Wednesday, May 03, 2006

"Dying is Easy -- Comedy is Hard."

From Greg Mitchell, editor of Editor & Publisher:
For two days the battle has raged on the Web: Did Stephen Colbert go too far in lampooning President Bush, to his face, at the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday night? Is that why his barbs did not generate more laughter around the room of 2700 journalists, celebrities and other guests? Or was it because he suggested the press was spineless in failing to confront the president on Iraq? Or was Colbert just not that funny?

In any case, the event has inspired debate on hundreds of political and media blogs, the posting of the video on dozens of sites, and massive traffic to E&P, where the first in-depth account of Colbert’s performance was posted Saturday night.

You’d think from all the criticism that the guy had based his routine on joking about launching a war and not finding the WMDs that inspired it. Oh, right, that was President Bush, two years ago.

Bush's tasteless WMD jokes may have been at the expense of the military men and women who were killed and wounded in Iraq, but at least he didn't show "bad manners."


Sleestak said...

If you just listen to the audio and forget the setting and ignore the venue and who was present then was Colbert that funny?

Not particularly. But it still had to be said. Colbert critiqued the administration under the guise of comedian, which for that night gave him better access to the President than a press pass from any of the accomplices in the MSM.

So-Called Austin Mayor said...

It's true that the jokes -- out of context -- weren't that funny, i.e. they weren't something you could repeat for laughs around the water cooler. But comedy is sometimes more than just jokes.

Colbert's comedic background is in improv and not stand up, so his humor is more about *being* funny than just delivering funny lines. Improv "jokes" are rarely, if ever, funny out of context.

In addition, the complaints of the press corps and Bush fans about Colbert's biting commentary reminds me of the uproar when Rosanne Baar screeched the national anthem at a Major League game -- just who in the hell did they think they had hired?

Jon Stewart said it best: "Apparently [Colbert] was under the impression that they'd hired him to do what he does... every night... on television."

And it was glorious.

Thanks for reading.

he who is known as sefton said...

"At the recent White House Correspondents Dinner, master comedian Stephen Colbert performed magnificently. With the rapier of wit and the mace of truth, he respectively skewered and censured the presidency of "dum'ass botch". And that's not all Mr Colbert accomplished.

Tucked away in his address to the dinner's flabbergasted attendees, like a ticking time bomb, there was an "easter egg", which we had absolutely . . . here "we" is a polite nod . . . NO right to expect. Like the Easter Bunny in a mischievous mood, Mr Colbert camouflaged a bon mot, so profound as to approach philosophical.

oh, before I reveal Mr Colbert's casual accomplishment, I should like to preface with a cave-- . . . "

The above blue text, which is enclosed within quotes, can be found appended to the article, which is located on the other side of the below hyperlink.

thanking you in advance for your gracious patience,

.he who is known as sefton

. . . oh, yeah, I should add that the full title for that post is "rehabilitation of and by and for the right wing" . . .


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