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Archive for Friday, February 17, 2006

Go Kinky’ finds humor in politics

February 17, 2006

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What happens when an offbeat singer-songwriter-novelist runs for governor? "Go Kinky" (10 p.m., CMT) presents a whimsical documentary about singer Kinky Friedman's quixotic quest for the Texas governor's mansion.

Friedman's main target appears to be politics as usual. His campaign motto, "How hard can it be?" sums up an attitude that vacillates between laissez-faire and just plain lazy. Another mantra of his hard-charging campaign is "I'll sleep when I'm in office."

Friedman has a sardonic take on the religious sanctimony that has become part of politics. He greets crowds with the one-size-fits-all nostrum, "May the God of your choice bless you!"

But if Friedman has a passion, it's his stance against the "nanny state" regulations that he thinks have endangered the very character of the Lone Star State. "I'm gonna de-wussify Texas if I gotta do it one wuss at a time."

"Go Kinky" includes clips of Friedman with Willie Nelson and Dwight Yoakam, and follows Kinky as he presides over parade floats, presses the flesh, writes a campaign theme song (to the tune of "Davy Crockett") and plays hooky while his handlers plot campaign strategy. Photographs show him with various notables, from Bob Dylan to President (and former Texas governor) Bush.

Former President Clinton recalls the day when Friedman presented him with a Cuban cigar, putting him on the spot in front of hundreds of people. Sensing the president's reluctance to accept the contraband item from Castro's Cuba, Friedman joked: "Don't think of it as supporting their economy. Think of it as burning their fields."

While funny, the broadcast of "Go Kinky" raises some ticklish issues. Does "Go Kinky" offer unfair publicity to one candidate at the expense of his opponents? Is Friedman's campaign entirely farfetched? Let's ask former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura.

¢The stand-up showcase "Comedy Central Presents" (8 p.m., Comedy Central) enters its 10th season. Since 1998 the series has introduced viewers to Wanda Sykes, Mario Cantone, Lewis Black, Dane Cook, Greg Giraldo and Stephen Lynch.

¢The issue of life takes center stage in the presidential campaign on "Battlestar Galactica" (9 p.m., Sci Fi). John Heard guest-stars. .

¢A figure from Adrian's past needs help on "Monk" (9 p.m., USA).

¢The most popular and peculiar Internet clips, videos and e-mailed ephemera enjoy their nanosecond of fame on "Web Junk 20" (10:30 p.m., VH1), hosted by comic Patrice O'Neal.

Tonight's other highlights

¢A grieving fiance gets solace from beyond the grave on "Ghost Whisperer" (7 p.m., CBS).

¢Coverage of the XX Winter Olympic Games (7 p.m., NBC) continues.

¢Troubled canines seek counseling from "The Dog Whisperer" (7 p.m., National Geographic).

¢After the collapse of her marriage, an attractive American (Diane Lane) finds fulfillment in Italy in the 2003 comedy "Under the Tuscan Sun" (7 p.m., Family).

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