Why is NPR such an easy target for comedy bits and video parodies? It doesn’t take a regular listener of Science Friday to figure it out. They’re a bunch of mega-nerds.
With every subtle use of alliteration, every time Robert Siegel says “draconian,” and each transitional upright bass interlude, they slap a big fat “kick me” sign in the middle of their own backs.
Want to know the five reasons comedians love to hate public radio? As Ira Glass would say, stay with us.
Act I: Hearing Absurdly Perfect Voices
God do their voices sound good. (Ira Glass is the exception.) If we stopped absorbing the content of their reporting and just listened to their silky baritones and rich tenors, we might mistake them for come-ons. YouTube personality Liam Kyle Sullivan gives us a peek into the people behind the voice.
Act II: Attack of the Pledge Drive
We all dread those never-ending, shame-inducing pleas for our hard earned $20.00. Funny or Die explores how NPR stations use guilt to get us to pay their salaries. (WARNING: Explicit language; not safe for work!)
Act III: Inane Topics in Soothing Tones
It seems like public radio hosts could talk about the sleep patterns of box turtles for days if we allowed them, but we all just really want to hear Terry Gross talk dirty. (Right? I’m not alone here am I?) Unless your name is Francis Davis, this classic SNL sketch is as close as we’ll ever get.
And we can’t forget Betty White’s recent contribution.
Act IV: Stop the Music!
If I ever see a band billed: “As Featured in NPR Segues,” I will run away, fast and far. Here, the always hilarious Patton Oswalt dissects the music of NPR for us (fast forward to minute 2:00 in this clip):
|Patton Oswalt – Man Without a Country|
Act V: Those Pretentious Listeners
Public radio fans are the worst. I should know, I am one. From my colleagues at UCB Comedy:
|House-Sittin’: NPR Battle||UCBcomedy.com|
|Watch more comedy videos from the twisted minds of the UCB Theatre at UCBcomedy.com|
Got a favorite viral public media spoof? Tell us about it in the comments.
Todd Bieber writes and directs videos, mostly comedy and documentary, or some combination of the two. He is currently Director of Content and Production for Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy. Previous to this he worked at the Onion News Networks as Footage Coordinator, occasional Director of Photography, and a freelance Contributing Writer during their Peabody Award Winning year. His work has been featured in a bunch of film festivals including Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, and AFI. His various viral videos have been watched over 13 million times and have been featured on the New York Times’ website, Entertainment Weekly’s website, Huffington Post, and his mom’s Facebook Wall.