by David Safier
I just caught the Mexican American Studies segment on last night's Daily Show (You can find it in the whole episode on the Daily Show website, about 8 minutes in). It doesn't give you much of a sense of the MAS program, since, well, if you're going for comedy and you managed to convince Michael Hicks to do an interview with you, why would you show much of anything else? The guy is right out of central casting. "Can you send me a guy who comes off like a clueless rube,who thinks he's much smarter than he is, to say he's a School Board member and 'explain' why Mexican American Studies should be banned?" I'm not sure a top Hollywood agent could do much better than Hicks.
Ex-MAS teacher Curtis Acosta has a few moments on air. The problem with him from the Daily Show standpoint is, he isn't funny. He comes off, you know, thoughtful and intelligent. I imagine the show had a similar problem with the other teachers and students they interviewed. That's "60 Minutes" stuff, not satire. And if you want comedy, you need a foil. Enter Michael Hicks.
I can't capture in words how ridiculous he looks and sounds. Just watch it.
TRANSCRIPT UPDATE: This isn't as fun as watching it live, but here's a transcript of the segment.