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October 30, 2008 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-10-30

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4B - Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Michigan Daily -- michigandaily.com

4B - Thursday, October 30, 2008The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Bringing the best
B-movies to TV

WOLFMAN
From Page 1B
those videos and I laugh my butt
off every time." -
It's this cult identification and
fringe interest appeal that moti-
vates the horror show scene. Bad
B-movies, shittyshockers and sub-
par sci-fi have always appealed
to a unique group of people in a
strong yet strange way.
"For sure (Halloween) is our
busiest time of the year. People
are flocking to our program. It's
just that sort of thing. It's time
for, you know, cider mills and
haunted houses and all that good
stuff," Mac said. "So certainly,
our numbers dip a little bit in the
winter, but that's expected. But
we maintain definitely a strong
local following all year round."
Even with the fluctuation in
viewers, Mac trusts in the endur-
inginterest of scare-lovers every-
where.
"There's something nostalgic
about it, I don't know what it is,"
Mac said.''It's a crappy time right
now, and I really do believe, with
all my heart, that people fall back
on the type of programming we
have just because it's... fun. It's
just good fun."
The Wolfman tries to have fun
with TV, but he also works hard to
make his show known. Between
appearances at parties, haunted
houses and even an upcoming
wedding, Mac hypes his TV every
chance he can get.
He even has a good pitch for
college students and why they
should tune in: "There are some
college students that watch us
that have a little bit of a drinking
game when the Wolfman howls,"
said Mac. "And that is not at all
condoned," Mac adds, with a bit
of nervous laughter.
In terms of material for the

older age sets, he continued, "I
want people to know I get a lot
of e-mails from people that really
want me to do a little bit more
adult content, and we have our
adult innuendo in there ... I've
stayed family (oriented) on pur-
pose and the reason for that is if
I were to do, you know, the boob
jokes and whatever else, I would
be ending the horror genre with
this generation. It would be all
over with."
"I want 20 years from now,
some kid that's watching me -
he's 14 years old right now - you
know, talking about how he grew
up watching 'Wolfman Mac' and
how it was so cool."
"Sinema" is the strange local
program that should define any-
Wolfman Mac:
the horror show
host you will
never forget.
one's formative years. Luckily,
Wolfman Mac has kindred spirits
out there: Pittsburgh's Bill Car-
dille, Cincinnati's The Cool Ghoul
and Tennessee's Dr. Gangrene.
This niche entertainment has
lasted for a reason. While comic
book movies, musicals and other
genres may rise and fall, there's
almost always a market for the
cornball. Wolfman Mac is what
late weekend nights are all about
when you're growing up.
The Wolfman's website puts it
best: "Remember the good 'ol days
of the Ghoul, Sir Graves Ghastly,
and Count Scary? Remember
the days of LOCAL television in
Detroit? Well, they're back!"

4

Flag Depot is getting really hard up for spokesmen.
TV NOTEBOOK
Thecolor oflate

Nightly talk shows may the current presence of one show is
preventing us from hearingthe con-
be mostly white, but cerns of black Americans and denies
us the opportunity to laugh with
times are changing black entertainers as theytransform
their particular concerns into com-
By DAVE REAP edy. It's not like Jon Stewart and
DailyArts Writer Conan O'Brien don't touch upon
issues that affect black Americans,
Let's play a little television trivia. its just they can't give the perspec-
See if you can answer this seem- tive that a black host could offer on
ingly innocent question: What do these same topics.
fake news shows like "The Daily The time is ripe for change,
Show with Jon Stewart," "The Col- though: There's never been a better
bert Report" and "Saturday Night time for a black host to break onto
Live: Weekend Update Thursday" the late night scene, as shows like
have in common? And what do these "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"
shows also share withlate night talk and "Saturday Night Live" are cur-
shows like "Late Night with Conan rently generating record-breaking
O'Brien," "The Late Show with numbers. (Consider NBC's decision
DavidLetterman" and"TheTonight to air three consecutive episodes of
Show with Jay Leno"? "SNL: Weekend Update Thursday"
Well, they all have white hosts. in hopes of riding the surge in rat-
And while this probably wasn't the ings "SNL" is experiencing and cap-
answer you had in mind, now that italizing on the unique material this
it's been brought to your attention, campaign season offers.) As a result,
doesn't it seem a little strange? networks are eager to cash in on this
Yeah, this is probably just mere current trend, which has given two
coincidence - no, the networks black hosts a chance to prove they
are not racist - but it's unfortunate can hang with the heavyweights of
nonetheless. There really shouldn't late night comedy.
be a racial monopoly on satirical First, Comedy Central launched
late-night humor. And what's more, "Chocolate News," a pseudo-news

show and sketch comedy hybrid
featuring excitable black person-
ality and University alum David
Alan Grier ("Blankman"). Grier
plays the lead news anchor while
also taking on a variety of other
characters like Maya Angelou and
a fictitious rapper named Phat
Man. While Grier succeeds in get-
ting across concerns faced by the
black community, he often does
this at the expense of alienating
white viewers. (Roughly three-
fourths of his skits ended with a
white person or group of white
people being beaten up.) And here
is where he falls short of Dave
Chappelle. Chappelle was a mas-
ter at addressing issues unique
to the black community in a way
that a person of any race could
identify with and appreciate. And
while there's nothing wrong with
targeting a specific audience, the
best way a host can get his mes-
sage across is to relay it to a large
audience made up of viewers of
diverse backgrounds - something
Grier's late night peers do to some
extent.
Perhaps a more promising can-
didate to appeal to larger audiences
is D.L. Hughley ("Studio 60 on the

night
Sunset Strip"), who will be hosting
a new late night comedy show called
"D.L. Hughley Breaks the News" on
CNN. The show is rumored to also
be of the pseudo-news and sketch
variety, but with the added bonus
of special guests. Though Hughley
will greatly benefit from the cred-
ibility of being associated with CNN
and the intrigue that comes with
the network's first display of its
lighter side, his time slot (10 p.m. on
Saturdays) may prove to be a disad-
vantage. Despite this, Hughley will
probably draw a considerable audi-
ence and will not likely suffer as a
result of turning off white viewers
in the way that Grier does. And, who
knows, if Hughley finds a groove
and his show catches on, maybe
CNN will put him somewhere in
their weekly lineup.
As for now, it's probablysafecto say
the current late night landscape will
continue to be dominated by white
hosts, but at least we're starting to
see black entertainers emerging and
climbing to more mainstream posi-
tions. And let's remember that this
is really what America is all about:
Citizens of different perspectives
and backgrounds coming together...
to rip on their government.

I
I

How 'M' ratings
restrict garners

RATINGS
From Page 3B
an impressionable mind. It doesn't
make logical sense that a game
where someone bleeds profusely
after being poked by a pin would
get a Mature rating, while a game.
where someone doesn't bleed at all
after being shot with a gun would
probably get a Teen rating. Because
of this absurd discrepancy,itwould
be better if the ESRB removed the
letter rating from the box entirely,
and made a list of potentially con-
troversial content more prominent
on the box. This way, parents and
children alike would have a much
better sense of what they were buy-
ing, especially as the line between
Teen and Mature ratings is becom-
ingincreasingly blurred.
Not only is the rating system
unclear, it's also breeding a new
generation of over-the-top Mature
gaming. Many game , developers
are adapting to the strict system
by making the most of the rating
they expect to receive. If it's clear a
gamegis goingto be given a Mature
rating based on just one element,
developers tend to escalate levels in
all other parts of the game in order

The Stude't- Advoca'y ent-' af Michigan
r A~ak 7

to compete with the other options
intended for ages 17 and up. They
often add sexual content or more
blood to make it stand out among
its competitors. This might be most
evidentinthe N64 escapade "Conk-
er's Bad Fur Day," but it can also be
seen, to an extent, in modern titles,
such as the very popular "Mass
Effect" This is unhealthy for the
gaming industry for two reasons:
First, it eliminates a lot of games
that could bridge the gap between
Teen and Mature, for those who
are starting to get too old for teen
games. Second, the games coming
How far is too
far for modern
video games and
their violence?
out of this trend shed negative light
on gaming in the media.
This isn't to say that censorship is
never necessary. "LittleBigPlanet"
for Playstation 3 - a game so cute it
should come with a free bunny rab-
bit - was delayed from its Oct. 21
release date to Oct.27 due to offen-
sive content. It turns out that one
of the background songs contained
two verses from the Qur'an. Many
Muslims consider the fusion of
music and scripture to be blasphe-
mous, so game developers at Media
Molecule had to make entirely new
copiesofthe game without the con-
troversial song. Media Molecule's
soundtrack compilers should prob-
ably have done better research,
seeing as the two phrases in ques-
tion translate to, "Every soul shall
have the taste of death" and "All
that is on Earth will perish" - not
exactly an appropriate message for
what is first and foremost a chil-
dren's game.
October and November are
seeing a lot of highly anticipated
games, such as "Fallout 3," "Fable
2" and "Gears of War 2." With so
many of these games, including
the three just mentioned, rated
Mature, it looks like the new safe-
ly irreligiousversion of "LittleBig-
Planet" might be the only great
next-generation game younger
audiences can beg for this holiday
season. The ESRB needs to reform
its rating system or this polariza-
tion of the gaming industry will
continue indefinitely.

i
z

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