Making fun of the news seems like a no-brainer. You need material? All you got to do is open a newspaper or switch on the TV.

But according to comic Colin Mochrie, it can be tricky sometimes.

“I remember after 9-11, for a long time it was hard to come up with a funny angle on that particular news item,” says Mochrie, who was a cast member on This Hour Has 22 Minutes from 2001 until 2003. “We eventually did by focusing on the hysteria that resulted afterward.”

“It was an odd time. I remember doing an improv tour, and you’d do a Bush joke and immediately lose 50 per cent of the audience. They’d boo.”

Mochrie will return to the faux anchor desk this week as a guest on CBC’s The Hour, delivering The News, the talk show’s nightly look at the world of entertainment.

Comic Sean Cullen kicks off the guest anchoring tonight, followed by Mochrie (Tuesday), Gilson Lubin (Wednesday), and Nikki Payne (Thursday).

“We just thought it would be fun,” says The Hour host George Stroumboulopoulos.
“One of the things we do on our show is make sure Canadian talent has a home. We only have two interview spots, so we thought — how can we get them on the show? Hey —let’s get them to do the The News. Do what I do.”

Stroumboulopoulos says his talk show, which combines interviews with headlines and commentary, can be funny. But don’t go mistaking it for a comedy show.

“We can do observation, we can point out the obvious, we can make jokes, or provide a nuisanced look at something. But we’re not a comedy show. But in there, if the audience finds something funny, that’s great.”

The host says he likes to change things up on his show and looks forward to what the comics bring to the table.

“We have our writers, but they’ll bring whatever they bring. We’ll work on it with them. But no one needs to tell Sean Cullen or Colin Mochrie what to do.”

Mochrie can’t see himself doing nightly commentary on a show like The Hour or The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

“It’s certainly a good way to get your point across,” he says. “But it sounds like work to me. I’m lazy. I’d get on the computer to write and get distracted by solitaire.”

The Hour airs Monday-Friday at 11 p.m. on CBC.

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