The Slagle/Naughton Report | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

The Slagle/Naughton Report 


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The Slagle/naughton report, ImprovOlympic. Tim Slagle and Tom Naughton's Slagle/Naughton Report is a "reality-based news show" in which two anchors break from reading the news to perform comedy sketches inspired by news items. This structure has plenty of comic potential, but Slagle and Naughton's show is so weighed down with white male anger and antigovernment rage that it never becomes satire.

Much of their material attempts to make fun of political correctness and victimization, topics that remain ripe for ridicule. But it's simply offensive for two white men to perform sketches about how silly it is that Native Americans are offended by names of sports teams such as the Braves or Redskins or that the term "African-American" is more widely accepted than "black." Don't get me wrong--I welcome a piece of theater that challenges my views and may broaden my perspective. But Slagle and Naughton's arguments have all the intellectual weight of Rush Limbaugh's.

Part of the problem may be that Slagle and Naughton don't play comic opposites. While dressed differently--Slagle in black and biker boots and Naughton in a conservative suit--their opinions aren't different enough to create any comic tension.

--Gabrielle S. Kaplan

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