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Not Necessarily the News (shortened as NNTN) is an American satirical sketch comedy series that first aired on HBO in September 1982 as a comedy special, and then ran as a series from 1983 to 1990. It was Conan O'Brien and Greg Daniels's first professional television writing gig. The show was considered an inspiration and a predecessor to future news satirical programs like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Last Week Tonight, among others.

Not Necessarily the News
Created byJohn Moffitt
Country of originUSA
No. of seasons8
No. of episodes72
Running time30 minutes
Original networkHBO
Original releaseJanuary 3, 1983 –
August 26, 1990


It featured sketches, parody news items, commercial parodies, and humorous bits made from overdubbing or editing actual news footage. It was based on the British series, Not the Nine O'Clock News. Not Necessarily the News was also the birthplace of Rich Hall's sniglets with a number of books that was also spawned. This format lasted until May 1989, when the series switched to a live, up-to-the-minute format in the style of Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update and Friday's Friday Edition. This move put the nails in the coffin for NNTN, ending in December 1990 with its 1990 Year In Review special.


Theme and episodesEdit

The show's first theme song was the instrumental bridge of Eric Clapton's cover of "Motherless Children". It was switched to "Hooray For The City" by Jack Mack & The Heart Attack in 1985.

The series also spawned two specialized episodes that aired as occasional specials: Not Necessarily the Year in Review, and Not Necessarily the Sniglets.

External linksEdit