Wednesday, October 19, 2005

REVIEW: The Colbert Report


Stephen Colbert has long been my favorite part of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. His take on pompous, overly loud journalists is classic. (And his God Machine bit, complete with fake beep-a-doop-eep game show sound effects is brilliant.) I particularly like the way he over-enunciates everything, which is more Stone Phillips than Bill O'Reilly. If anyone on that show deserves a spin off, it's him.

And so it's here. The Colbert Report is very, very funny but I worry that it will get a little tiring. Whereas as Jon Stewart has a seperation between himself and the news he is making fun of, Colbert is the joke. And unlike The Daily Show, there are no correspondents to cut to, there's just him. But if you're like me and Colbert is your favorite part of The Daily Show, The Colbert Report should be right up your alley.

The show's opening montage is a wonderful send up of everything Fox News. Complete with a crazy animated eagle, Colbert waving a flag, words like "Integrity" and "Grippy" floating around, it is a perfect satire of cable shows that are constantly pulling out yardsticks to measure how patriotic they are. And his set is a small wonder. As he pointed out in the first episode Monday, his name is plastered everywhere and the desk is shaped like a giant "C." But my favorite sight gag was when he stood in front of a painting of himself standing in front of a painting of himself. (Get it?) He and his producers seem to have really thought things through.
"Like any good newsman, I believe that if you're not scared, I'm not doing my job," he says as he stares into the camera with the righteous certainty of a man unconfused by the facts. "There's a whole big world to fix," he said. "There's nothing to fear but fear itself. I'll change that."
Perfect. His first monologue was hugely promising, both funny and a pointed commentary. (To see it, go here and click on "Truthiness." You may need to click through to the "video" section.)

Anybody who knows me knows that I am no fan of dictionaries or reference books. They're elitist for constantly telling us what is or isn't true, what did or didn't happen...I don't trust books. They're all fact and no heart. And that's exactly what's pulling our country apart today. Because face it, folks, we are a divided nation... We are divided by those who think with their head, and those who know with their heart.

Consider Harriett Miers. If you think about Harriett Miers, of course her nomination's absurd! But the President didn't say he thought about this selection, he said this:

President Bush: "I know her heart."

Notice that he didn't say anything about her brain? He didn't have to. He feels the truth about Harriett Miers. And what about Iraq? If you think about it, maybe there are a few missing pieces to the rationale for war. But doesn't taking Saddam out feel like the right thing...right here in the gut? Because that's where the truth comes from, ladies and gentlemen...the gut.

Did you know that you have more nerve endings in your stomach than in your head? Look it up. Now, somebody's gonna say `I did look that up and its wrong'. Well, Mister, that's because you looked it up in a book. Next time, try looking it up in your gut. I did. And my gut tells me that's how our nervous system works.

Now I know some of you may not trust your gut...yet. But with my help you will. The "truthiness" is, anyone can read the news to you. I promise to feel the you.

That's the deal. It's certainly worth a look. My guess is Colbert will tone down the act a little (like he seemed to in his interview with Leslie Stahl on Tuesday). But for anyone who hates loudmouth know-nothings like Bill O'Reilly and Limbaugh, this show is for you. It's on Monday through Thursday at 11:30 on Comedy Central. Post your thoughts.

ASIDE: Did anyone see the aforementioned O'Reilly on The Daily Show last night? (I think it re-airs tonight at 7 if you're interested.) He actually seemed kind of mad at Jon Stewart. Stewart, to his credit, never took the bait. And he got off a great zinger. Admitting that while he "added insult to injury" when making fun of the news, O'Reilly just "added more injury."

And how pathetic is O'Reilly's continued anger at the French?

UPDATE (7:41 pm): Watch the humorless douche in action.


Blogger Darlucky said...

Yeah, I have the same fear as you. The first episode was fantastic, but I'm just not sure how long the joke will be funny, since the show is more about the personality than the news.

It's almost as if they could have had a one-hour special, aired it once and rerun it a couple of times, and then called it quits. Just not sure how it will work as a series.

That said, I was laughing my ass off the whole time. and Stone Phillips was great.

PS - O'Reilly's interview to me showed that he's probably not quite as crazy as he is on his show, that he is still a douche. His impression of a French guy drinking wine was sophomoric at best. Yes, the French are annoying. But they are politically irrelevant. Get over it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 4:01:00 PM  
Blogger Sergio said...

The thing that kills me about the whole Let's-Hate-the-French thing is the reason they (and just everybody else) didn't join the coalition is because they didn't buy the claim that Saddam had WMD. Guess what guys? He didn't! The French were right! Let's hear the douche argue that. Freedom Fries? Blow me.

And on a separate note, the wife and I went to Paris a few weeks ago on a little trip. It was my first time there and I was ready to face the snobbery etc. always associated with the French. Boy was I wrong. They couldn't have been nicer. And they eat better than us, too.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 4:08:00 PM  
Blogger Chill said...

I think if you live in NYC, and enjoy it, the likelihood of you going to another city and finding the people to be snobbish and rude is very small.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 4:16:00 PM  
Blogger Darlucky said...

that is an excellent point Chill.

the people walking around can't be much ruder than me, and the employees in the service industry definitely can't be ruder.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 6:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Ma said...

Darlucky rude?

As Helen Seinfeld would say, "How could anyone not like him?"

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 10:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who the heck is this Idiot:

hey Colbert what is wrong with your
ears,When you were made they forgot
to finish your right ear Flattop.
You look like a bad cartoon creation you look like Jimmy Neutron and you think your funny.
People don't laugh because your jokes .they laugh because your face is so hilarious jackass

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 8:45:00 PM  

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