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The Day Today

Chris Morris' first TV program (aside from the lost Feedback Report). Based on his radio program On The Hour, it's a parody of a standard news program. Some people think this was what The Daily Show was based on, though I've never seen confirmation either way (if it were based on it, you'd expect to see it mentioned in the credits, and, well, let's face it, a parody news program isn't exactly the most original idea on the face of the earth – anyway, the primary thing about The Daily Show that sets it off is the fact that it's daily, which The Day Today wasn't). This also featured Steve Coogan as sportscaster Alan Partridge, a character who went on to do a couple of series on his own (I'm Alan Partridge and Knowing Me, Knowing You), which I've never seen, but I have to admit that it seems kind of odd, since from The Day Today, one wouldn't think that the character could support two series – and I dig Coogan. Chris Morris was the head anchor (as himself), along with other characters, including Ted Maul, a pompous field reporter, who would also show up on Brass Eye.

The satire in The Day Today isn't nearly as biting as Brass Eye, and as such, it doesn't hold up quite as well when the episodes are watched all in a row. It's much more silly with softer targets; there are shades of what Brass Eye would be in it, but most of the bits are parodies of sportscasters, flaky local reporters, weather presenters, traffic reports, and inter-personal relationships between the various on-air personalities. There are also extended package segments, which sadly seem more like standard sketch comedy sketches – not to mention an inexplicable soap opera parody that seems to show up in the last half of the series. It almost seems like they were grasping at something to fill up time. On the other hand, there are some great bits, like the MTV parody (which was, apparently, done wholly by Chris Morris on his own – I've heard from a few sources with that one that he basically went off by himself with a camera, wrote, performed and edited it, and basically presented a complete bit for broadcast; it features great musical parodies, including a fake ad by Nirvana and a gangsta rap parody by "Fur Q", adding to Morris' collection of musical jokes like the dead-on Pixies style parody "Motherbanger", the Pulp parody "Oh Me Oh Myra" (about Myra Breckenridge) or the glam parody "Playground Bangaround", the last two from Brass Eye), or the segment about fad pregnancies, where yuppies could have an implant put into their uterus, which would grow at the same rate as a human fetus, ending with her giving birth to a large plastic disc – all of the fun and prestige of being pregnant, with none of the fuss of actually having to take care of the infant.

It's still very worth watching; while it's much rockier than Morris' other stuff, but it does provide a lot of the base to see what Morris' work would evolve into.