Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Six years ago at p3: I liked Colbert, but didn't get him

Yup, this week marks the sixth anniversary of the launch of The Colbert Report.

I didn't completely get it. That's painful, because I'm a major fan and student of satire and irony. But I didn't get it. I accept that now. I do.

I wanted it to be good, and while I couldn't ignore some of the shakedown problems, I could certainly excuse them. My main problem was that I never watched Bill O'Reilly, so I wasn't prepared to recognize -- let alone appreciate -- a pitch perfect parody of him.

Also I was slow -- as were a lot of right-wingers like Dinesh D'Souza, Bill Kristol, and Tony Perkins, I'm delighted to remind you -- to realize that Colbert's character could be lethal as an interlocutor. Many are the irony-challenged interviewees who thought that Colbert was a safe haven, only to find them unwittingly led by his siren call to make even worse-sounding claims than the ones in the book they were there to promote.

So yeah.  My bad.

A Peabody, one-and-a-half-Emmys, and countless nominations and special recognitions later, the Report is going strong. And with gambits like his characters absolutely-real superPAC, he's taking satire into the highwiare, wait-is-this-a-joke? regions that nobody's quite sure what to make of.

He has the thanks of a grateful nation, and Nation.

No comments: