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Archive for Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Trash-talking babies don’t qualify as comedy

April 28, 2004

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I'm against censorship, but there are at least two exceptions to my rule: I'm all for a constitutional amendment banning any comedies featuring dressed-up chimps or talking babies.

Maybe I'll just settle for talking babies. As if the "Look Who's Talking" film series and the horrifying sitcom "Baby Bob" weren't bad enough, Comedy Central has unleashed "Shorties Watchin' Shorties" (9:30 p.m., Comedy Central), a new, animated take on stand-up comedy, with two baby hosts who sound like they were raised at a Friars Club roast.

The premise of "Shorties" is simple, and potentially good. Comics, including Lewis Black, Dane Cook, Janeane Garofalo, Denis Leary and others, have their best short routines turned into brief cartoons. Think of it as a crude variation of Bill Cosby's "Fat Albert" show. But "Shorties" is "hosted" by two diaper-clad babies who commandeer a TV remote control and "watch" these comedy shorts on television. Their crude commentary adds nothing to the show. They simply exist because some producer thought it would be funny to have the show include cursing babies. There ought to be a law.

  • "American Masters" (8 p.m., PBS) profiles media mogul Henry Luce, the founder of the Time-Life magazine empire, who dominated popular culture and opinion from the 1920s to the 1960s. Narrated by NPR's Scott Simon, "Henry Luce and Time-Life's America: A Vision of Empire" shows how Luce delighted millions of readers with a deft combination of "highbrow" subjects and contributors along with plain, old-fashioned Hollywood cheesecake.

Tonight's other highlights

  • Scheduled on "60 Minutes II" (7 p.m., CBS): how matchmaking has become a billion-dollar business.
  • The final five emerge on "American Idol" (7:30 p.m., Fox).
  • Doug's ex (Janeane Garofalo) becomes Doug's shopping connection on "King of Queens" (8 p.m., CBS).
  • The White House faces a contamination scare on "The West Wing" (8 p.m., NBC).
  • Vegas madness on "The O.C." (8 p.m., Fox).

Late night

Julianne Moore is booked on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno welcomes Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne and Kid Rock on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC) ... Jeff Gordon appears on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:05 p.m., ABC).

Jon Favreau and Dakota Fanning visit "The Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn" (11:37 p.m., CBS).

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