Showing 1 - 7 of 7 posts found matching keyword: colbert report
Sunday 8 November 2020
2020 has done it again. Alex Trebek has died from pancreatic cancer at age 80.
In the year 2014 BC (Before COVID), Trebek appeared on the final episode of The Colbert Report to reassure its departing host:
"So I guess I’ll be gone forever?" Colbert asked.
"No, Stephen," answered Trebek. "We'll always be there for the American people, whenever they need us the most."
May he live forever in reruns.
Saturday 4 February 2017
Would Trump be our president if The Colbert Report was still on the air? If you didn't watch the show, that probably sounds like a stupid question. Maybe you didn't watch The Colbert Report. It averaged only about 1 million viewers per night. Perhaps you weren't one of them. There's no shame in that. It was on late anyway.
Maybe you didn't watch because you didn't like Colbert's fawning right-wing politics and devotion to what he called "truthiness," only believing the facts that he wanted to believe, whether they were true or not. That was a put-on, a satire of what passes for television journalism in 21st century America, but it's understandable if you didn't realize it. Humor is subjective, and no one like to feel like the butt of the joke.
But Colbert wasn't canceled because you didn't watch. It was canceled because CBS offered Stephen Colbert a lot of money and he took it. Unfortunately, when he went to CBS, he didn't take his satirical character with him. Where he once had a well-earned reputation for speaking truth to power, he chose instead to glibly shills celebrity clothing lines. And that's my point.
Trump entered the presidential race only six months after The Colbert Report left the air. While plenty of voices decried Trump's nonstop stream of bullshit, the voice that would have been the most damning would have been the one most like his own. In our time of need, there was no one to lead us.
Would Trump be our president if The Colbert Report was still on the air? Probably yes. Frankly, the people who voted for Trump weren't the sort who would watch a nightly half-hour satirical comedy show about politics. But watching Trump's crony capitalists loot every American institution for their own benefit would be a lot less painful experience if Dr. Stephen T. Colbert was around to cushion the blow with his sharp tongue. Sadly, Kanye West's $120 t-shirts just don't seem that amusing anymore.
Tuesday 17 November 2015
I've been slow to accept Stephen Colbert's new gig, but either I'm softening or Stephen is getting better.
On last night's Late Show, Stephen opened with a frank discussion about how we can solve the ISIS problem before getting into a deliciously contentious debate with Bill Maher. He closed the show with an animal act billed as the "Acro Cats." The cats responded to the high-pressure of a televised performance pretty much the same way Bill Maher did: by refusing to be led or cajoled. Hilarious.
Good work, Mr. Colbert. You've got my attention.
Tuesday 13 October 2015
It feels like sacrilege to say this, but I'm not in love with Stephen Colbert's new Late Show talk show. It's been just over a month now, and it still isn't quite comfortable for me. Maybe it's uncomfortable for Stephen, too.
He starts each episode with a goofy dance like Ellen before transitioning to a largely disposable monologue like Leno. When he finally gets behind the desk, the comedy bits are generally insightful and funny, but either by design or circumstance, they've lost most of the Letterman-like sarcastic bite The Character delivered on Colbert's previous show. Even the guests don't feel right: the Fallon-style of showcasing too many celebrities and politicians with pre-established talking points leaves little leeway for Stephen's improv skills.
To sum up my problem in a nutshell: Stephen and his crew look to be trying too hard to fit themselves into the "late night talk show" format instead of the other way around. So far, it seems like a waste of Colbert's talents.
I'm hoping they'll settle in to something better. My current favorite late night host is Seth Meyers, and it has taken him well over a year to sand off the rough edges of his show. When he started, Meyers was one part Conan O'Brien and one part Wendy Williams. It's gotten better now that Seth no longer feels compelled to deliver a Carson-style monologue or tell me so much about his personal life.
I'm not giving up on Colbert or his show yet. I'm disappointed, not devastated. Stephen is a man of amazing talent. I hope he finds a way to showcase it.
Monday 18 May 2015
This is the last week of shows for David Letterman. For the next few days, we'll be bombarded by a stream of pro-Letterman hype and hyperbole in a desperate attempt to remind us that he was once relevant. Personally, I stopped caring about Letterman a long time ago, and I find this "retirement" nonsense long overdue.
Some say Dave's luster dimmed when he left NBC for CBS in 1993, but he still managed to be entertaining for a few years. I didn't lose respect for the man until about 2000. After a prolonged period of making biting, derogatory insults about Senate hopeful Hillary Clinton's reluctance to come on his program, he disappointingly turned into a lap dog when she finally arrived. Gone was sarcastic and clever Dave, replaced by some milquetoast who did nothing but make polite small talk and laugh at her jokes. If Dave wouldn't or couldn't follow up his bluster, he should have refused the interview rather than waste his audience's time shilling for another politician.
This transformation from comedic outsider to corporate tool roughly coincided with Letterman's heart bypass surgery. No one will argue that after Dave came back to television, he was but a shadow of his former self. It's startling to think that he's passed the intervening 14 years living on a reputation for irreverence earned in the 80s. Seeing him finally leave CBS is almost a relief.
Not that I wish Letterman any ill will. I just look forward to the arrival of his replacement. I've felt unmoored since Stephen Colbert left Comedy Central back in December. For nearly a decade, Colbert's show was righteously satirical consistently hysterical. I have my doubts that anything will soon take it's place, and I don't think that Colbert will even try on CBS. I don't look forward to seeing another talk show in the threadbare late-night mold, but if there's anyone I'm going to watch do it, it's Colbert.
So get out of the way, Letterman. Make some room for someone who still wants the job.
Comments (1)| Leave a Comment | Tags: colbert report david letterman hillary clinton television
Sunday 13 April 2014
I've watched The Colbert Report almost every day since it debuted in 2005. I think it routinely features some of the most pointed social and political commentary on television. I routinely schedule my nights around watching it at 11:30 PM Monday through Thursday. Starting in 2015, it looks like I'll be able to go to bed a little earlier.
By now the world knows that Stephen Colbert has been tapped to replace David Letterman on The Late Show. Stephen will not be moving The Colbert Report to CBS. Instead, the show will end, and Stephen Colbert's clueless conservative "Stephen T. Colbert" character will end with it. That's not funny.
The part of The Colbert Report that I enjoy least is the interview segment. To hear that Colbert is likely moving towards a more traditional talk show format for CBS isn't encouraging news to me. It's like hearing that Jeopardy! will be changing format and removing the answers and questions so each episode was only Alex Trebek talking to the contestants. Blech.
This move does have one small silver lining. At least now I don't have to worry about the Colbert writing staff stealing my snark anymore. The less competition, the better!
Wednesday 21 March 2007
As I was waiting for the "Colbert Report," Comedy Central forced the two worst commercials currently being broadcast on me. The culprits? Verizon and Quiznos (again).
In the Verizon ad, some sweaty, air-headed bastard approaches me, the viewer, and puts his sweaty earphones on my head so that I can listen to music that he "gets totally pumped" to. (Fall Out Boy, I think.) First of all, I don't care how big that bastard is, he's not putting his sweaty earphones in my ears. I know where those things have been: in his ears! Secondly, in the commercial, to prove that this asshole isn't gay, he takes his earphones away to talk to "his lady." Yeah, boy, that jerk just put his sweaty earphones in my ears unprovoked, and now he has to go prove that he's not gay for coming on to me? (I'm willing to put myself in the role of a woman here, and I still don't want some sweaty guy putting earphones in my ears. I've never met the chick that liked having man-sweat shoved in her ears.) Sorry, I'm not buying it. Seriously. No Verizon for me. (And yes, I hated the same concept when that ditzy flirt put her music in my ears in the previous version of this commercial. I don't want any stranger to approach me with headphones that were just in their ears. Ever. It's somewhere along the lines of "poo-on-a-stick." Just gross.)
In the Quiznos commercial, two women discuss how great their new prime rib sandwich is with the following dialogue: "It's not lacking any meat. And that's what real women need. giggle-snort." Damn, if they didn't beat some Enzyte ad to that exact line. It wouldn't be half as bad if they didn't break down giggling after the innuendo. Quiznos, giggling airheads making childish sexual suggestions will not lure me back to your sandwiches. Maybe you should consider reducing the price of your product instead of pumping the airwaves full of stupid, insulting commercials if you really want us all to drop in for a bite.
I thought it fitting that at the end of the "Report," Stephen Colbert asked his guest, political theorist Benjamin Barber, if he was a Subway or Quiznos guy. Barber said he was a Subway guy. That's one more vote against you, Quiznos! (Even if it did come from a Howard Dean supporter.)