"Canada. North America's third-largest nation. Home of Toronto. Member of the Internet. Skies, and lakes, and skies. Let's peer into the heart of this great nation: Who it is, where it is and where it's going, and how it's getting there, and who's involved, and what's at stake. This. Is. That."At first glance, This Is That seems to be a basic CBC Radio news interview show; kind of interesting, but mostly inoffensive, maybe a little bland. Most listeners realize that it's really a comedy show that's managed to pull off a perfect style parody, probably around the time the commentators start talking about lowering the drinking age in Quebec to 14 — 12 if you're with an adult. Many don't. They call in to comment or complain, which the show uses as part of the comedy.
— Opener for This Is That
This Is That has tropes like this:
- Affectionate Parody: "We come from a place of being huge fans of the CBC."
- Audience Participation
- Like the real news shows it's based on, This Is That invites listeners to call in and comment on the stories, but since the stories are fake, the comments are Played for Laughs.
- The show also asks podcast listeners to let the show know where they were when they listened to the show.
- Cloudcuckoolander: The recurring commentator, Sue.
- "Well, this has been This Is That for this week. Next week, this will be that..."
- "Sue calling!" and "I thought you'd have fun with that."
- News Parody: Definitely the Faux News type.
- Poe's Law
- One story satirized the rise of no-frills airlines by interviewing an airline representative about his airline's new standing-room only flight. Many people called in and thought it was a good idea.
- Another story involved Toronto starting a pay-per-use system for city parks, which got a number of angry calls. This might not seem like a Poe's Law example at first, unless you're familiar with former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's ultra-conservative style of governance.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!
- Heard at the end of the opening voice-over.
- "This. Was. That." is used at the very end of the show.
- Serious Business
- The opening voice-over (as quoted above).
- One story was a breaking news report about the "situation at the airport". The reporter and host both sounded like they were talking about a serious incident, but they're really just talking about a normal day at any airport.
- "People are literally coming and going."
- Another story talks about the divided town of Lloydminster, a (real) town which is half in Alberta and half in Saskatchewan, portraying the two sides as if it were a divided town like West and East Berlin.
- One Saskatchewan-side interviewee talked about having to drive out of town to get a truck with Alberta plates to go to the Home Depot.
- Stealth Parody: The show sounds so much like a regular CBC Radio news interview show that many people are fooled into calling in to comment (often angrily) about the stories.
- The creators themselves said, “We want to sort of camouflage ourselves to be as authentic as possible.”