This was Phil Hartman's last season; it was also the season where the writers of the show abandoned any pretence at being an observational comedy about office life, and went all-out for insanity. This was, in part, a reaction to the sudden explosion on NBC of office comedies that were very similar in style (and often in characters and stories) to "NewsRadio," like "Suddenly Susan" and "Just Shoot Me." With other shows doing the office ensemble comedy routine, creator Paul Simms steered his own show into new territory -- including a story arc, with Lauren Graham as an efficiency expert sent to shake up the office, that was a parody of NBC's suggestions for re-tooling the show.
But most importantly, this is the season with the episode where Jimmy James (Stephen Root), finding that his autobiography has become a hit in Japan, has it translated from Japanese back into English:
JIMMY: The original title of this book was "Jimmy James, Capitalist Lion Tamer" but I see now that it's "Jimmy James, Macho Business Donkey Wrestler." You know what it is... I had the book translated in to Japanese then back again into English. Macho Business Donkey Wrestler... well there you go, it's got kind of a ring to it, don't it? Anyway, I wanted to read from chapter three, which is the story of my first rise to financial prominence. "I had a small house of brokerage on Wall Street. Many days no business come to my hut. But Jimmy has fear? A thousand times no. I never doubted myself for a minute, for I knew that my monkey strong bowels were girded with strength like the loins of a dragon ribboned with fat and the opulence of buffalo dung. Glorious sunset of my heart was fading. Soon the super karate monkey death car would park in my space. But Jimmy has fancy plans and pants to match. The monkey clown horrible karate round and yummy like cute small baby chick would beat the donkey."
REPORTER # 1: Mr. James, what did you mean when you wrote "Bad clown making like super American car racers, I would make them sweat, War War?"
JIMMY: Well, you know... it's like when a clown is making like a car... racer... it's sorta... like... the FCC. The clown is like the FCC... and I was opposed to the FCC at the time, right? So it was like I was declaring War. WARRRR!"
REPORTER # 2: So then, did the "American yum yum clown monkey" also represent the FCC?
JIMMY: Yeah, it did. Thanks a lot.
REPORTER # 3: What did you mean when you said, "Feel my skills, donkey donkey donkey, donkey donkey?"