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 animated show 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!'")
- Give all 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.
Though live-action comedies do them occasionally, these routines are much more common in animated shows. This may have to do with the fact that animated shows usually use multiple characters per actor, and can afford to have a diverse supporting cast (and also, of course, because it's infinitely easier to have Canon Discontinuity
in a show which everyone already knows isn't supposed to be realistic).
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Anime and Manga
- 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.
- The live-action movie Anchorman had one of these as its main character, although he was a consummate professional until the events of the film take place.
- Another live-action film example comes from 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."
- The 1989 Batman film 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
Casey Wong: "On the international scene the Amazon nuclear facility has blown its stack irradiating the worlds 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?
- The Woody Allen movie Bananas began 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 Finland* . Then the cut back to Nakatomi Plaza shows quite clearly that they're talking out of their asses.
- In Bruce Almighty, Bruce/God's "adjustments" to Evan Baxter's brain reduce Evan to babbling incoherence: "Caca poo poo pee pee..."
- 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
- 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!
- 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 Kent Brockman News 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 '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.
- 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).
- Fehn Digler from Beyond Good And 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.
: 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 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 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.
- 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.
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.
- Kelly, editorial cartoonist for The Onion, is close to one of these. This is a good example.
- The news reports from El Goonish Shive sometimes seem to fall into this trope. The best examples are here and here.
Carol: And once again I am reporting live but have nothing new to report. In the interest of filling time I will be interviewing students who are still here with the hope of appearing on TV.
- 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?"
- 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").
- 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"
: Oh my God! (Shakes fist at the heavens
) Damn you, snow!
- When faced with the imminent destruction of Springfield by meteor, Brockman chooses to spend his final broadcast listing people who are secretly gay.
- In Brockman's defense, 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.
- 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
- 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.
Morbo: (all the time)
WILL DESTROY YOU!" Morbo:
(presiding over a presidential debate) "I now present puny human #1, puny human #2, and Morbo's good friend Richard Nixon
- The casual attitude taken to his threats could be explained by his behaviour with his wife - at a party she adjusts his bow-tie and he snaps at her, "Stop it, it's fine, I will DESTROY you!" This would suggest that's just the way his species acts normally. Then again, he has also stopped reporting to take a note about human weaknesses and referenced his people's mighty space fleet readying for an attack in the near future. You can't help but love him though; indeed, Fry said as much when seeing the news back in the 20th century in Bender's Big Score. "I miss Morbo."
- In the South Park 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 of South Park 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.
- South Park also has 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)
- "An Asian man who looks like Ricardo Montalban."
- "A normal-looking guy with a funny name." (His name, "Creamy Goodness")
- "R. Kelly"
- 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.
- 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.
- The reporters on Family Guy 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.
- From the Star Wars parody episode, Blue Harvest:
Tom: "And now, to Ollie Williams for your Death Star weather report. How's the weather out there, Ollie?"
Ollie: "SPACE WEATHER!!!"
- 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:
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:
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.
- 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 two news anchors who are gay and married, who move next door to the Smiths early on in the series. They often bring their domestic lives into the news.
- Drawn Together, of course, has several versions of Kent Brockman News, 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.
- Also the regular newscasters (Bob and Barbara), who tend to laugh at whatever they report the few times they've shown up.
[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.
- 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, 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."
- Act III of Doctor 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
Penny What's-her-name's death.
- Segments on the Onion News Network tends to run with this, especially In The Know and Today Now!.
- Rod Putman in Bite Me.
- 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.
- 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.