The Watchman: ‘Our Cartoon President’ and a Dog Day Evening

“People ask me all the time, do you get tired of mocking the president?” Stephen Colbert said, “and this is a complicated answer: No and hell no.”

The CBS late-night host was introducing a screening of two episodes of Showtime’s Our Cartoon President at a midtown Manhattan hotel, not far from Trump Tower, two nights before the animated series debuted on Feb. 11. Colbert and his Late Show executive producer Chris Licht helped bring the new 10-episode series to life, and it was already off to a viral start. Showtime Networks CEO David Nevins noted that a preview of the opening episode had been viewed more than 1 million times on YouTube over about 10 days.

“I agree with David that the show has great virality, because just thinking about the president makes me ill,” Colbert said, following Nevins.

Nevins and Colbert stressed how hard showrunner R. J. Fried, lead animator Tim Luecke and consulting producer Matt Lappin have worked and keep working to keep the comedy topical. Yet, Colbert conceded, with his typically great timing: “We tried to think of the stupidest things that this person in the Oval Office could think of, just the most vain and self-serving things, and at no point did we imagine military parade.”

Colbert had lots of praise for the material — and the aesthetic. “It is beautiful and stupid and timely and actually gorgeous to look at too,” he said. “What I didn’t expect is that it would actually be enjoyable to just look at as a piece of art.”

Our Cartoon President airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.

It hasn’t even aired yet, but look for Hallmark Channel’s inaugural American Rescue Dog Show to become an annual programming event.

That’s what Crown Media Networks president Bill Abbott says. For more of his views, see this week’s Five Spot.

In the special, which debuts Monday, Feb. 19, at 8 p.m., “adopt-ready” dogs compete in 10 categories for the title of Best in Rescue. Those categories include — and The Watchman is not making these up — best in “kisser,” “wiggle butt” and “couch potato.”

“The show has some beautiful dogs and tugging-at-the-heartstring moments that are, we believe, going to be with us, in terms of a franchise, for a very long time,” Abbott said, adding that the show combines a great cause with great family programming.

Is Abbott himself an animal fan? He says from a business perspective it is a winning proposition, but that he is also “passionate about pets.”