Contrary to numerous gloomy internet reports prior to its airing, tonight’s premiere episode of the new Fox News TV comedy program, The 1/2 Hour News Hour, co-created and produced by 24 mastermind Joel Surnow, was very funny indeed. 

The opening sequence, in which Rush Limbaugh speaks as the newly elected President of the United States and Ann Coulter is vice president, was goofy and charmingly funny. Sample joke: Rush asks Ann if she’ll join him for a cigar. Ann says, "Isn’t the White House a smoke-free zone?" Rush replies, gleefully, "Not any more!"

It’s a cheerfully silly moment, but it also makes a good point about the annoying busybody mentality so prevalent in America today that it permeates even the White House.

The rest of the program consists of a fictional news program hosted by two typically earnest anchors, complete with fictional commercials.

It’s very funny. 

Tonight’s top story:

Dispelling reports that she would staff her White House with longtime cronies and political appointees, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton vowed that if she becomes president she will surround herself with a diverse, multiethnic, multigenerational group . . . of angry lesbians.

A comedy bit consisting of an advertisement for BO, a magazine about Barack Obama, turned out to have several good laughs. Article titles such as "A Life in Politics: My 18-Month Journey" and "Should We Even Bother to Hold the 2008 Election?" make solid satirical points and are quite funny.

A piece parodying the all too popular Che Guevara t-shirts includes a vendor offering shirts with a photo of Chairman Mao and the words "Ask about our one-baby policy." Another shirt has a photo of Idi Amin and the words, "People—the Other White Meat."

In another segment, a game show host and climatologist proffers his theory that any problem in the world can be linked to global warming in six degrees or less. He calls it "Six Degrees of Global Warming," and gives several examples of Rube Goldberg-style mechanisms leading absurdly, for example, from global warming to a crime wave in Houston. Superb.

In all, the program is funny, it’s satirical, and it’s gleeful in its political correctness. It succeeds greatly at what it sets out to do.