Questionable Material’s listeners are comprised of a variety of people – tall, short, skinny, chubby, left-handed, right-handed, left-wing, right-wing, former fans of The B.S. of A. and people who have absolutely no idea what The B.S. of A. was.
Not knowing what The B.S. of A. was is tragic in many, many ways.
The B.S. of A. with Brian Sack was a half-hour sketch comedy program that aired on TheBlaze network between 2011 and 2014. The show was helmed by Brian Sack, and Jack Helmuth acted as show runner and managed five other full-time staff members.
While TheBlaze is rightly described as a partisan network, The B.S. of A. was tasked with being nonpartisan. The mandate from above was, “if it deserves to be poked at, poke.”
And poke they did. Days into the show, someone took umbrage at a joke about Sarah Palin and tried to get Brian fired. That someone? A gin-blossomed little crankypants named Steve Bannon.
There was zero oversight from the network. The six-figure-salary “oversight” guy literally showed up three times. Maybe four. Then he disappeared, never to be seen again.
Zero oversight meant Jack and Brian were free to do whatever they wanted. Over time, the show evolved into a delightfully esoteric and entertaining collection of scripted sketches and improvised bits. The show even took money for “under the table sponsors” who got hilarious television commercials in return for their payment. The cash went to the show staff, not the network.
The B.S. of A. was ahead of its time in many ways, with sketches about culture war issues that wouldn’t be mainstream for several years. Nobody was doing Gender Neutral Vegan Thanksgiving sketches in 2011, now they’re everywhere!
The show often tackled themes that were uncommon in comedy: the decline of journalistic standards, drone strikes, governmental overreach, bureaucratic inefficiency, anti-vaccination extremists, libertarian excesses, and more. President Barack Obama — effectively untouched by any and all other comedy shows — was touched. There were even two sketches that joked about the existence of a President Trump, years before that came to be.
The show utilized the talents of numerous skilled performers from the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre including Matt Fisher, Anthony Atamanuik, Lauren Conlin Adams, Tim Martin, Ben Rameaka and many more. While happy to cash checks from TheBlaze, none of them actually ever acknowledged working there. Sad!
The show ran from 2011 until 2014, when the network realized it was hemorrhaging money and canceled most of its original programming. Years later the network would retool and acquire much broader reach, which allowed it to make Tomi Lahren famous. Great job, fellas!
Fans of The B.S. of A. fondly recall the show. And Jack and Brian fondly recall getting paid to have a ton of fun, with absolutely no one telling them what to do.
Much of the show is archived on YouTube. The show’s name is hated by search algorithms — ‘the’ ‘b’ ‘s’ ‘of’ ‘a’ are all basically words/letters that search algorithms ignore. Something to think about the next time you name a TV show.