October 26, 2005

Steve Colbert's risk.

He's making the right-wing jerk character ... awfully lovable. Last night's "Colbert Report" was brilliant, by the way. I especially enjoyed the interview segment, which had been a problem in the first few episodes, where the guests were mostly newsfolk. Last night, he had Greg Barendt -- the author of "He's Just Not That Into You" -- and they took (fake) call-ins, all from women who were having trouble understanding the damned obvious messages their boyfriends were giving them. Colbert barged in to dominate all the answering, encouraging the women to keep at their relationships. "Hang in there," he told the caller whose boyfriend announced he's gay. If she's woman enough she can change him. The self-assurance while wrong is hilarious. But I do think that with some of the political points he makes, the supposedly wrong position isn't all that obviously wrong, and spoken with assurance by a character the audience loves.... Well, who knows what a show like this might do to flexible young minds?

7 comments:

downtownlad said...

Reminds me of my mother after I told her I was gay. She said "I understand that you're gay and don't like women. But I don't understand why you just won't try something like speed dating - maybe you'll meet a nice girl that way."

Well intentioned, but really really bad advice.

goldsoundsz said...

"If she's woman enough she can change him." reminds me of a favorite Onion headline: 'Woman successfully changes man into someone she's not attracted to'

Andrew Seal said...

Ann--that's a really interesting idea, but I think you've got it backwards--Colbert's lovability will make the figures he's parodying look that much worse.

More here.

LarryK said...

I haven't seen Colbert's show, but maybe this could end up like Alex Keaton on the old Family Ties - the show's creators wanted him to be a close minded right-wing jerk, but Michael J. Fox made him so likeable that he became the star of the show - and one of the few appealing conservative characters in pop culture.

XWL said...

It's clear to everyone in the studio, every writer, every person they meet in bars, every person they chat up at parties and every news article of all the local papers that they are brilliantly skewering those 'evil' repugnantcans and those pompose asses at FNC.

Of course, maybe they need to extend their perspective a few blocks outside of the Upper East Side. Maybe then they might know that reasonable, and intelligent folk like Prof. Althouse could respond more favorably to Colbert's bombast than they intend.

They are deafened by echoes so they won't hear thoughts or suggestions like that, and so much the better.

Unfortunately this act can't sustain 4 nights a week, this really should be a twice or once a week show, cause they are quickly running out of ways to make fun of O'Reilly without becoming tedious themselves.

price said...

Colbert is one of the most effortlessly funny people on TV and I'm pretty confident he can keep it up. I don't think he's setting out make people hate right-wing pundits. He clearly thinks a lot of the rhetoric is hilarious, and in relaying that to us, he makes it seem downright delightful. In other words, he's no Al Franken, who is nothing but mirthless bile these days.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Have you noticed they pronounce 'report' with a silent "t", just like 'cole-bare'? Hilarious.