In Which My Brain Ends Up At NewsRadio

Newsradio – Smoking

If you demanded that I tell you my favorite scene from any American television show – why are you demanding that again? – I’d probably mention this one.

And speaking of weirdness, I only revisited this scene because a comment thread discussing Kentucky’s Kim Davis included a passing mention of Stephen Root, an actor that you’ll know even if you don’t know him. I went to bat for him as one of America’s greatest treasures, a thought jarred loose by seeing his name and remembering all the things that he’s done. Among his seemingly endless collection of ongoing projects is providing a voice on Gravity Falls, an absolutely wonderful Disney Channel show. From there, I went backwards through Root’s career – Justified, No Country For Old Men, DodgeballThe West WingKing of the Hill, and eventually I got to NewsRadio, a great show whose run was cut short by the grim reality of Phil Hartman’s murder. At the time though, NewsRadio was my favorite thing going, mostly because it was simply so well done.

All of this thinking left me at the moment above, in which Dave and Bill utterly meltdown just nine hours-and-a-half hours after giving up coffee and smoking respectively. That there would be a scene in which two characters yell at a third character blew my mind at the time; I don’t remember yelling being a thing that was done on television shows I had been watching up to then, especially for comedic effect.

In summation, brains are weird.

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33 thoughts on “In Which My Brain Ends Up At NewsRadio

  1. Let’s not forget Milton (“I’m gonna put strychnine in the guacamole”) Waddams!

    He was also one of the few non-ridiculous (deeply sad, actually) bits of True Blood (what I saw of it, anyway – I only watched the first season, maybe some of the second).

    If you are looking for comic yellers, John Cleese is your prototype (or, I suppose, Gleason).


  2. Dude, I quote that scene constantly. I’ve quoted it here (e.g.)!

    “I coughed up something that look like escargot this morning” is perfect.

    Also, one of my favorite shows ever. Man I miss Hartman.


    • I was vaguely reminded of the scene in “Anchor Man” where they swap war stories after the party.

      “I pooped a squirrel.”
      “Champ, I ate your chocolate squirrel.”

      I wonder if that was a callback.

      And, yea, we all miss Hartman.


  3. NewsRadio was pretty awesome. Holds up really well. Last season excepted.

    Which is kind of funny, because even though Hartmann was the “name” on the show, his character didn’t seem to hold it together as much as it apparently did.

    And Jimmy James was just a fantastic character.


  4. I have seen every single episode of this show when I was like 11. I don’t know why I liked it so much back then, but I still like it today. Brains are weird!


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