Thursday, August 26, 2004

'Daily Show' looks for cooter quips in Inverness
A TV crew from Comedy Central goes after blushes and slips of the tongue while seeking the meaning of "cooter."
By AMY WIMMER SCHWARB, Times Staff Writer
Published August 26, 2004


INVERNESS - Frank DiGiovanni brought along a turtle as a prop. Greg Hamilton wore blue because it looks good on TV. Winston Perry tried to keep one step ahead of the jokes.

But none of the three men at the crux of the debate over Cooter Fest knows precisely how he will be portrayed in an upcoming episode of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, which sent a four-man crew to downtown Inverness on Wednesday.

"I'm dying to see how this thing turns out," Perry said, "and if I look like just a little bit of a fool, or a whole lot of one."

A crew from The Daily Show, known for its parodies of real-live news stories, made the rounds in Inverness, squeezing double entendres into their interviews and making interviewees squirm, for fear of walking right into a punchline. They focused on the three men who have managed to bring national publicity to Inverness.

DiGiovanni, the Inverness city manager, championed the Cooter Fest and eagerly planned a month of festivities in honor of the cooter, a Southern expression for "turtle" and namesake of downtown's Cooter Pond.

Hamilton, editor of editorials for the St. Petersburg Times in Citrus County, rained on the parade when he pointed out in a column that "cooter" is also vulgar slang for vagina.

Perry, the owner of the downtown shop Ritzy Rags & Glitzy Jewels, says the name Cooter Fest is derogatory to women and wants the city to change the name.

Somewhere along the way, a wire service picked up the story, spreading word of the Cooter Fest to other corners of the country. DiGiovanni, who at first suggested canceling the festival, for fear of bringing bad publicity to his city, said he now embraces the publicity and is trying to make sure the original message of the Cooter Fest is part of the coverage.

He asked his friend Paul Anderson, the ranger at McGregor Smith Scout Reservation, to bring him a cooter for The Daily Show taping.

During his interview, Hamilton tried to skirt the issue of describing, on camera, specifically the vulgar meaning of "cooter." He first relied on the description he provided in his original column, when he said it was "a certain part of the female anatomy located south of the Mason-Dixon line."

No dice. Interviewer Ed Helms countered: "The only Mason-Dixon line I'm familiar with is the one that was south of Maryland."

Perry said he found himself in a similar position when the crew spent four hours at his shop Wednesday morning.

"They try to trick you with their questions," he said. "I tried to be as careful as possible about my answers."

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

(snippet of an article)

The show’s popularity doesn’t make the correspondents’ jobs easier. Ed Helms has been trolling FleetCenter for fodder for each night’s show, which tapes in the late afternoon — before the night’s big speeches — and airs at 11 p.m. “Our loss of anonymity makes it harder to ambush somebody,” he said. 

Helms’s great-grandfather played in a band at the 1904 convention in Chicago. 

Helms’s mother called him this week to say she found his great-grandfather’s credentials.

“A hundred years later, his great-grandson is at the convention, also for entertainment purposes,” Helms said.

The influence of “The Daily Show” influence has even made it to CNN, where former correspondent Mo Rocca now serves as an analyst, showing the convention’s lighter side. As for Helms, he says that being “the stupidest and silliest” is always the show’s first priority, but if someone learns something along the way, that’s an added benefit.

“There’s nothing more satisfying than calling out hypocrisy,” he said. “It’s so much easier to call out someone’s B.S. if you’re coming from satire. That power is something that other news organizations don’t have.”

...CONVENTIONAL WISDOM: Covering the Democratic National Convention is grueling stuff. Especially for the staff of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” A team of the show’s producers, editors and on-air talent decamped to Boston this week, and after moving into their temporary housing in the dorms at Boston University, staffers went “Old School,” apparently reliving their undergrad days. “We’ve reverted to college behavior,” said correspondent Ed Helms. “Last night we had Ramen noodles for dinner and played poker until 3 a.m.” No word yet on who served as

Sunday, August 01, 2004

mcchris.com - the imperial senate

Has Ed's voice in it. I've only listened to the first mp3.

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