Saturday, May 13, 2006

Comedy's "truthiness"

In a nation that seems to have mutually lost its spine and its soul, Stephen Colbert’s performance at the White House Correspondents dinner is still being talked about all over the blogosphere, some two weeks after Colbert showed President Bush and his administration no mercy in skewering its policies, practices and indicting the mainstream media for being co-conspirators in the removal of our democratic underpinnings. There are those who might argue the merits of even using the “d-word” in relation to the United States, at any time in our recent past. That’s a discussion for another post. What I’d like to highlight, is at a time of timidity and caution, Colbert threw expediency and diplomacy to the wind and let it rip, when given an opportunity to make his case about the president.

Oddly, the one consistent place to find some “truthiness” has become Comedy Central, with its nightly duo of Colbert and former comedy partner in crime, John Stewart, tag-teaming Bush and the political debacle we find ourselves in, during the first quarter of 2006.

While it’s not the first time that comedians have provided some context for politics during wartime (anyone with a cursory knowledge of Lenny Bruce and his comedic salvos understands comedy’s ability to provide a working framework for current events), it’s been awhile since the nation’s turned its weary eyes to the comedic profession for truth and understanding.

While the late Bill Hicks provided a fringe take and hot poker to the ass of much of what passed for right-wing lunacy, Stewart, and now, Colbert, bring a needed perspective, albeit one less caustic (but just as deadly), to a much wider audience, particularly the living rooms of middle-America. Better yet, they have found a way to reach an apathetic group of 20 and 30-somethings, who have tuned out politics and rarely focus on traditional news outlets for their political or cultural understanding.

Arianna Huffington offers up her perspective on Colbert’s gutsy performance, one in which he dared to speak truth to power, when power was a stone’s throw away, literally at his right elbow. In fact, Colbert walked into the lion’s den with nothing more than his comedy routine and schtick from The Colbert Report and systematically put poor little rich boy, George, squarely in his place with a comedic, “up yours” to the commander-in-chief.

Huffington’s take is a good recap for anyone who’s been living under a rock for the past two weeks, as well as summarizing the perspective of other bloggers and pundits on Colbert’s comedic tour-de-force.


Richard Quick, Millionaire said...

Stephen Colbert is as funny as your views are enlightened.

A national poll conducted by Quick Research Group determined conclusively that not only is Stephen Colbert unfunny, he is pathetically unfunny. Embarrassingly unfunny.

His address to the White House press core was not offensive because of his politics, but because of his wasting the time with a video presentation that ranks of there with the worst SNL flop in their most unfunny year.

See the poll results at:

Jim said...

Interesting that a so-called millionaire would see the need to drop his comment-spam at websites written by someone he obviously would consider, a loser. What gives Richard (or is it Dick)?

Couldn't help thinking of you and your "millions" when I read this article, over at AlterNet, with its reference to someone I've written about quite alot, in my "unenlightended" posts.

Speaking to the Local Energy Solutions in New York, last month, Jim Kunstler had a few choice missives, as he's become known for, regarding easy-motoring American and the denial that powers their unsustainable lifestyles.

Kunstler's rage and disdain was righteous and unsparing. He was pissed and he was eloquent: "We've turned into this nation of overfed clowns, riding around in clown cars, eating clown food, watching clown shows," he said. We're "a nation of cringing, craven fuckups."

He said that the nation's leading religion has become the "worship of unearned riches, which is based on a very stark idea, the idea that you can get something for nothing."

There is a day of reckoning coming and hopefully, you've engendered a bit more respect from your neighbors than you have from people like me. You might want to be careful when the tide turns. Those millions might not provide you with the safety net you think they will.

Joe said...

I'm not sure why Quick Dick is posting on your site. Must be trying to troll some traffic over to his own site.

While I doubt Mr. Quick is truly a millionaire, his schtick is funny in the same way that, say, Rush Limbaugh is funny.