October 12, 2005

The new Steve Colbert show.

Here's a piece about the new Steve Colbert show, which debuts next week, when it will follow "The Daily Show," where we're used to seeing Steve Colbert:
In what, at least initially, is an eight-week tryout, "Colbert" will try to show that it can mine as many punch lines from the quarry of cable-news punditry - the Colbert character is an amalgam of Bill O'Reilly, Aaron Brown, Joe Scarborough and Dan Abrams, among others - as "The Daily Show" has discovered skewering network news anchors and correspondents, to say nothing of the president.

"I don't think he's necessarily a Republican or Democrat," Mr. Colbert, 41, said of his character. "He is part of the 'Blame America Last' crowd. Mostly, he just wants to get those bastards - whoever they are. They know who they are, and they know they're going to get gotten."...

"The one risk that this show has is that Stephen works so well contraposed to Jon," said Ben Karlin, a former editor of the satiric paper The Onion, who serves as executive producer of both "The Daily Show" and "Colbert." "If you separate out the instruments and hear just one instrument, will that still sound as beautiful? That's been the challenge."...

Though not intended to feature a dead-on impersonation of Mr. O'Reilly, "The Colbert Report" will have the feel of "The O'Reilly Factor," with an outspoken host delivering blunt opinions, some of them illustrated by graphics - Mr. O'Reilly calls them "talking points" - that are the equivalent of captions for the impaired, emphasizing what the host is trying to communicate.

"Like O'Reilly, we'll grab the most important word out of every sentence," Mr. Colbert said. " 'The,' for example. Also, I'll say, 'I'm angry,' and the graphic will read, 'Colbert angry.' "
I hope the show does well. I think staying in character within the comedy is the better approach to doing "fake news" comedy. Jon Stewart makes it work to constantly go out of character and say I'm just a fake. He never looks much like a real newsman, so he compensates by being a stand up comedian (though he's always sitting down). Colbert can embody the ridiculous newsman. He's a comic actor. I wish him well!

11 comments:

StrangerInTheseParts said...

Ann -

Post-Katrina you had found the Daily Show suddenly unwatchable (because of the audience mostly, I recall).

Are you still watching it? Do you still enjoy the show?

Bruce Hayden said...

I actually expect Colbert to be funnier than Stewart is - now. My view is that the later has become somewhat stale and predictable. This is fine when he is speaking to the converted and you are one of them. But for the rest, it becomes old.

What Stewart really needs is a Democratic adminstration and Congress to go against. Nearing five years of mostly Republican rule, he is just too predictable for me to be that funny any more.

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mark Daniels said...

I've never watched the Daily Show and one reason I've shied away from doing so is those stupid Mr. Goodwrench commercials that Clobert does. It strikes me as funny that someone who is supposed to be so hip would do a series of commercials that make him look as with-it as the guy in the "lost another one to Ditech" ads.

Oddly enough though, I heard Colbert on 'Fresh Air' once and I found him interesting.

Ann Althouse said...

Stranger: I check in sometimes to see how it's going. I used to watch the entire thing every day.

Larry Riddle said...

It does make me wonder if the idea for the show would have gotten off the ground if the butt of all the humor was a member of the 'Blame America First' crowd?

AN said...

"It does make me wonder if the idea for the show would have gotten off the ground if the butt of all the humor was a member of the 'Blame America First' crowd?"

Honestly, though, wouldn't it be the same joke over and over?

The one variant I could imagine working is if you had a character based on some random Hollywood liberal celebrity (a George Clooney type) who somehow ended up with a commentary show and had to try and sustain a coherent political thought through several sentences without the benefit of a Move On talking point right in front of him.

Jeff said...

Colbert is actually a master of extremely un-PC humor. He co-wrote and co-starred in one of the most vulagarly hilarious shows ever: the Late Lamented Strangers With Candy.

http://www.jerriblank.com/swc.html#mytop

AST said...

Isn't this the same idea as the O'Franken Factor? I can't stand O'Reilly. What makes them think I'd like to see a parody of him?

JEREMYINFLA. said...

YOUR THE GREATES NEXT TO JON STEWERT AND IS IT 315,358,256?

Anand Trivedi said...

I've found Mr. Colbert to be so convincing in his character, that I find myself actually hating him! His O'reilly-esk reporting on the Colbert Nation brought me to Google him and figure out what he's really about. Seeing this post, makes me realize that, in fact, I AM watching Comedy Central!