Friday, February 3, 2017
The Colbert Report: News Satire at its Finest
Satire is tough to perfect, especially if it is on a consistent and current basis. Stephen Colbert of The Today Show, managed to combine goofy humor, extensive knowledge of politics and current events, and his ability to stay in character, while simultaneously poking fun at conservative news talk shows.
Colbert's show, The Colbert Report, appeared for nine years on Comedy Central, quickly becoming one of the most popular and highest rated shows on the channel. Because Colbert was able to caricature such a good representation of the exaggeration of an uber-patriotic, stereotypical right-wing broadcaster, he was able to speak about current events, providing context and information of what was happening in the world today.
Although the show was mostly centered around US politics, people of all different ages can watch it for man different reasons. The show is also very well written; there are many jokes that can range from idiotic and ignorant (in character with Colbert's anchorman portrayal), or, extremely poignant and indicative of American politics, through a satirical lens. It also features several different bits, all of them clever in their own way, and more impressively, related to the very shows he is imitating and parodying. Colbert features several faux correspondents in his show, conducting interviews to spin a perspective that is intriguing and comedic.
Colbert had an incredible plethora of guests, from republicans, to liberals, that he would interview and often use his persona to instigate. One of the best traits of these interviews was that sometimes he would have an extremely conservative guest, and through Colbert's equally radical and loony character, would spout out nonsense that the guest would seem to be genuinely going along with Colbert.
As sad as it is that The Colbert Report is no more, it is still an excellent demonstration of news satire in the 21st Century.