Joel McHale vs. The Drunks on the Fourth Hour of Today: Television. Gold. (Video)

New York City's film and television production has an epicenter of Weird. It isn't on some obscure public access channel, or even the guy who does the cooking tips for NY1. No, it's Hoda and Kathy Lee, who host the fourth hour of NBC's Today. They are typically drunk and generally absurd, like a bad SNL sketch brought to life and glory.

Joel McHale -- star of NBC's Community and the weekly genius that is The Soup on E!, which is like The Daily Show for everything awful about television -- has been making fun of the fact that Hoda and Kathy Lee appear to be (and often are) shitfaced drunk on their show every day, because it's the fourth hour of Today, which is mostly only watched by drunk housewives and the guys who produce The Soup. And he went on their show this week to talk about it, in the process, producing the best television this week, and maybe some of the best television of the year.

The first two minutes are especially profound. Note the following highlights:

0:22: An unshaven, hungover looking McHale pulls out a bottle of booze and plastic cups.

0:39: "A lot of people only know our show from you," Hoda notes. Surely this has occurred to McHale before, who looks disturbed nonetheless, and mumbles to himself.

Joel McHale vs. The Drunks on the Fourth Hour of Today: Television. Gold. (Video)

0:45: "What is this?" Kathy Lee registers her suspicion. Hoda starts launching into a clip. McHale, pouring the booze: "No, go ahead, that's great..."

1:30: The clip hits its punchline: "The fourth hour of Today is sponsored by gin." Cut back to the studio, and everyone in the crew is stifling laughs, because they know it's true.

1:34: McHale drinks out of the bottle.

1:40: "Why do you continue to mock our show?" Hoda asks. McHale, without missing a beat: "Have your seen your show?" Hoda laughs, because it's true.

It keeps going. If Joel McHale's media tour continues in this vein, he could be bigger than god. Or at least The Real Housewives of Trenton. Next stop, Nancy Grace.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]


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