Colbert's White House Correspondent Dinner Performance Underscores Irony's Power And Delicacy

by Joe Gandelman

The scene: The White House Correspondent Dinner. The time: right after President George W. Bush put in a boffo performance next to a top-notch Bush impersonator. It was a hard act to follow.But Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert most assuredly followed it in his irony-heavy TV persona of a TV News talk show host that seems reminiscent of a Fox News host with the initials B.O. (or, rather B.O'R.)What followed was a study in contrasting satirical forms — the easier task with one form (the one-liner, the visual, the lines dependent on joke construction and timing)...and the tougher task with the other (heavy irony, which relies on shared assumptions)..The result: Bush & his new performing bud brought down the house with a much "safer"and traditional form of self-effacing political humor, while Colbert's edgier Comedy Central-style humor clearly turned off some members of the audience and — Editor and Publisher suggests — perhaps Bush and his wife Laura. Links to his performance are HERE.
I am a huge fan of Colbert, watch his show everyday. But this is by far his best work. Comedy is a art form, and this was is masterpiece. This is his "David', or his "mona lisa". Well done Mr. Colbert, well done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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