Jun 21, 2006

I just don't get it.

Sometimes I feel really out of touch. While friends of mine laughed at the comic workings of Larry the Cable Guy in his performance in the White Trash Comedy Tour...err...Blue Collar Comedy Tour I felt disconnected since I didn't, and still don't, find the musing of a guy who's catch phrase is "Git R Done" funny. (I swear if I see that phrase on another automobile I'm going to light it on fire and extinguish the flames with my urine).

Now Larry the Cable Guy doesn't have universal appeal, but there are others that are considered hilarious by most, but for some inescapable reason I watch with wonder. Stephen Colbert is a great example.

Once John Stewart took over The Daily Show I soon became addicted. I loved his self deprecating humor and his constant ridiculing of media and politics alike. Stephen Colbert, posing as a fake investigative reporter, often complimented the show's style with his funny and heavily edited interviews with bizarre folk.

He became such a success Comedy Central gave him his own show and of course many fans of The Daily Show followed him. The Colbert Report is a simple parody of talking head shows such as the O'Reilly Factor, which Colbert affectionately refers to as "Papa Bear". Viewers found the imitation hilarious and suddenly Colbert was invited to the recent White House Press Corps dinner, which often invites people to roast the media and politicians as well. Colbert got up and did a monologue poking fun at the press as well as the President, who sitting a few feet from him. He got few laughs from the audience, but instead of wrapping it up and quitting as most comedians would Colbert pressed on through all his material. Colbert was later greatly praised for his bravery and in many circles people found it hilarious.

I don't get it. I know it's ridiculous to argue what is funny or not, but really if he were making the same jokes in any other forum I believe no one would laugh. I share a lot of the views and politics Colbert does, but making ridiculous metaphors and taking quick stabs at easy targets is just lazy comedy. I firmly feel that people who do find his show funny, which is really the same joke over and over again, are so frustrated by this incompetent administration that they feel the need to chuckle so much that quality is irrelevant.

I remember years ago watching Michael Moore on a talk show plugging Fahrenheit 9/11. In the crowd of people watching in the living room a few people laughed at everything he said even when he wasn't trying to be funny. They were so eager to find humor in the horrible tragedy that is our current war on terror.

We all need to laugh in dark times as these, cause if we don't we'd cry, but seriously we should be looking up to more important dissidents as well as getting more information about world affairs from other sources than the ones provided by Comedy Central, funny or not.

"He referred to the recent staff changes at the White House, chiding the media for supposedly repeating the cliche "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic" when he would have put it differently: "This administration is not sinking. This administration is soaring. If anything, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg." A mixed metaphor, and lame as can be." - Richard Cohen


Scott said...

Interesting post. I didn't really get the "Get r done" comedy either. As for Colbert, I think that there are a lot of people that are so anti Bush that no matter what someone says about him you will be seen as both funny and clever. It is just the feel I get when I watch US politics as of late.


Mattbear said...

I find Colbert to be very funny. It's not that he makes fun of the Bush administration - anyone can do that - it is that he makes fun of the entire institution of right-wing politics today. Not all of his jokes are as obvious as the Titanic/Hindenburg one.

Humor has always been an effective and intelligent way of showing the cracks in the system. Satire and parody can show where things are failing, point out lies, and make plain the truly ridiculous. That's part of why The Daily Show is so good. Colbert is just a different technique to accomplish the same goal.

As to more important dissidents, please, tell me where they are. I see very few, and they are powerless at best. The "opposing" party to the Bush administration won't even talk about impeachment, despite the myriad crimes committed out of the White House - not that they would get anywhere with the loyal brown shirts...I mean Republicans...controlling Congress.

Mattbear said...

Oh, and Larry the Cable Guy sucks ass.