Via majikthise. Kung-fu Monkey, professional funny guy, succinctly explains exactly why Colbert's performance was necessary, and why "but, he wasn't funny" is so ludicrously, well, funny:
If Colbert "bombed", it was because the audience didn't like him. And you know what -- they WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO. We have been treated to toothless feel-good comedy for so long, we have forgotten what the court jester's job was: he was the only guy who could mock the King. And, seeing as we now have a President who acts like a King, it's only fitting that Colbert revive the tradition in its truest form. If I remember correctly, the toady court followers were also fair game for the Jester, and we could hardly call the modern media anything less these days, can we?
...All comedy is based on revealing a truth, sometimes so minor as to seem inconsequential, but a generally unobserved truth nonetheless. Sometimes the truth is a monstrous truth -- and many times comics shy away from that monstrous truth, unwilling to deal with the fallout from being its bearer. But the ones who embrace that mission -- Bruce, Carlin, Richard goddam Pryor, Bill Hicks ("Your child is not special", jesus the stones that took) -- they transcend.
One of the insanely annoying phrases lefties overuse is "Speaking truth to power." Well, kids, you know what? Standing three feet from the most powerful man in the world and poking fun at his public foibles, telling your audience that they are cowards by doing nothing more than pointing out the truth of their actions -- THAT'S speaking truth to power. Mutter to yourselves all you want, civilians. Colbert, that night, became one of the stories comics will trade for literally decades to come. Young comics will learn it from old comics. Audiences come and go. We honor our own.
I particularly like Time's Ana Marie Cox's little moue:
While it may have shocked the President to hear someone talk so openly about his misdeeds in the setting of the correspondents dinner — joking about "the most powerful photo-ops in the world" and NSA wiretaps — I somehow doubt that Bush has never heard these criticisms before.
You know--I doubt her doubtiness. Or at minimum: I doubt what she's doubting. I think it's extremely possible that Bush has never heard these criticisms before, in fact. Boy lives in a bubble. Is this going to change his mind about anything? No, but like Bill O'Reilly and all his other enablers, he's the sort of person who hates being depantsed more than anything. That's WHY he's carefully shielded from these sorts of criticisms (I can't imagine what they were thinking when they hired Colbert in the first place. somebody would appear to be falling down on the job).
More to the point, in this case, perhaps: the media doesn't much like being made fun of, either, any more than the rest of us. anyway I'm sure A.M. Cox wasn't at all thinking about the line about how the mainstream media should just relax, go home, spend time with the kids, get to work on that novel about the noble intrepid reporter who brought down the corrupt administration--"You know: FICTION!"--when she aimed that little shrug at the blogosphere.
As for this:
To laud Colbert for saying them seems to me, a card-carrying lefty, to be settling. Colbert's defenders might aim for the same stinging criticisms to be issued not from the Hilton ballroom but from the dais in a Senate Judiciary committee hearing. And I wouldn't really care if they were funny or not.
Yeah, I'd like that too, more stinging criticism from the supposed loyal opposition in seats of actual political power. Good thing it's not an either/or situation, huh?
Meanwhile, via Bitch | Lab, youtube video footage of the Shrubster's reaction to Colbert's performance. He is, indeed, ready for his close-up. My wordies.