Thursday, November 19, 2009

Radio News Comedy Commentary

The Daily Show is lauded today for it's honesty, satire and cutting humor. They even break serious news stories, albeit in a comedic format. But, the Daily Show is NOT the first all comedy news program. That honor belongs to "The Credibility Gap" on KRLA-AM.
Morning news shows have alway smocked new stories, and news figures, but the comedic delivery of news, as a daily format is even now pretty rare. SNL has been running their version of the news "Weekend Update" since 1975. But like all things in television, it began first in radio.1110 KRLA-AM was a rock station in 1968. The Credibility Gap satirized the news, first starting out as a 15-minute daily segment in the news program. Over their tenure the line up included members Richard Beebe, David L. Lander, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer. More here. KRLA dropped the program in 1970. Shearer made a connection on KPPC-FM, then a free-form rock station. That incarnation of the program continued into 1971. While short-lived, when KMET flipped to rock that same year they launched their own comedy/news program modeld after The Credibility Gap.

The radio career was over but they still recorded two LPs together afterward and some members continued on to have serious careers. Richard Beebe returned to radio and stayed there until his dead in 1998. McKean and Lander went on to play Lenny and Squiggy on the TV program Laverne and Shirley. Members Shearer and McKean were members of the faux rock band Spinal Tap. KPPC today is KROQ which is fitting as the last rock outlet in the city. KRLA is a