While it wasn’t overtly political, like The Colbert Report, it mocked the cultural sensibilities of the times in much the same way that Stephen Colbert does today. It was smart, edgy, often politically incorrect, and absolutely hilarious! Just as Colbert pushes the envelope by combining TV comedy with modern technology and audience interaction, Fernwood blurred the lines between reality and fiction by combining real life guests and fictional characters interacting with the pompous, condescending Gimble and the stunningly dense windbag Hubbard.
Additionally, I’m reminded by this tribute by Steve Clemons, that Fernwood’s creator, Norman Lear, has long had a political sensibility that played a large role in developing the new progressive media that helped make shows like Stephen Colbert’s possible.
I had not thought about Fernwood for many
Thanks to the wonders of YouTube, I was able to find a couple of vintage clips that demonstrate what I’m talking about. Enjoy!
Gimble and Hubbard at their Finest:
Classic Interview with Tom Waits: