!...") The form is usually "Live, with that story, is..."
- "A quadriplegic Swiss man on a pony." (He's lashed to it with ropes)
- "A midget in a bikini." (A very short man in a polka-dot two-piece)
- "A 34-year old Asian man who looks strikingly similar to Ricardo Montalban."
- "A normal-looking guy with a funny name." (His name: "Creamy Goodness")
- "R. Kelly"
- "A Hispanic man with gravy stains on his lapel."
- The "Simpsons Already Did It" episode even showed Kent Brockman himself as part of a hallucination where Butters sees the entire town as Simpsons characters.
- During the fourth season, a recurring gag in news stories was to have the scene begin with the character(s) watching the tail end of a story about the ever-increasing size of Hillary Clinton's ass.
- In the episode 'Night of the Living Homeless', the evening news is presented "...with Chris Swollenballs."
- In the Game of Thrones Whole Plot Reference, one newscaster carries his microphone everywhere and always talks in his professional newscaster voice. Even when off the clock.
- The Codename: Kids Next Door episode "OP CAKED-FOUR" featured Nick and Chip, annoying, pointlessly judgmental reporters whose voices are reminiscent of Howard Cosell and Harry Carey no matter what's happening — until they get scared, which promptly reveals that at least in Nick's case, the monotone isn't his real voice.
- They appeared in quite a few episodes after that, providing commentary on the scavenger hunt in Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S., the bowling tournament in Operation: M.I.S.S.I.O.N., the Vaseball game set up by the bullies in Operation: B.R.E.A.K.U.P., and the butt busting contest in Operation: S.A.F.E.T.Y.
- Family Guy
- The reporters are constantly blurting out odd things that they would never say if they remembered that the cameras were still on. They also have a blatant hatred for one another ("We now go live to Diane being a bitch. Diane?"). During an early episode where Death was incapacitated, they took the opportunity to get violent with each other.
- Also poked fun at is the tendency of news organizations to relegate minorities to support staff, with "Asian Reporter Tricia Takanawa", and black weatherman Ollie Williams and his "Blacku-Weather Forecast," where he just yells out a succinct description. ("ISS GON' RAIN!" "ISS RAININ' SIDEWAYS!") Apparently he talks like that all the time, as demonstrated in his cooking segment ("EGGO!"), his helicopter traffic report ("EVERYBODY LOOKS LIKE ANTS!") and his adopt-a-pet segment. ("WHO WANTS THIS DAWG?!") One episode "explains" Ollie's speech patterns as the result of alcoholism.
- The second episode of Family Guy involves the TV transmitter getting destroyed, taking out TV for all of Quahog. This results in the following situation:
Tom: With the cable out in Quahog, it doesn't really matter what we say. I'm the Lord Jesus Christ. Think I'll go get drunk and beat up some midgets. What about you, Diane?
Diane: Well, Tom, I just plain don't like black people. (the two chuckle)
Camera Operator: Uh, guys, we're still on in Boston.
Cut back to Tom and Diane, who have Oh, Crap looks on their faces.
- Then there was when the transmitter was fixed:
Tom: Well, Diane, that last news report was so good, I'm going to give you a spanking.
Diane: (playfully) Oh, Tom, I don't think your wife will appreciate that.
Tom: Come on, Diane. That frigid cow lives in Quahog. She can't hear what I'm saying.
Camera Operator: Actually, we're back on the air in Quahog.
Cut back to Tom and Diane, who have Oh, Crap looks on their faces again, but this time, Tom has a wooden paddle in his hand and Diane is bent over
- Drunk Billy was the Quahog 5 News Traffic Cam helicopter pilot. In the episode "Dial Meg for Murder", Drunk Billy tragically dies in a fatal collision with a highway overpass. In anticipation for this moment, colleagues Tom Tucker and Diane Simmons present a pre-prepared collection of accidents and near misses from Billy’s career.
- In The Oblongs, the local TV news show is completely biased in favor of the mayor, who in turn is completely biased in favor of the town rich.
- A Pup Named Scooby-Doo used a newsflash wherein the newscaster conversed with the Scooby gang.
- Darkwing Duck features news anchor Tom Lockjaw, arguably inspired by the same real life personality as Kent Brockman, the famous Tom Brokaw. Lockjaw is considerably less often used than Brockman, but is nonetheless very much a whimsical addition to the show.
- Ugly Americans has a young, attractive, female news anchor who is always smiling cheerfully, even when reporting the most horrific things.
- The Fairly OddParents has Chet Ubetcha, who like all the other grown ups, is very dim. He's also very short, and has size issues. He often reports on the aftermath of Timmy's wishes. He has a daughter called Yvette who takes his job when the kids take over the world. In the episode, "The Secret Origin of Denzel Crocker!", his mother, Nanette, was also an anchorwoman, and in the episode "The Good Old Days!", his grandfather, Chester, was a radio announcer.
- Johnny Gomez and Nick Diamond in Celebrity Deathmatch.
- Sheep in the Big City had two anchors, one of whom would give "unrelated" stories that were obviously related, once repeating the same story.
- American Dad! features "Local anchor partners" Greg Corbin and Terry Bates, two gay news anchors who are in a relationship, who move next door to the Smiths early on in the series. They often bring their domestic lives into the news.
Greg: Welcome to A.M. Pet Party.Terry: Glad we aren't the only ones awake at this ungodly hour.Greg: Hey, this is going to pay for our new kitchen counters.Terry: You mean your kitchen counters. I wanted granite.
- On the possibly non-canon episode "Rapture's Delight" the Rapture is reported on TV by only one of them. He explains that his partner has been raptured by saying "Apparently God does love gays, but only if they're a top."
- Drawn Together, of course, has several versions which, like every other aspect of the show, is deranged and nonsensical. The anchors usually state something that either Crosses the Line Twice or inexplicably correlates to the characters directly.
- Ace Palmero from The Replacements.
- Hank Anchorman from Johnny Test.
- A Realistic Fish Head from Spongebob Squarepants.
[Picture of a box of kittens in the corner of the screen, sound clip of a cat meowing]Barbara: (smiling) ... and there were no survivors. Back to you, Bob.Bob: Thank you, Barbara.Barbara: Thank you, Bob.
- Also the regular newscasters (Bob and Barbara), who tend to laugh at whatever they report the few times they've shown up.
- The Proud Family has Marsha Mitsubishi, who very clearly hates her job and frequently comments about it on air.
- Tovah Hernandez Carlson on Clerks: The Animated Series is a newscaster of the monotone variety.
- Mike The TV from ReBoot fits this role, often with huge amounts of Large Ham.
- Planet Sketch has Mike Today and Sally Van who have gender related arguements when they do their newscasting.
- Hector Ramirez, the parody of investigative reporter Geraldo Rivera from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Transformers Generation 1, Jem and Inhumanoids.
- Stan Blather from Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers is a parody of both Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite.
- The Tick - events on the show are often reported by news anchor Brian Pinhead (pronounced 'Pin-ADE').
- In an episode of Rugrats, the television breaks. The babies get a hold of a large box and cut a hole in it to substitute it. Chuckie hosts the evening news show, but ends all of his reports with "Why did this happen? Nobody knows." And then it gets better as Phil and Lil whisper insults about each other to Chuckie.
- In an episode of Legion of Super Heroes, two announcers cover the 343rd Intergalactic Olympics fairly well... but when a brawl between the winners, the Legion of Superheroes, and the Fatal Five break out, they cover it with no change in tone at all, even stopping for commercial breaks midway through the fight.
- Cow and Chicken had an instance when everybody in the world believes the planet is about to get hit by a comet (it's actually a golfball suspended in front of an observatory's telescope).
With only a short time before the comet "Dad's Ball" flattens us all into pancakes, people all over the world are doing things they always wanted to do. Today, a man married himself (cut to the Red Guy marrying himself). And I always wanted to do THIS! (climbs on the desk and takes off his suit to reveal a weenie costume underneath) Look at me! I'm Weenie Suit Man!
- Generator Rex has the tabloid news show "Ultimate Exposure", which is also the focus of the episode "Exposed."
- Huxley Prescott from Transformers Rescue Bots.
- There should have been a pause in here somewhere: "My coworker has the night off, he was murdered."
- This weatherman with Tourette Syndrome doing a live promotional spot.
- "I'll give you some lessons on how to become a reporter later." Almost certainly the inspiration for SNL's Herb Welch sketches mentioned above.
- Of the Worst News Judgment Ever variety, we have this Wild Teen Party. Obviously, it sucks that a house was trashed by some punk kids, but it doesn't become national news worthy of editorials and multiple headlines just because the house had belonged to Robert Frost.
- A rather awkward on-air moment.
- An even worse on-air moment -- excuse us, "editing error" -- when this reporter was covering a missing woman.
- This reporter outs herself as the owner of the medical marijuana store she just covered, then comes out with this: "Fuck it, I quit." (shrugs and walks off)
- In an incident that fits this trope, but is not funny at all, on July 15, 1974, Christine Chubbuck, morning host for WXLT in Sarasota, Florida, began her show by covering three national news stories and then a local restaurant shooting from the previous day. The film reel of the restaurant shooting had jammed and would not run, so Chubbuck shrugged it off and said, "In keeping with Channel 40's policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts, and in living color, you are going to see another first -— attempted suicide." She then drew a revolver from her pocket and shot herself behind her right ear, killing herself.
- Possibly an urban legend, but the story has it that a British newsreader once reported that a royal visit to Cyprus could "fill the Greek community with concern", having bet a friend that he could work the phrase "Phil the Greek" into a story about the Royal Family.
- An anchor who doesn't realize her mic is on.
- A weatherman corpsing on live TV.
- Matias Prats Jr, legendary spanish news anchor, is made of this trope, due to awkward jokes and this event. Never Live It Down, indeed.
- Mika Brzezinski laughs at a terrorist attack.