The Rachel Maddow Show is the Forwarded Email of Televised Political Satire

Rachel Maddow: Her heart is in the right place. It just turns out that place is extremely unfunny. Consider tonight's comedy (?) bit on Sarah Palin's mysterious business, "Pie Spy". Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: It is terrible.

Writer/performer Kent Jones (Who Wikipedia tells me works for something called "Air America") picks a good target to satirize. As everyone on the Internet has already noted, "Pie Spy" is a pretty funny name for a thing. And Palin? She put the "old chest" in "that old chestnut!"

It was at the "satirizing" part that everything went horribly, horribly wrong.

Consider the following sentences aimed at eliciting laughter. (You must never refer to them as "jokes"):

EXAMPLE 1

According to recently revealed financial records, during Palin's last agonizing months of lame-duck-itude as Alaska Governor, she started up a small marketing business called "Pie Spy". Just what are we talking about here, Governor? Lemon meringue? Jason Bourne? Some weird combination of the two!?*

*This is supposed to be funny because the name of Sarah Palin's business contains the word "Pie" and the word "Spy". These are two things that are not usually thought of as complementary. Also, "lame-duck-itude" is a made up word.

EXAMPLE 2

Is this some kind of complicated espionage network infiltrating international dessert cartels? After all, she can see Russia from her house!*

*This is supposed to be funny because, during the 2008 presidential campaign, Sarah Palin said she could see Russia from her house. You could not, and still cannot, see Russia from Sarah Palin's house.

EXAMPLE 3

According to documents filed w/ Alaska's Department of Commerce, Palin's business is described as involving services for the elderly and persons with disabilities. And so she called it "Pie Spy"!? MMMM-KAYYY!!!*


*This is supposed to be funny because "Pie spy" in no way suggests services for the elderly and persons with disabilities. An "edgier" joke would have referenced the fact that Sarah Palin's running mate was extremely old, and that she has a developmentally disabled son—both of whom could have benefited from Pie Spy's services.


EXAMPLE 4

There's an eerie silence around this whole "Pie Spy" situation. And as an American I want—no, I demand—to know the truth about Pie Spy. Before it explodes in our faces!*

*This is supposed to be funny because, kill me?