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Oct 21, 2007

He Might Not Be Serious, But Colbert's Not Kidding


"This is not a dream.  You're not going to wake up from this."

-- Presidential Candidate Stephen Colbert.  Meet The Press.  10/21/2007

If you love parody....

If you were completely panicked -- immediately following 9/11 -- that irony really was dead....

If you miss Andy Kaufman....

If you can't bear to watch most of the talking heads on TV because they are almost complete parodies of themselves (with the majority of politicians not far behind)...

... then you might agree with me that yesterday's Meet The Press program (with the Palmetto State's Stephen Colbert) was a sort of Dadaist version of your usual Sunday talking head chatter.

Sadly, but not unpredictably, Russert showed what a sham he is by playing straight man, and typical Beltway softball pitcher, with someone playing him for the same.  I mean, I'm sure Timmy still has no idea what a demonstration of a tool he provided by pandering to Colbert's furrowed forehead, raised eyebrow, reverse-Borat con-artistry.

If Russert wasn't, well, Russert, and TV News wasn't bootlicking, a real interviewer (still willing to be played a bit) might have taken Colbert at face value and made a not-fake interview out of it, vigorously challenging why SC felt the need to making a joke out of the political system.  (In contrast -- and this was so sad -- the real faux interviewer, Russert, actually dared to ask Colbert what he was getting at during last year's White House Correspondents Dinner with his scathing ridicule of the beltway media.)

Even more pathetic, though (especially with the sound off), was Russert's wooden attempt to replicate Colbert's schtick, completely fake-seriously probing about the pronunciation of Sesame Street star, Bert's (or "Ber's") first name.

I wish Colbert well in picking up where the You Tube debate concept got run off the road, aiming to force-inject some authenticity into the Campaign '08 fashion show.  For the sake of democracy, wouldn't it be great if parody's "favorite son" ended up, if just in some small way, forcing Hillary or Rudy or Obama or Mitt to break role?  If so, what a contribution.

If Colbert (R + D - S.C.) fails, however, the result (for those that get it) will be that much more demoralizing for American politics, proving that: even if a really good (show-) man makes his best attempt to differentiate between inauthenticity and completely fake authenticity, the system will still defeat him.

Meet The Press video 1
Meet The Press
video 2
Meet The Press video 3

(frame grabs.  October 21, 2007)


What happens when Colbert's win in South Carolina denies Giuliani the Presidency? What will the five Republican hacks on the Supreme Court have to come up with then?

Colbert brought that upon himself. Refusing to slide out of character even when he had a National stage. Cheap 'Why did the chicken cross the road jokes.' What he needed to do was rip Cheney/Bush a new one... instead, he riff'ed like Rodney Dangerfield. Opportunity wasted, 26,000 more books sold, possibly. WooHoo.

That's the game, ask Valerie Plame.

@bob h ... Colbert is running as a Democrat. I'm not sure why.

Blake: So you're saying he's just doing this to sell books? 

I think it's Jon Stewart's role to rip Cheney/Bush (in the guise of a fake newscaster) and its Colbert's role (as a fake Bill O'Reilly-type) to expose (through mimicry) the arrogance and hypocricy of the knee-jerk far right. 

Maybe it's too much on the subtle side, but it seems Colbert is making a bold move here, bumping it up in adopting the persona of a fake Mitt Romney (or, at least, a fake Pat Buchanan who straddles talking head and blow-hard politician). 

It is just my opinion, but anyone who could have stood up there at the Correspondent's Dinner last year (video clip) and, in that golden emcee opportunity, both stuck it in Bush's face and ripped the media a new one (both acts in character, via the ...necessary... vehicle of parody/sacrasm, of course) is far from just another public face cashing in. 

Given his scorched earth approach, I can't see Colbert going anywhere, career-wise, but Comedy Central, or doing anything else but publish these (admittedly lucrative) books keeping up the in-character criticism/attack. 

... And then, what if he puts up the $35K and does get on the Republican ballot, and does do some damage in the primary, calling the stature of the "other" Repubs into question even more than now?  Far from frivolous, I'd say Stephen, my friend, watch you back. 

(I think that Andy Kaufman actually is Colbert's inspiration. It's twisted, I know, in this age of passivity and spinelessness, but Andy -- being crazy, yes -- was always willing to get (even physically) beat up for his art. The fact that Colbert's art is political, however, makes him far more sane, and much more brave.

I hope S.C. votes for the man.

We need a court jester, and he fills the bill. Nobody represents us, so what the hell, at least he faces the music. Give credit where credit is due. Russert is such a turd it hurts to watch. Yes, art and humor, I'm afraid, are all we have left to face Big Brother--that's all that reamins of our humanity.


What is Timmeh doing with Bert? This is a family site, for God's sake! Where's Ernie? Oh, the humanity!

Too darn bad Colber(t)'s run for the Presidency came to naught. Maybe even he is getting tired of it all.

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