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"It's like a Mensa meeting with fart jokes!"
The Stephanie Miller Show is a syndicated liberal Radio Talk Show that has been in production since September 2004. Like its TV equivalents The Daily Show and (to a lesser extent) The Colbert Report, it straddles the line between a straight news show and a Comedy Series. While Miller and her co-hosts (aka "The Mooks") comment on the news and interview politicians, actors and other newsmakers on a daily basis, the show has a "Morning Zoo" feel, complete with Sketch Comedy, celebrity impressions, wacky Stock Sound Effects, and an overall atmosphere of genial goofiness. (Of course, if you're a conservative, Your Mileage May Vary on the "genial" part.)
The four people behind The Stephanie Miller Show are:
- Stephanie Miller: The host, AKA "Mama", is a comedian and actress who has worked in radio since The Eighties onward. Her past career also includes three non-fiction TV series: a revision of I've Got a Secret, a political debate show called Equal Time (co-hosted by Bay Buchanan, Pat's sister), and the original Stephanie Miller Show, a "disastrous" 1995 TV Talk Show that was canceled after a 13-week run. Refers to any
singleman she admires (most notably Keith Olbermann) as her "future husband".
- Jim Ward: The show's "Voice Deity", an Emmy-winning voice actor and impressionist who provides the Sketch Comedy.
- Chris Lavoie: AKA "Boy Toy Chris Lavoie". The engineer and executive producer, something of a Straight Man to Miller and Ward, although he's also quite the Deadpan Snarker. Sometimes called a "right-wing tool" for being (slightly) less liberal than his co-hosts.
- Rebekah Taylor (nee Baker): The show's associate producer, credited as being on "phones and drums". In the beginning, she was rarely heard on the air, partially due to lack of demand for her Ross Perot impression. Now, she regularly comes on to insult Stephanie for a few minutes each show.
Regular segments include:
- Right Wing World. Stephanie and friends play sound bites of prominent conservatives, then mock them for (in the hosts' opinions) bigotry, dishonesty, hypocrisy, stupidity, etc.
- Stand Up News. "When news breaks here, it stays broken". Stephanie reads various stories as a set up for Jim's Sketch Comedy.
- Tinsel Talk. "Stand Up News" meets Entertainment Tonight, as Stephanie and company make fun of Show Business.
- Celebrity Hotline. Interview segments featuring everyone from John Kerry to Jason Alexander.
- Conspiracy Corner. Jim Ward gives the details on a Conspiracy Theory while the Mission Impossible theme plays in the background.
- Guess the Quote. As the theme from Jeopardy! plays, Stephanie reads several quotes with a common theme, then challenges Jim to guess who said them. Jim deliberately guesses wrong each time, but his answers usually have a theme of their own.
The show's official website is here.
In 2011, Stephanie was named Woman of the Year by Talkers magazine.
In March 2012, a televised version of the show appeared on Current TV under the title Talking Liberally with Stephanie Miller.
- Angels Pose: Stephanie, Hal Sparks and John Fugelsang do it on the cover of their Sexy Liberal Tour CD.
- Big Ol' Unibrow: Stephanie has joked about how she had one as a child.
- Brief Accent Imitation: One of Jim Ward's specialties. Now referred to as "Jimitations."
- Casanova Wannabe
- Coming Out Story: Stephanie revealed that she's a lesbian on the August 13, 2010 episode.
- So Proud of You: The reaction of several fans and guests to the above revelation.
- Conspiracy Theorist: As noted, Jim Ward is one in Real Life.
- Deadpan Snarker: All three co-hosts, to varying degrees.
- Detournement: The purpose of "Right Wing World".
- Double Entendre: A regular source of humor.
- Enforced Plug: Overlaps with Catch Phrase; every time one of the mooks mentions the show's podcast, Steph says lightly "Just $4.95 a month if you buy a year in advance (ding)"!
- The Eponymous Show
- Expository Theme Tune change: "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister during the George W. Bush presidency, changed to "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves the day after Barack Obama was elected.
- Firemen Are Hot: A Running Gag with Stephanie, even after her Coming Out Story.
- Grumpy Bear: Rebekah's on-air persona.
- Heroes Love Dogs: Stephanie has several canine pets, and sometimes jokes about French kissing them.
- Crazy Cat Lady: One of her girlfriends had two cats, if that counts.
- I'm Cold... So Cold...: Parodied during an infamous Jim Ward sketch in which Yogi Bear's Sidekick Boo Boo is killed by Sarah Palin.
- Ineffectual Death Threats: In a Real Life example, a conservative who called himself "Sock" sent Miller a threatening letter after being offended by her appearance on Hannity and Colmes. Stephanie responded by calling Sock and talking to him on the air, and a listener actually wrote a Jingle for him ("It's nice to have a friend to help you get to Heaven/A special friend who's got an AK-47..."). Of course, law enforcement was called in as well.
- Jeopardy Intelligence Test/Jeopardy Thinking Music: As part of "Guess the Quote", as noted above.
- Lipstick Lesbian: Stephanie is a Real Life example.
- Name McAdjective: Used to insult the targets of "Right Wing World".
- Old Shame: Stephanie admits that she voted for Ronald Reagan in 1980. This is probably because despite her current beliefs, she comes from a Republican family; her late father, U.S. Representative William E. Miller, was Barry Goldwater's running mate in 1964.
- Once an Episode: The regular segments.
- Power Trio:
- Sarcasm Mode: A source of some of the humor.
- Sassy Black Woman: Three of them. The comedy team called "Frangela" (aka Frances Callier and Angela V. Shelton) appeared on the show almost every Friday for a while, and sometimes served as substitute hosts. More recently, Aisha Tyler was a regular guest before she joined The Talk.
- Screaming Plane Baby: Another Running Gag; whenever Stephanie flies, she always winds up on "Screaming Baby Airlines".
- Self Deprecating Humor: Stephanie frequently makes fun of herself and her show. Popular subjects of Miller's self-ridicule include her personal life (she didn't have one when she was single; then she dated a woman in her 30s, and the others joked about her "child bride"), her Show Business failures (especially the TV series), her age (she's 50, but refers to herself as an "elderly shut-in"), her (allegedly) being a Lady Drunk, and the absurdity of any politician or celebrity wanting to appear on her "little fart joke show".
- Sixth Ranger: Comedian/Actor/Rock Musician/real-life Pornomancer Hal Sparks, who regularly shows up every Wednesday for "Hump Days With Hal", and often fills in for the cast when they're on vacation.
- Also comedian John Fugelsang, who shows up every Friday for "Fridays with Fugelsang" and recently started being a substitute host.
- Sketch Comedy: Usually written and performed by Jim Ward.
- Stock Sound Effects: Plenty of them, used throughout every episode.
- Take That: The show delivers these to both politicians and celebrities.
- Toilet Humor: The show features a fair amount.
Stephanie: "Senator... fart joke... senator... fart joke. That's our format."
- Vocal Dissonance: Several people are surprised to see that Stephanie is not blonde and/or fat. She's even been mistaken for black.
- Voice Actors: As noted, Jim Ward is one. He's even gotten Stephanie a role on one of the many shows he's worked on (the 2006 Biker Mice From Mars Revival, for which Ward won his Emmy). Tom Kenny has also guested a few times.
- Weird Al Yankovic: Stephanie occasionally mentions that she dated him once, years ago, and found him to be a nice guy.