Can Conservatives Do Comedy?

ByABC News
February 16, 2007, 10:09 AM

Feb. 16, 2007 — -- In 2009, Rush Limbaugh is the country's president and Ann Coulter is his vice president. The two right-wing pundits sit around the Oval Office,smoking cigars and making fun of Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton.

If that scenario sounds like a dream come true for conservatives and anightmare for liberals, that's the point.

It's the opening skit in the series premiere of "The Half-Hour News Hour," the conservativeversion of Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show." The show is set to debut on FoxNews this Sunday at 10 p.m.

The half-hour, fake news show features "anchors" -- played by actors Kurt Long and Jennifer Robertson -- who introduce skits. The show is the brainchild of "24" creator Joel Surnow andproducer Manny Coto.

A year-and-a-half ago, the two self-professedconservatives -- both men have contributed to the campaigns of conservative U.S. senators, and Coto is active in the anti-Castro Cubancommunity -- were fantasizing about starting aconservative TV network. Out of that, the twodeveloped "The Half-Hour News Hour," with the support of Fox News chairman Roger Ailes.

"Finally, there's a show for the rest of us," intones the announcer at the end of a promotional spot.

The show is the conservative answer to what Surnow and Coto say is the liberal domination of the political TV comedy landscape. Along with Stewart, who nightly skewers the Bush administration on his Comedy Central show, there is Stephen Colbert, who does a parodic imitation of Fox News' Bill O'Reilly on "The Colbert Report," and Bill Maher, who often roasts conservatives on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher."

"The fact that there's no conservative dog in that hunt is a shame,"said conservative columnist Doug Giles, whose recent column, "It'sTime for Conservatives to Take Comedy Seriously," excoriated right-wingthinkers for not competing with liberals in the comedic arts.