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May 01, 2006

Let's All Thank Stephen Colbert

You can thank Stephen Colbert for his freaktastic performance Saturday night at

Here's something Billmon wrote that's right on:

Colbert's routine was designed to draw blood -- as good political satire should. It seemed obvious, at least to me, that he didn't just despise his audience, he hated it. While that hardly merits comment here in Left Blogostan, White House elites clearly aren't used to having such contempt thrown in their faces at one of their most cherished self-congratulatory events.

Something that people often don't understand about comedians is they are the angriest people on earth. It's either telling jokes or taking hostages. They start out angry—at the universe and/or society and/or themselves. And then their job requires that they cultivate this anger every day. It's not a profession that leads to optimal mental functioning.

That said, the things that make great comedians angry (and I think Colbert is a great comedian) are things that should make EVERYONE angry. And yet they don't. And that makes comedians EVEN ANGRIER. And then they usually stop being funny, and people ignore them, which makes them ANGRIER STILL. It's an angry job, is what I'm saying.

Anyway, Colbert was also profiled on 60 Minutes last night. CBS has posted some of what he said and a video clip here.

angry angry angry

Posted at May 1, 2006 01:10 AM | TrackBack

They have his video clips at Salon, including the one he did with Helen Thomas.

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at May 1, 2006 02:36 PM

My friend Toasty has the YouTube vide, an edited version, and some write-ups all linked here.

What terrifies me is that reading the commentary--letters to Editor and Publisher for instance--I can see that even humor has stopped being a bridging language. The kool-aid drinkers have drunk so much Kool-aid that they can't even laugh at the obviously goofy, absurdist stings like last-third-is-backwash--that struck me as a bit of Barry-circa-early-90s-style lyrical poetry. The fact is, he said nothing absurd or weird or stretchy. It was actually a very straight routine, but one that pulled its core material right out from the fundmanental absursdities--the great strengths of this newly developed field of Busian satire. Can anyone who watched ever forget the 32% approval rating? Colbert pounded at two of the truly great issues of the day--the war and global warming. The stupid tangents were kept as tangents--and I can't believe I'm saying this, but god bless Scalia for laughing so hard at himself.

What also frightens me is how very little coverage this is getting. Do a google search---it's only now bubblng up. All the first reports went with the sycophantic story about the double (which, btw, was very funny in a purely setpiece sort of way, I thought.) Verily we are whores and lapdogs.

Posted by: Saheli at May 1, 2006 03:43 PM

Sorry, that's what happens when you type a comment in bits and dribbles: "The fact is, he said nothing absurd or weird or stretchy."--I mean, nothing "ridiculous or weird or stretchy." Things *are* absurd these days.

Posted by: Saheli at May 1, 2006 05:45 PM

Is that me, or did I just see the Ghost of Bill Hicks possess that man?

Posted by: En Ming Hee at May 1, 2006 11:11 PM

Note to Billmon since I can't comment there:
Despise is a stronger word than hate.

Posted by: loser at May 2, 2006 10:23 PM