Friday, May 12, 2006

Stephen Colbert is funny.

Colbert Roasts President Bush - 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner
Here is something new to add to my list of Comedy Grievances. I am still hearing rumblings about Stephen Colbert's keynote speech at the White House Correspondents Association dinner. People are questioning whether Stephen Colbert is funny. Once again I must point out that comedy is subjective. Of course Stephen Colbert is funny. If he wasn't funny he would never have been given the opportunities that he has been given including being invited to speak at the Correspondent’s dinner. During this annual event people get roasted. No one in the public eye can and should never above roasting, especially people in politics and the media.

Merriam-Webster Online
Entry Word: satire
Function: nounText: a creative work that uses sharp humor to point up the foolishness of a person, institution, or human nature in general Synonyms lampoon Related Words burlesque, caricature, parody, spoof, takeoff; comedy, farce, sketch, slapstick, squib; derision, ridicule; mockery, travesty

Knowing this if you still have a problem with being satirized you can,
a) Take the advice of President Harry Truman, "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen".
b) Hire a different comedian who will not make fun of the president. (I'm sure Dennis Miller is available.)

I'm sure Stephen Colbert was told one thing, "Be funny". It is never a good idea to show a comedian the line that must not be crossed. Still I hear people saying that Stephen Colbert was not funny at the correspondent’s dinner because not many people present laughed. I’d say that this is a great example of what Mr. Colbert calls "Truthiness"
Truthiness - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Truthiness is the quality by which a person purports to know something emotionally or instinctively, without regard to evidence or to what the person might conclude from intellectual examination.

Here is my take on that audience laughter assessment.
a) One third of the audience thought he was funny and laughed.
b) Another third of the audience thought he was not funny and did not laugh.
c) And another third of the audience thought he was funny but did not laugh out of fear of being seen laughing (The same way some people, after hearing an ethnic joke have to visually scan the room to make that no one from that ethnic persuasion is present to see them laugh).

This means that an overwhelming two thirds of the audience thought that Stephen Colbert's speech was funny.
To quote Stephen Colbert's keynote speech at the White House Correspondents Association dinner, "So the White House has personnel changes. Then you write, "Oh, they're just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic." First of all, that is a terrible metaphor. This administration is not sinking. This administration is soaring. If anything, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg!"

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa


Peter Miller said...

Let's not forget that LBJ was pretty much brought down by Johnny Carson. He coudn't take the heat and he got out of the kitchen.

Richard Quick, Millionaire said...

A national poll conducted by Quick Research Group determined conclusively that not only is Stephen Colbert unfunny, he is pathetically unfunny. Embarrassingly unfunny.

His address to the White House press core was not offensive because of his politics, but because of his wasting the time with a video presentation that ranks of there with the worst SNL flop in their most unfunny year.

See the poll results at:

Anonymous said...

Persuasion does not make sense applied to ethnic groups, really. Base morpheme, persuade. While it is used to denote kind, it is generally not used in this context, you fucking blogger.

Canoga Comic Dan said...

Well...for my two cents Stephen Colbert is funny. His style of comedy is dry and satiric. It works for me and it has nothing to do with my politics. funny is funny. Colbert vs. Bush worked as well for me as Dennis Miller vs. Clinton. Funny, biting comedy should elicit an emotional reaction and of course, laughter. Colbert's set made me laugh, not uproariously, but I laughed. It also caused anger from some which was what Cobert wanted. No one would be discussing this if he'd done a safe twenty.
It may be unpopular with the Quick Research Group, but Colbert's speech was the #1 download on itunes last I looked.
Ladies and gentlemen would you hire a wedding band without checking them out? Of course not. Would you be shocked if you hire Gallegher and your audience was struck by melon shards? You shouldn't.. that is what he does best and Stephen Colbert did what he does best. Why are people surprised?
I suggest that both Republicans and Democrats set-up a Department of Comedy. It could be a research group that could match up comedians with banquets and fundraisers. Conservative comics for Republicans, liberal comics for Democrats and prop comics for the NSC (they'll listen to anything).

Canoga Comic Dan