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Cranky Old Comics Invade Summer TV Press Tour

We'd expected "M. Night Shyamalan Presents Summer TV Press Tour 2009" (decimated TV critics group walking around, not realizing they are dead) to be a very cranky scene.

But we thought the TV critics would be the cranky ones.

Instead, it's been -- the comics.

The first few days of the annual confab, in which television networks take turns trotting out their new shows to critics, have been particularly stand-up comic infested.

George Lopez came to plug his new TBS late night talk show and, after dropping the name of his BFF "Barack" about a dozen times, started demanding TV critics stand up when addressing him, like they were at some presidential news conference at the White House:

Lopez to critic: Stand up.

Critic: I'm not going to stand up.

Lopez: You have to stand up, or I'm not going to answer any questions. Stand up!

Whoopi Goldberg smacked down a critic who asked if she'd like to get any of her "The View" colleagues to participate in her new "Head Games" - a Science Channel all-things-science game show. (Of course, the critic was referencing Sherri "World is Flat" Shepherd):

Whoopi: I know that's supposed to be a provocative question, but I'm here to talk about my science show.

Comic Greg Proops (remember him from "Who's Line is It Anyway" and "Flight of the Conchords"?) is hosting Whoopi's new show, and seemed particularly put out with a beauty-pageant question posed by a critic, who wondered if he had liked any "educational, 'science-y' shows" as a child:

Proops: 'Entourage' is a very scientific show - you learn a lot about the science of show business on that. And I like 'Dexter' as well - that has a lot of forensic things in it that I can pick up.

Joy Behar and went into full-on-diva mode, and started answering questions with questions, after saying she wanted Sarah Palin on her new Headline News Channel talk show, and a critic asked why she thought Palin would want to come on the program:

Behar: Well, I don't know. I'll ask you: 'Why do you think?'

Mo'Nique nicked critics for not giving her a standing O when she walked into the room:

Mo'Nique: Before I sit down, I must say there's a lot of people in this room and the claps was not loud enough at all.

She later blasted TV critics for all the Michael Jackson coverage on television, in the mistaken belief TV critics program the TV networks:

MO'NIQUE: Leave him alone! Leave his family alone and let that brother rest in peace! Whatever the issues were, they're gone now because he's gone. Stop trying to find a story to write about. Damaging -- it can be damaging, and it gets ugly, and he can't defend himself. So as of today make the promise to let that story die!

Comics have been so nasty to the TV critics that the notorious grumpy Larry David - he of the autobiographical HBO series "Curb Your Enthusiasm" -- seemed downright friendly in comparison during a Q&A session to plug that series' return.

"You know it's a strange day when Larry David seems friendlier than Whoopi Goldberg," one shell-shocked critic tweeted.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  July 31, 2009; 6:52 PM ET
Categories:  Summer TV Press Tour 2009  
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