Sex ed on Comedy Central

Health information meets hilarity on the cable channel's new sketch show for teens.

Published May 15, 2009 12:03PM (EDT)

On Wednesday, Comedy Central announced its 2009-10 programming lineup. As Margaret Lyons at Entertainment Weekly notes, "It's pretty standard CC: Dude shows, cartoons, cartoons about dudes, gettin' high, stand-up stuff." But there is one terribly exciting exception: The cable channel has greenlighted a TV version of the cult-favorite online series "Midwest Teen Sex Show"!

Despite its provocative title, this isn't prime-time softcore. "Midwest Teen Sex Show" combines sketch comedy with useful sex information to hilarious effect. The raciest part of the show, as it currently exists, is the opening sequence, which features a girl in a bikini top and cargo pants posing in a corn field. Episodes have included "Porn," "Hook Ups," "Backdoor Business" and a Halloween special called "The Green Tongue of HPV." But my favorite has to be a recent installment on "Vaginas" (posted below), which dubs the lady parts "America's true heroes" and includes a "Real World" parody featuring such cast members as Labia "Lips" Dugan and Clitoris "Tori" Philips. Make sure the high schooler in your life watches the most recent episode, "Prom," which boasts the tag line, "Prom babies cry just as loud." 

Beyond its obvious entertainment value, "Midwest Teen Sex Show" has real potential to educate teens (especially those who don't have comprehensive sex ed programs in school) and promote frank, intelligent discussion. The show's deadpan host, Nikol Hasler, manages to painlessly pack each episode with useful information. In "Birth Control," she introduces Depo-Provera: "Some people don't like it because it's a shot. But you're trying to get poked anyway!" Her best line in "Vaginas"? "As for douches, would you date one? No. So don't use them."

It may seem far-fetched to expect a TV series to stand in for good sex ed in school. And, ideally, it wouldn't have to. But with so many teens using "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" as their sole news sources, Comedy Central may as well help teach them about the birds and the bees, too.


By Judy Berman

Judy Berman is a writer and editor in Brooklyn. She is a regular contributor to Salon's Broadsheet.

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