Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cool as Ice

The whole "Ugly American" stereotype is unfortunate. It's unfortunate that a lot of people, particularly those in power, often live up to its worst expectations. It's also unfortunate that people in other countries use it as a basis for reflexive anti-American sentiment. For Americans with an ironic sense of humor, however, it can be a comedy goldmine. Check out this clip from last night's Daily Show for a case in point. I nearly lost it when Jason Jones changed the channel on the TV and it went to the Swedish Chef. The rest of the world is so much more familiar with America than we are with the rest of the world that I don't think it would be possible to make jokes like that in other countries.

On a similar note, I'm curious as to whether or not The Daily Show is popular in foreign countries. I visited the booth of an Australian software company at a software development conference that I attended last year. They had created a number of sample users for the application that they were demonstrating, and all of the sample users were past or present Daily Show correspondents. I thought about asking the developer if there were a lot of Daily Show fans in the land down under, but I forgot to. I could kind of see how it might have a loyal following in other English speaking countries, but I can't imagine a similar kind of show from Australia would have any success in the US.

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