MTV's new series How's Your News may seem like exploitative douchebag comedy at the expense of the disabled, but the show actually has a long history. it evolved from a documentary about a cross country road trip with several of How's Your News most outgoing reporters, which was winning combination of sweet, earnest, and utterly hilarious. 2004's follow up short, On the Campaign Trail, was even better, because mixing these intrepid reporters with politics is just so perfectly revealing.
Being a big fan of these earlier productions, I wish I could praise the series. However, they make some missteps while trying too hard to appeal to the tweener mass audience: loading the show with ironic humor, quick cuts, Jackass goofing, and celebrity interviews (comedians have the hardest time: Amy Sedaris and Sarah Silverman beeline for the irony and come off like total assholes, though SNL's Bill Hader steals the nice guy award, especially in this extended clip). It is still entertaining, and if I were still the teenaged me I would probably think it was the best show ever, but overall it lacks the charming innocence of the original HYN productions. Besides, the best segment of all ended up on the cutting room floor.
Before HYN, there was Kiss My TV Show, a 90s public access program out of Chicago. Produced by the Little City Foundation, this show has more of the over-protective non-profit do-gooder vibe and is therefore missing the winsome anarchy of HYN. But it does have all the hallmarks of great cable access. Despite being more supervised, Kiss My TV Show also motivates their mentally disabled television stars to engage in more dangerous habits than MTV would dare allow: like handling raw chicken and driving huge cargo vans.