"How’s Your News" takes Portland

March 3, 2009

With all apologies to "Lost" and "Intervention," I have found a new favorite television show. And you’re not going to believe this, but it’s on MTV. I know, right? Who knew?

But against all odds, 15 years after the culture mavens turned into a black hole of suck, MTV has redeemed itself with a show called "How’s Your News?" I’m pretty sure it’s like nothing you’ve seen before. The subjects are a news team made up of disabled men and women of various ages who travel the country soaking up odd slices of culture…music festivals, red carpet events, freaky California enclaves, and hitch hikers like John Stamos. It’s like a cross between the in-the-field segments on "The Daily Show" and a Michael Moore film.

Besides being bankrolled by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the godlike geniuses behind "South Park", "How’s Your News?" is unique in their approach to the news crew. Instead of pandering to them or treating them like freaks, the show treats them with respect, allowing them be themselves as they encounter a world that is often outside of their comfort zone. In fact, the comedy usually comes from how "normal" people interact with the "How’s Your News" crew. Celebrities, especially, just aren’t equipped to handle being interviewed by someone so far outside the box.

I’ll let my dear friend Megan offer up a little background and justify why it’s being written about in this space:

"The idea first began over ten years ago at a summer camp for adults with disabilities in Massachusetts. They were working in video class and searching for a format which could include as many people, with as wide an array of disabilities, as possible. So they started making their own news shows. Two documentaries later (including a must see take on the 2004 presidential conventions) they have been picked up by MTV for six episodes and are mixing it up with Sarah Silverman, John Stamos, Amy Sedaris, taking on Mardis Gras and Senior Proms, and doing so much more.

This is wo/man-on-the-street reporting like you have never seen before. The reporters say what you wish you could, keep their interviewees honest and simply take ever situation by storm. AND there is a Portland connection – director Arthur Bradford lives here!!"

If you’ve all but given up on MTV giving us anything but faux-reality shows about faux-celebutards with faux-chests, then perhaps you haven’t yet caught up with "How’s Your News?" Here’s your chance: There is a free screening at the Hollywood Theatre this Thursday at 7 p.m.

In the words of "How’s Your Newser" Bobby Bird: "Ma Yoya Booey Baba."

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