Considering that the last few weeks of quarantine have created, for a lot of people, a purgatorial existence where the nature of time itself seems to have flattened into borderline incoherence, it’s always helpful for the news to loudly declare which day it is when updating viewers on the world’s latest events. Cleveland’s Fox 8 News, apparently the first station to notice that this need requires filling, has decided to do just that through a fresh segment called, naturally enough, “What Day Is It?”
The first instance of this valuable new feature, which debuted last night, was captured in a clip tweeted out by Brian Stelter. Delivered with the plastic enthusiasm of all local news personalities, the segment’s introduced with an anchor named Stefani Schaefer saying, “If you’re not at work today, or you’re working from home, you may be wondering: What day is it?”
Despite the very real possibility that the gag would collapse after Schaefer’s glass-crackling pronunciation of “what” threatened to shatter the set, it goes on, switching to a shot of co-anchor Todd Meany standing in front of a big screen that reads, “Today Is Mon.”
“It’s Monday,” Meany says. He then stands frozen, staring expressionless, until a little jingle ends the segment.
Most local news jokes are terrible (and the Fox logo at the bottom of the screen never inspires much confidence) but this manages to work out just fine. The context of the bit; Meany’s blank stare; the deranged pep of Schaefer’s introduction—all of it comes together to capture something essential about the psychology of a world paralyzed in the grip of a pandemic, helpless in the face of disaster.
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