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April 30, 2006

Comments

Catttt

Well put, Daniel. For the most part, Mr. Colbert bombed. Not only was most of his routine not funny - his snark bombed as well. I could go down to the corner and listen to ranting. Snark elevated to the WHC Dinner should still be funny snarkiness. It can be done - Robin Williams can make me laugh 'til my sides hurt, while cutting something I believe in to ribbons.

Phyltre

Colbert is not just a comedian. He's an extended personality. Even when he does voice acting for comedy cartoons he presents an overblown, overassuming, overconfident and misguided persona--a lampoon of every single human being alive. Am I lauding him as some kind of genius? Of course not. Not in a history-making sense. But his power is not only in comedy, but in satyrizing the self-important nature of people (which always tends to bloom in a political environment.) Of course, he builds on this depending on what he's doing.

To me, this is effective, universal criticism that comes with laughter--what satire is meant to be. But judging Colbert on how many laughs he gets is like judging a movie by how many people talk during quiet moments or are eating something. It's irrelevant. His message is his message, not the comedy it's bundled with--not everyone will, or will want to, laugh at the comedy.

But I did.

Dunbar

RW, I used to believe in hyperbole. Then I met the Bush Administration.

And you obviously do not know the difference between a humorist and a satirist. One makes you laugh out of amusement, the other makes you damn uncomfortable if you happen to be the one being satirized.

Colbert just wasn't funny. It's too bad because he's one of the best.

outragedmoderates.org

I disagree that the President of a constitutional republic is somehow supposed to be "beyond satire." Colbert's comments were definitely harsh, and if I were a comedian, I wouldn't have gone as far at a White House event. But he's just an elected official, not some kind of king or religious leader.

lee

I personally thought he was funny last night. I think the lack of response from the audience is their lack of sense of humor about themselves. The media very easily laughed at George Bush making fun of himself but when Colbert made of fun it didn't seem to be so funny.

Dunbar

I'm guessing, but I think Daniel meant that Bush was "beyond" satire as in he doesn't understand satire. And it's true, I believe Bush is incapable.

Outragedmoderate:

I believe Daniel's thesis is that since Bush wouldn't get it, it didn't take courage to tell him, and Colbert was only playing to his own audience, which Daniel believes does not require courage.

Problem with that thesis is the fact that satirists often make fun of the people that are "beyond" it. Those are the very people that are satirized. So somehow saying Colbert doesn't have courage doesn't even make sense to me in terms of Daniel's argument.

Jesse

Maybe the people who are saying that Colbert was brave are putting themselves in his shoes. He went face to face with an extremely powerful individual. I don't know if I would have been able to pull off what Colbert did.. therefore, in my book, he's brave.

eripsa

"BTW, if by poll standards 65% of Americans view Bush in a dark light, Colbert’s flame is burning at the wrong end. Scathing satire works against overwhelming public opinion, not with it."

I don’t think its at all clear, regardless of poll numbers, that Colbert is just giving voice to ‘overwhelming public opinion’. It surely isn’t the overwhelming opinion of the Washington media and various political hangers-on, who weren’t laughing much during the act. And if there is such a vast discrepancy between the media and ‘overwhelming public opinion’, then Colbert’s satire was exactly on target. Satire doesn’t just work against public opinion, it works against any established, dominant opinion, and in this case that opinion is the MSM’s, which happened to be represented by everyone in the room.

People forget that the novelty of TDS and TCR doesn’t come from mere topical and political comedy; people have been doing that for ages. The novelty is that these shows aim their satire at the media, which is a rather novel phenomena itself in its current incarnation. Almost all of Colbert’s jokes hit the government indirectly through attacks on the media; the policies themselves serve as throw-away punchlines to garnish the real target of his satire. And thats why people are so impressed with Colbert’s performance. It exposes both how much the government’s power rests on its control and influence over the media, and how willingly the media plays into the hands of the powerful.

Humor isn’t a numbers game. Its probably one of the few things left that isn’t. You can’t judge a joke by the number of laughs, and successful satire is not proportional to those who accept its sting.

T.

Wow, this clip just goes to prove that Colbert is only funny to the self-congratulatory stoned slackers in blue states with messiah persecuation complexes. I read link after link about how brilliant Colbert was, only to see the clip and discover he was at unfunny as ever. As usual, he is like a Saturday Night Live skit: one mildly funny joke that lasts way too long and runs itself into the ground. He's mae a career out of just one joke: a really smug Bill O'Reilly impersonation. And the moonbats are so desperate for any form of smug pandering that validates their worldview that they've convinced themselves he and Jon Stewart are modern-day Oscar Wildes or Mark Twains. But the fact remains, he blew. Badly.

And Dunbar, please get over yourself. Your hyperbole is way over the top. Get a grip.

Johnny Triangles

Katherine

I'm not particularly a Colbert fan - I don't watch his show because his style isn't my cup of tea. I am, however, a Daily Show and Jon Stewart fan. Still, I admire what Colbert did and I don't care whether it was easy or hard for him to do. It's utterly ridiculous to suggest that it didn't take guts for him to get up there and skewer the power elite. He knew his speech would garner few laughs. That wasn't what motivated him. Colbert was true to himself.

It's about time somebody got in the administration's face and said - no holds barred - what's true and that's what Colbert did. The time for being polite and accommodating with these bastards is OVER. I don't care if his speech got few laughs from the wimp-ass, with few exceptions, press corps, and the bastards in power. It didn't get many laughs from me either, simply because this administration is so vile, so fucking evil, it's impossible to find the humour in it anymore.

T.

"It's about time somebody got in the administration's face and said - no holds barred - what's true and that's what Colbert did."

It's about time? Are you freaking serious? The media does nothing BUT get in Bush's face nonstop. That's ALL they do, day in and day out. Have you seen how the press corps attack the President? Turn on your TV and flip around, it's not really that hard to see people getting in the administration's face. In all honesty, it's more ballsy to get on TV and say you are unabashedly conservative, especially if you work in Hollywood.

Stop this persecution complex. There's no bravery in being a moobat in a blue state, it's actually the safest thing one can be. Take it from a conservative living in NYC, it's alot easier to publicly announce that you're a Bush hating liberal than it is to admit being conservative. That's the point where you really find out how "open-minded" and "tolerant of dissent" your average progressive liberal is.

Johnny Triangles

Dave

Wow, Johnny Triangles! You were able to complain about your own persecution while criticizing someone else for a persecution complex. Impressively well done!

T.

You know how they say that "Sarcasm is the lowest form of humor" Dave? Guess what? Pointing out irony is the lowest form of criticism. But you aren't alone in not knowing that, it's something that Colbert needs to learn as well.

So I pointed out someone else's persecution complex while mentioning my own experiences with it. What exactly is your point? Or did your analysis simply stop with pointing out a supposed hypocrisy?

My point was that many of the liberals who think they face persecution are actually surrounded by a million people who think just like them and are all bitching about the same thing. Then I proceeded to point out how for all the talk about how liberals can't speak their mind, it's actually harder to be openly conservative in the big cities. For all the talk that liberals make of having their dissent stifled by an evil empire, they actually openly dissent continually, whether it be on the internet, on TV, in Hollywood, in outdoor protests, on dozens of media outlets you name it. And for all the talk they do about being open-minded, they actually exercise the same "stifling of dissent" and "lack of tolerance" that they imagine themselves to be the victims of, hence the use of myself in NYC as an example. Yet unlike them I'd never be delusional enough to consider my experiences "persecution."

So if you plan to actually address the content of my point, go ahead. If you are going to follow the intellectually lazy route of using sarcastic irony to pointing out a supposed inconsistency, just save yourself the effort. I can tune into the Colbert Report for that.

AnglesnBangles

Colbert is simply the best. And anyone who claims that BushnThugs get constantly hammered by the liberal press is being disingenuous or just plain daft. Constant repetition of a non-fact does not transform it into truth.

I'd say that Colbert's performance was nothing short of outstanding. So exceedingly refreshing to watch and listen to one who refuses to sell out and pander to the real dregs of society.

rtl

zjemi said...

Ah, it is so important to count the laughs and not the content, isn't it.
I was watching it on television and stopped laughing because I began wondering if they'd let him finish. It was amazing. I expected the secret service to hustle him off stage. I can only suppose they let him finish because they don't know how to handle embarrassing situations, any more than with Katrina or Iraq. The spin today that Bush was funny and Colbert wasn't goes along with: The conditions in Iraq are improving (note that Condi had a flak vest on last week), No one expected Katrina to flood New Orleans, secret wiretaps are not illegal, no one in the administration tried to discredit Joe Wilson by ruining his wife's career, the U.S. does not condone torture, Bush is the Decider, and so on. Colbert wasn't the best political commentary this century? Yeah, right.

-----------------------------

Folks - THAT is excellent satire. Thanks for the illustration.

Dunbar

Ah, I now see the backwash have shown up.

Phyltre

Funny...who would have thought that reactions to Colbert would be partisan?

Honestly, I didn't, and now I know what it feels like to be a temporary idiot.

granger

So... Colbert in Washington or Stewart at the Oscars? Who had the right idea?

Daniel

I'm sorry to have ducked out (it is a beautiful day, here). I missed a good debate. I won't interject anymore but to answer two things:

Dunbar, you are half right when you say that the Bushies are beyond satire. The other side of that is that a some point it doesn't take genius to satirize what has become in itself a satire.

Also, I guess that there are some partisans hopping on the Colbert Express, but I don't count myself as a partisan. If one looks around this blog, one will find all sorts of carping about the administration.

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