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Shaker Heights Native Andy Borowitz Brings His Political Satire to PBS

Shaker Heights native Andy Borowitz is a savvy political satirist.

If you're a fan of his Borowitz Report for The New Yorker, you're familiar with the silly, fake news headlines he posts on a daily basis.

Like: "In Major Shakeup, One of the Voices in Rudy Giuliani's Head Resigns" or "Queen Trains Corgis to Attack Boris Johnson if He Ever Comes to Palace Again."

Starting Monday night at 9, Borowitz can be seen on the new PBS program "Retro Report," which attempts to makes sense of the present by revealing the past.  

Retro Report Team: (From Left to right) Host Masud Olufani, contributor Andy Borowitz and host Celeste Headlee [PBS]

Borowitz closes out each show with his segment called "Now It All Makes Sense," which is a heavy dose of political satire.

He's producing these satirical pieces with the help of former staffers from "The Daily Show," Sara Taksler and Jackie Soriano.

"What's really fun is we take a topic like politicians apologizing and then find really some wonderful clips, some of them excruciating, of politicians offering these apologies. One thing we noticed pretty consistently with all these apologies is that the politicians never actually take any responsibility for anything they've done," Borowitz said.

Borowitz and his team dug up historical clips from politicians like Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner, Bob Packwood and Richard Nixon.

"That's the wonderful thing about the internet now is that all these excruciating, embarrassing moments live on forever. They then provide fodder for cheap jokes from the likes of me," he said.

Borowitz also targets political ads, lunar hoaxes, Space Force and bullying on TV on the show.

Andy Borowitz on "Retro Report" [PBS]

One of the most personal pieces is Borowitz's take on the burning of the Cuyahoga River.

"To me, it was an interesting segment to do because it talked about, among other things, the birth of the EPA. I did not realize until I researched the segment that the EPA grew out of the incredibly bad publicity caused by a river spontaneously combusting," he said.

Today Borowitz lives in New York City, but he has fond memories of Cleveland, most of them funny.

"I just feel like the glory days of Cleveland being a hilarious place might be in the '60s and '70s," he said. "I miss the absurdity and surrealism of my youth in Cleveland. I'm just trying to keep that alive in my heart."

Andy Borowitz explains how his time at Shaker Heights High School prepared him for The Borowitz Report...  


Andy Borowitz appears on PBS "Retro Report" Monday and Tuesday nights in October on WVIZ/PBS at 9 p.m.

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