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Stephen Colbert Is Funny

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 Correspondents dinner. During this annual event people get roasted. No one in the public eye can and should ever be above roasting, especially people in politics and the media.

Entry Word: satire
Function: noun: 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:

  • Take the advice of President Harry Truman: “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
  • 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 dinner because not many people present laughed. I’d say that this is a great example of what Mr. Colbert calls “Truthiness” (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:

  • One third of the audience thought he was funny and laughed.
  • Another third of the audience thought he was not funny and did not laugh.
  • 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.

About Tony Figueroa

  • http://www.hauntedink.com Michael Heumann

    By not laughing at Colbert’s hysterical jokes, the correspondents revealed themselves to be the very hypocrites that they are–afraid to say or do anything that might anger the idiot in chief.

  • Scott Butki

    Or they just were not amused enough.

    Humor is in the ear of the beholder?

    Hi, Mike

  • Raoul

    I was there and Colbert was NOT funny and you can’t blame it on an audience of rubes who just didn’t get it.

    The room was full of the sophisticated from Washington and Hollywood.

    Colbert flat ass bombed. It happens.

    Forget the one third this, one third that.

    Most of the time three thirds were silent.

  • Well Actually…

    I watched it LIVE on C-Span and yes, Stephen Colbert was funny. Over two thirds of the audience laughed in response to over half of his jokes. Stephen himself is a sophisticated man, friends. And let’s not forget that he was performing IN CHARACTER. Regarding the content of his script on the show and otherwise, he also has other writers who he collaborates with who, I would assume, probably worked very hard on the WHCD together.

    Which thusly brings me to this point: clearly, Raoul is either A) too young to have a frame of reference for what a good administration looks like, B) a right-wing conservative, C) a philistine.

    In which case, grab a couch, put your feet up, and read a nice translation of Aristophanes.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Contrary to Mr Colbert’s report, reality does not in fact have a liberal bias- he does. Colbert, Stewart, and their hardcore fans indulge themselves in at least as much truthiness as even the schmuck O’Reilly ever dreamed of.

    Still, Colbert was pretty funny- not that funny necessarily means correct in all his implications.

    Colbert clearly got a poor reception in the room- but that’s good. His supporters (including me in this case) should play up the weak reception he got as a badge of honor. He was satirizing not just or even so much Bush, as he was laying waste to the press. If you dish your satire up in the subject’s face and it doesn’t bother them, that’s a bad sign. If you get their goats, that’s a sign you were effective.

    President Bush, White House press corp: You’ve been served!

  • JR

    Al Barger: Contrary to Mr Colbert’s report, reality does not in fact have a liberal bias…

    Then why does the White House have to muzzle scientists and edit or suppress their findings?

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Holy fucking Christ, we’re still debating whether or not Stephen Colbert is funny?

    Why not go back to the Danish cartoons? Ooh, or the Dubai ports?

    New topic, please.

  • http://childoftelevision.blogspot.com/ Tony Figueroa

    Doesn’t Sussman live in a RED STATE?

  • http://FFN Flora Ninelles

    If Stephen Colbert had bombed, newspaper and TV talkshow squawkers would have exulted for a week. Instead, they had a scary secret to tiptoe around.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Isn’t Figueroa a HISPANIC NAME??

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    No Tony, he just lives in a “Red state of mind”

    What on earth does being Hispanic (if he is) have to do with this?

    Solus mei sententia,
    Jet

  • http://childoftelevision.blogspot.com/ Tony Figueroa

    Forgive me Matthew if my Hispanic mind has failed to grasp your Ohio wit.
    Maybe I should have spent more time in Defiance.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Clearly I need to explain.

    I’m not sure what living in Ohio has anything to do with my comment, so I decided to pull something arbitrary about you and throw it into the ring.

  • Jasperscribbler

    I read a blog entry commenting on how funny Colbert is, and had to do a double take, because the author consistently is right wing and in support of the war and the president. I had to wonder if maybe some right wingers don’t get Colbert and think he is one of them.

  • BARBARA

    Colbert wat not just funny….HE WAS BRILLIANT !!!

  • Assunta

    Colbert dared to venture into the lions den and insult the lions and shove spear in their gut. The man has GUTS! The man has BALLS! Of course few people in the room laughed…HE TOTALLY SKEWERED THEM! I see some gave him a standing ovation at the end…probably in happiness that the flaming arrows from Colbert had stopped flying. hahahahahahaha!!!!!!!