"The show you are about to watch is a news parody. Its stories are not fact checked. Its presenters are not journalists. And its opinions are not fully thought through."
News presented with a satiric and snide tone
May be the entire premise of the series, or constitute one segment within a Sketch Comedy
, such as the "Weekend Update" segment in Saturday Night Live
, or the "Laugh-In News" on Laugh-In
Note that, although some of these shows give plenty of useful information, watching one is less effective than reading a newspaper, a warning which Jon Stewart in particular works hard to make clear (although scientific studies disagree and found that The Daily Show
watchers were more informed on current events than people who watch and read traditional news media). Whether watching the "real" news shows
that these shows parody is effective at all is more debatable.
A variation is the Faux News
show or sketch, which satirises elements of legitimate news shows but doesn't use factual information. The best examples are the British radio show On the Hour
and its TV adaptation, The Day Today
, both of which feature writing and acting by Patrick Marber, who was later nominated for an Oscar for Notes on a Scandal
. The Day Today
had its own spin-off, Brass Eye
, which spoofed the Prime Time News
format. The most famous Faux News outlet in the US, on the other hand, is not on television: it's The Onion
(which uses a mix of real and imaginary events), which has spread its tentacles to the Internet and other areas, as well.
Not to be confused with Kent Brockman News
, a Show Within a Show
parody of news shows, or (as "Faux News") with a common pejorative for Fox News Channel
- As noted above, the "Weekend Update" portion of Saturday Night Live, which has been a part of the show since the very first episode in 1975. Might be the Trope Maker or Trope Codifier for this genre.
- That Was The Week That Was, the British original (1962-63) and the American remake (1964-65), both fronted by David Frost.
- The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (See the official Comedy Central site.)
- CNNNN An Australian parody show spoofing CNN.
- The Chaser's War On Everything
- A popular genre in Canada:
- In English-speaking Canada, there's This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Royal Canadian Air Farce, and The Rick Mercer Report.
- And on the French side of Canada, La Fin du Monde est a Sept Heures ("The end of the world is at seven o'clock"), and Infoman have trended toward this at times (at other times trending toward light-hearted humorous commentary on the news, musical numbers, or out-and-out silliness).
- CBC's This Is That, a parody of CBC's current issues interview shows, like As It Happens. It features discussion of fictional current affairs along with outraged listeners calling in.
- The Half Hour News Hour was Fox News Channel's attempt to counter The Daily Show's perceived liberal bias with an explicit conservative bias. The show tanked and was canceled after a few months.
- Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld (The Fox News Channel's much more successful comedy offering. Hovers between News Parody, Faux News, and Fake Pundit Show [because it's like The View, if The View had a decidedly pro-Camp Gay bias]. Dissimile and absurdist tangents abound.).
- Not the Nine O'Clock News (one of the earliest dedicated News Parody shows, which went out at 9 PM on BBC2 directly opposite the real Nine O'Clock News on BBC1)
- Not Necessarily The News (modeled on the above though with no specific time reference, one of the earliest dedicated News Parody shows in the US)
- The Day Today, Chris Morris's surreal spoof of the style of news reporting.
- The Onion is a rare example of the News Parody in print. And, via its website and the miracle of streaming audio and streaming video, a News Parody of radio and television news as well.
- The Wrong Coast presents fake celebrity news through eccentric Claymation characters.
- Broken News does the Faux News variant, cutting between snippets of different styles of news show, such as "Look Out East" spoofing BBC local news broadcasts, a BBC News parody with presenters who keep interrupting each other, an ITV News parody skewering the channel's overuse of flashy graphics, an American network news parody that's usually oblivious to what's going on in the rest of the episode (and features Claudia Christian as one of the hosts), and several others, and frequently cuts between the various sub-shows in mid-sentence in a way that's supposed to represent a bored viewer flicking between channels. It's the Spiritual Successor to The Sunday Format, a radio series by the same writers that does much the same with newspapers.
- Have I Got News for You is considered to be the quintessential British version. It's more of a quiz/panel show than a News Parody, although there's plenty of fun-making about the news
- Mock the Week is a Darker and Edgier version of the above.
- Have I Got News for You tends to go for harder (Edgier) news stories, while Mock the Week mostly makes fun of celebrities. Not particularly edgy, although it does certainly have more Black Comedy.
- Les Guignols de l'info is a French version of this trope using puppets. It airs at 8PM (the time of real news) and the anchor is based upon a real news anchor who worked for years on another channel.
- Another French version: various incarnations of satirical show Groland (especially the earliest ones) took the form of fake news shows.
- The Italian version is "Striscia la Notizia", a daily news parody who nonetheless manages to make also very serious points, exposing local cases of corruption and frauds which usually don't appear on the "real" news programs.
- The NPR show Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me could be considered an example of this.
- Radio Free Cybertron, a Transformers podcast, has a segment called News From Cybertron, done from an in-universe point of view.
- The news section of Top Gear, introduced initially as a three-presenters-on-furniture-scavenged-from-cars way to mention "boring but important cars" quickly. Has expanded somewhat to include car news, politics as it relates to driving, and the presenters poking fun at each other whenever possible.
- A video on YouTube called "The World's Most Generic News Report" from British TV show Charlie Brooker's Newswipe. It breaks down a typical news segment exactly in a very funny way.
- News Biscuit is to Britain what The Onion is to America, albeit a bit less well-known.
- In Germany: Rudis Tagesshow (1981 - 1987) and its Spiritual Successor Die Wochenshow (1996 - 2002).
- A popular online parody that also appears in print(notably in some alternate newspaper markets), The Borowitz Report
- The Headlies section of WrestleCrap, in a parody of less reputable Wrestling Newz sites.
- Studio 3 has a kids' version in one of its regular segments, where it's two young hosts act as decrepit, old-fashioned news presenters.
- The Jeselnik Offensive, a very dark Comedy Central show hosted by infamously harsh comedian Anthony Jeselnik, which is mostly dedicated to mocking deaths and other tragedies from the news.
- The Philippines had the Sic O' Clock News and Wazzup Wazzup.
- Indian news/media commentary portal Newslaundry has a series known as Clothesline, where the anchor, veteran journalist Madhu Trehan does this for news media, mostly television, crossing over with MST, by adding her own commentary. A more actual news parody is the series Newslaundry Lite.
The most recent evolution of the News Parody
is the Fake Pundit Show, which parodies the political Talk Show
- Crossballs — a short-lived Comedy Central show that was a portmanteau of CNN's (now-defunct) Crossfire and MSNBC's Hardball. Often pairing up a revolving cast of comedians with actual experts as they argued with each other on the topic at hand.
- The Colbert Report
- Jimmy MacDonald's Canada, with the added bonus of being set in The Sixties and starring Richard "Albert Wesker" Waugh as Jimmy.
- Mock The Dummy, which is a YouTube parody of conservative politics... with dummies.