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Lil Bush, Big Ratings

Comedy Central is taking another crack at lampooning the current president with Lil’ Bush, an animated series that mercilessly and crudely mocks the president and his inner circle. It is also another Bush-bashing based attempt to hold on to some of that South Park lead-in audience.

Apparently, there is quite an appetite for that menu. Comedy Central says Lil’ Bush, which is airing Wednesday’s at 10:30 as the lead-out to South Park, was the top show of the night with men 18-24 , cofirming, said the always-edgy channel, "what has long held to be true, young men love "Bush." It was also the top-rated show premiere for comedy Central since Drawn Together in 2004, another Wednesday, 10:30, South Park lead-out show.

I say another crack because the South Park team took shots at President Bush in a wicked satire, That’s My Bush, that aired only eight episodes, also in the Wednesday, 10:30 p.m., time period. The show was pulled in August 2001 for ratings, though it would likely have been pulled a few weeks later after 9/11.

That’s My Bush, with plots like a naked Laura Bush and a talking aborted fetus, was cruder than funny. The joke was that the show was in the mode of a 1970’s sitcom, but the gimmick wore thin quickly.

Lil’ Bush is trying for a combination South Park and a 70’s animated Saturday morning series, like the Cosby Kids or Archies, featuring pint-sized versions of Bush and Condi Rice, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and Jeb Bush. The show even appears to throw in a shout-out to its predecessor, with Lil ‘ Bush saying of his father at one point, "That’s my pop."

While writer Opus Moreschi says the show is about the interplay of characters rather than "straight up-and-down satire," the show plays like satire, straight up, with a 100 proof chaser. It is over the top and then some. "Unrelenting" might be another word for it,. Bit, again, it is not targeted to me, unless you count me as equivalent to three 16-year-olds.

But it is no South Park, which somehow manages to be phenomenally tasteless and incredibly funny at the same time.

The clip of Lil’ Bush promoted on the Comedy Central Web site was attacked the admininistration without mercy, though not without some humor.

But here is a sampling of the shots taken.

The foursome sing a song about taking a trip to Iraq. The kicker line, repeated again and again, is that it is like "flying right into a big shithole." Cheney is shown Rambo-like mowing down civilians and even a cat as they shop in a war-ravaged Iraq for a Father’s Day present for the senior Bush, a feel good story among all the news of Iraqi death and destruction. Cheney also pops the head off of various live birds and sucks out their blood while cackling like another bird, The Pengiun, from Batman. The Green Zone is shown as a Halliburton-populated Eden with men playing in piles of gold coins.

"Lil Bush and company find a present for dad, a lame Iraqi child they can take home for a photo op, but Jeb Bush accidently kills the boy. Then there is, well, you get the idea.

By John Eggerton