Stephen Colbert, Seriously
Posted on Dec 23, 2009
It’s been a couple years since Comedy Central faux-publican Stephen Colbert took masterfully aimed pot shots at former President George W. Bush at the 2006 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner—i.e., the night Colbert almost threw himself under a Washington, D.C. bus.
Quite a bit has changed, including the proverbial White House guard, but it’s not as though Colbert and Comedy Central’s other star satirist, Jon Stewart, are lacking for material to spin gleefully and openly, unlike many of the masters of punditry they use as their inspirations. During a recent anniversary celebration at Chicago’s Second City, where Colbert honed his comedic craft, the (presumably) real Stephen Colbert was on hand to field questions about his dinner date with W. and give his take on some of the conservatives who’ve risen to prominence, such as the notorious Glenn Beck. The Atlantic’s James Warren took down what Colbert had to say.
As for Glenn Beck, the panel discussed the challenge of maintaining a separation between reality and satire when so many TV pundits are simply, premeditatedly over-the-top.
“I said, ‘Let’s start doing some Glenn Beck stuff but in praise of Glenn Beck,’” said Colbert. “But every time we do one, he will have done something dumber. He raised the stupid bar and now it’s nearly inapproachable.”
“I worry that if we use that as a model….if somebody doesn’t believe what they’re saying, it’s very hard to out-stupid them,” said a decidedly analytical Colbert. “Because then there’s no place to sink our hook into, there’s no mountain to climb there. I can’t climb Glenn Beck since there’s nothing there.”
Wikimedia Commons / David Shankbone