Friday, May 05, 2006

Maybe Next Time, Stephen

Man are people ever worked up over Stephen Colbert's clunker of a comedy act at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Rogers thinks the backlash is ridiculous:

Two years ago, President Bush appeared in a skit at the same event in which his administration's inability to find WMDs in Iraq was a bottomless source of comedy. The only journalist in attendance who objected was David Corn of The Nation . . . Washington journalists like [Richard] Cohen, who didn't raise as much as a peep when Bush laughed off the false cause that sparked a war, have now spent five days haranguing a cable TV comedian for making the president huffy.


I had to reply and am being roasted in the comments for it, but will only reprint this paragraph from there:

In the end, Stephen Colbert didn't do anything brave, new or even particularly interesting. He just did it with Bush in the room. Why that's perceived as heroic rather than jerky is more a question of personal taste than anything else, and while I do not personally subscribe to the idea that confrontational = interesting, I respect an artist's desire to make a ruckus in the name of his art. On the other hand, this particular event has traditionally been one at which, for just a couple of hours, respect for the office of President trumps pathetic J-school fantasies of bearding The Man in his corporate den. Going along with such a tradition isn't selling out, it's being gentlemanly.


I'll say it again: when you stop going for laughs and start going for applause, you're not funny.

4 comments:

Repack Rider said...

when you stop going for laughs and start going for applause, you're not funny.<

If you use google blogsearch to take a look at the 22,000 blogs that have commented, the people who think it was funny, really funny, outnumber the humor impaired by about 50-1.

Right-whiners are desperately clinging to the talking point that the millions of people rolling around on the floor clutching their sides were not "laughing," because seeing a nerd pin a "kick me" sign on the school bully in front of the entire student body couldn't possibly have any humor content.

People who don't think it was funny are out of touch with the mainstream.

Uncle Mikey said...

The people in the room didn't think it was funny, and most of them were liberals, you jackass. Of course the people who thought it was funny posted about it and the people who didn't care or didn't think it was funny didn't bother.

Rogers said...

I've been following Colbert's career since he was on Strangers With Candy, and I know somebody who has met him.

I don't think he was throwing a bone to the libs in the blogosphere or anywhere else with any "speak truth to power" stuff.

I just think he misread how his "pretend to be a tendentious blowhard like O'Reilly" act would play in that room.

The idea he's another Al Franken in the making seems like a huge misread of the guy.

Uncle Mikey said...

Yeah, he's too smart to be as deranged as all that. I think he's the funniest guy around now, and your explanation makes much more sense than anything else.

As usual you are the voice of reason, Rogers. Sure you don't want to join the dark side?