Summary/overview: One cool guy surrounded by an uptight upper-middle-class co-host and a technical staff that sometimes messes up, with guests and part-time panelists that are either geeks and freaks (male news guys) or babes and milfs.(female news dolls). Female co-host has a lovely engaging laugh but does not cheaply bestow it on the “boys’ humor” that often threatens to undo the whole show. Of course, her disapproval makes their humor all the more funny, supposedly.
Joe = Howard.
Mika = Robin.
TJ = Gary Dell’Abate.
Steve Rattner = Beetlejuice
So far, pretty obvious.
But even Joe Scarborough’s conservatism in a sea of liberal MSNBC-people is similar to Howard Stern’s philosophical position on his old radio show, for Howard was the nagging family guy in a sea of single sex freaks, and Howard was always telling his freaky guests to be more responsible and to grow up and be careful. Yes, Howard was a conservative–a social conservative! (Relative to his melieu.)
Another similarity between the two shows is the imperious, dictatorial atmosphere on the set during airtime whereby everybody is apparently in fear of getting fired by the host or co-host for any kind of reason.
There are numerous other similarities in style and format: the rock music interludes, of course: the idea of a public forum where even conservative guests (celebrities in Stern’s case) will be deliberately put outside their comfort zone; the selective releases of too much personal information about the host, co-host or panelists’ private lives; repeating the 6:00 AM broadcast at 8:00 AM, etc.
Mike Barnacle = Fred
John Heileman = Arte Lange
Willie Geist = Jackie the Jokeman Martling
Louis Burgdorf = Stuttering John
Donnie Deutsch = Ralph
Brian Shachtman, Bill Karins, and Brian Sullivan = latest intern to be abused
But, I gotta say, the romantic photographs of Joe and Mika–soaking in the sunset, napping in the park together, the one with the foot-massage, etc.–that’s original. Howard and Robin never did that when they had a TV show. Howard’s wives would have prevented it.