TruTv Presents: World's Dumbest
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The Value of Flow

The show World's Dumbest uses telvision flow to create polysemy as well as aim towards a specific audience.

Amber Ainsworth's insight:

          Television shows have specific goals as to what meanings they would like to convey and to which audiences they would like to reach out to. Most shows tend to exemplify a theme through the show itself as well as the flow of commercials that air between segments. These ads can also point to the type of audience the show is attempting to reach. The weekly prime-time comedy show TruTv Presents: World’s Dumbest combines both show content as well as commercials to create flow that both presents the show’s comedic genre as well as the intended audience of the show.

         TruTv Presents: World’s Dumbest premiered in 2008 on TruTv, under the name The Smoking Gun Presents: World’s Dumbest. The show stems from The Smoking Gun, a website that acquires police videos of criminals doing dumb things. World’s Dumbest takes these clips and combines them with the quirky commentary of a celebrity cast. The celebs tend to vary slightly from season to season but include personalities such as Danny Bonaduce, Tonya Harding, Leif Garrett, and Loni Love. The show has been on the air for 15 seasons (with the 16th airing later this month), breaking away from criminal videos to include episodes that range from drivers to shoppers to brawlers, capturing and building humor off the stupidity and shortcomings of others. The videos The Smoking Gun uses come from the government, insuring that every episode is full of authentic stupidity.

          Although the show originally focused on criminals, each episode of World’s Dumbest focuses on a different theme. Regardless of the topic of the episode, the show focuses on combining videos with humor. Out of the three episodes I watched, two were dedicated to inventions and the third was about criminals. The episodes about inventions complied 20 videos of inventions dubbed the “World’s Smartest Inventions” that the cast immediately starts bashing and creating quirky jokes about. Likewise, the criminal episode showcased 20 videos as well, this time of criminals performing and failing at an array of crimes. During the episodes, the flow of humor and reality is presented through the show as well as the commercials. For instance, every commercial break included at least one advertisement about other television shows on TruTv, often of shows that are humorous or believed to be reality series. For example, a commercial for Impractical Jokers aired several times. The show is a reality show about a group of friends that put each other up to different gags played against unsuspecting strangers. The commercials and nature of World’s Dumbest solidify the idea that the show’s sole intention is humor. To take the jokes to another level, the series now has the interactivity of an app that has clips from the show, as well as daily updates and access to things the commentators are saying off the show.

          Other commercials that play while watching World’s Dumbest suggest a theme of living life for fun and pleasure. A large amount of ads were for various food joints, such as McDonald’s and Joe’s Crab Shack. Car companies were also popular, most of the advertisements spotlighting the new 2014 models. Travel websites such as Kayak and Trip Advisor also had spots, again reinforcing a theme of an enjoyable life. The commercials encourage a somewhat carefree life of happiness, while World’s Dumbest plays off the carefree actions of other people, blatantly putting them on display for entertainment purposes. This contrast isn’t immediately evident, but can be considered a funny play of actions, continuing to stick to the theme of humor the show presents.

          When considering an audience for the show TruTv Presents: World’s Dumbest, the content of the show itself as well as the commercials suggest who the show may be aimed towards. For starters, the clips as well as the commentary tend to contain swearing and sometimes even have brief nudity. Although edited for tv viewing, this type of language hints that the show is designed for older audiences. Again, the flow of the televisions series can be considered as a whole when deciding who the audience may be. While the show gives away that it is for viewers older than children, the commercials point towards a male following. The commercials reminded me of those that are broadcasted during a televised sporting event. Along with a multitude of eating establishments, endorsements for tools, Autozone, and Fruit of the Loom boxers were shown as well. Besides the show presenting a possible age group, the types of commercials shown seem to curve towards a middle aged viewer range. This estimate comes from the fact that the items in the ads would typically require money, often a larger amount of money than younger people tend not to have.  These advertisements represent products that men seem to favor, therefore TruTv and the show’s producers are suggesting who they expect to watch the program while taking advantage of the opportunity to market to a specific group of people. Of course this idea of who watches the show is only a rough thought, as many other types of people watch the show. For example, I am an 18 year old female who watches it, while my parents and little brother, who are in their 50’s and 14 respectively, all watch the show as well.

          Television flow is essential to presenting the theme(s) of a show as well as suggesting an audience of a certain television series. Many shows use both the matter of the show combined with the commercials, often referred to as flow, to tie together the meanings of the show. TruTv Presents: World’s Dumbest exhibits theme of realistic humor as well as a tendency to lean toward to an audience of middle aged men by choosing suggestive content for the show and airing advertisements aimed at men between the show.

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Shows A-Z - trutv presents: world's dumbest… on trutv | TheFutonCritic.com

Shows A-Z - trutv presents: world's dumbest… on trutv | TheFutonCritic.com | TruTv Presents: World's Dumbest | Scoop.it
trutv presents: world's dumbest… on trutv – TheFutonCritic.com has trutv presents: world's dumbest… news, listings, dvds, episode guides and more for trutv presents: world's dumbest…
Amber Ainsworth's insight:

I used this source because of its description of the show as well as the information given about the World's Dumbest app.

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About The Smoking Gun

About The Smoking Gun | TruTv Presents: World's Dumbest | Scoop.it
The Smoking Gun brings you exclusive documents--cool, confidential, quirky--that can't be found elsewhere on the Web. Using material obtained from government and law enforcement sources, via Fr
Amber Ainsworth's insight:

Although there isn't a huge amount of information on this page, it gives the background information of The Smoking Gun. I feel this information is essential to addressing the type of show World's Dumbest is and where it comes from.

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truTV Renews 'World's Dumbest...' for 15th Season

truTV Renews 'World's Dumbest...' for 15th Season | TruTv Presents: World's Dumbest | Scoop.it
Series Sets Out to Prove the World Is Getting Dumber in New and Exciting Ways
Amber Ainsworth's insight:

I picked this source because it gives evidence to my thoughts about the show's audience. It also gives useful information about the app (although I mostly used another source for this detail).

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Series/The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest - Television Tropes & Idioms

Series/The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest - Television Tropes & Idioms | TruTv Presents: World's Dumbest | Scoop.it
A description of tropes appearing in The Smoking Gun Presents Worlds Dumbest
Amber Ainsworth's insight:

I picked this site because although it contains a large amount of rather random information, it contains details about some of the content of the show, helping to decide on the audience range of the show.

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The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest (TV Series 2008– )

The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest (TV Series 2008– ) | TruTv Presents: World's Dumbest | Scoop.it
With Chip Bolcik, Brad Loekle, Judy Gold, Danny Bonaduce.
Amber Ainsworth's insight:

I chose this source because it has all the episodes listed by theme, as well as a section for parents about the nature of the show's content

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