In what, at least initially, is an eight-week tryout, "Colbert" will try to show that it can mine as many punch lines from the quarry of cable-news punditry - the Colbert character is an amalgam of Bill O'Reilly, Aaron Brown, Joe Scarborough and Dan Abrams, among others - as "The Daily Show" has discovered skewering network news anchors and correspondents, to say nothing of the president.I hope the show does well. I think staying in character within the comedy is the better approach to doing "fake news" comedy. Jon Stewart makes it work to constantly go out of character and say I'm just a fake. He never looks much like a real newsman, so he compensates by being a stand up comedian (though he's always sitting down). Colbert can embody the ridiculous newsman. He's a comic actor. I wish him well!
"I don't think he's necessarily a Republican or Democrat," Mr. Colbert, 41, said of his character. "He is part of the 'Blame America Last' crowd. Mostly, he just wants to get those bastards - whoever they are. They know who they are, and they know they're going to get gotten."...
"The one risk that this show has is that Stephen works so well contraposed to Jon," said Ben Karlin, a former editor of the satiric paper The Onion, who serves as executive producer of both "The Daily Show" and "Colbert." "If you separate out the instruments and hear just one instrument, will that still sound as beautiful? That's been the challenge."...
Though not intended to feature a dead-on impersonation of Mr. O'Reilly, "The Colbert Report" will have the feel of "The O'Reilly Factor," with an outspoken host delivering blunt opinions, some of them illustrated by graphics - Mr. O'Reilly calls them "talking points" - that are the equivalent of captions for the impaired, emphasizing what the host is trying to communicate.
"Like O'Reilly, we'll grab the most important word out of every sentence," Mr. Colbert said. " 'The,' for example. Also, I'll say, 'I'm angry,' and the graphic will read, 'Colbert angry.' "
October 12, 2005
Here's a piece about the new Steve Colbert show, which debuts next week, when it will follow "The Daily Show," where we're used to seeing Steve Colbert: