Thursday, May 04, 2006

Does comedy still have to be funny?

Allow me to join my friend Brendan in noting a very important cultural fact at this moment: as ballsy and often on-point as Steven Colbert's "performance" was at the White House Correspondent's Dinner, it wasn't actually FUNNY.

I can understand the impulse of those on the left to hear someone publicly what they all think but is so rarely said publicly since Republicans control the government and most democrats are rather reserved, to say the least, in their public comments. That certainly explains the popularity of Jon Stewart and Colbert's political humor these days, which is so often much more "political" than "humor."

Not to mention the fact that the joke of Colbert's performance is essentially the same joke of his show EVERY night. I only watch like once a month and every time I turn Colbert on, I get sick of the joke after 5 minutes.

But the idea that the crowd wasn't laughing because they're all administration shills (not mostly liberal journalists) doesn't fly. These guys invited Colbert to speak because they like his stuff. Why else would he be there? They didn't laugh because very little that he said was funny. And that bit with him as press secretary was completely laugh free.

For an idea of how shrill and humor-less many on the left have become, check out the responses to (Republican) Robert A George's rather timid post on Colbert's lack of funny-ness over at left wing hot spot Huffington Post.

It's sad to say, but President Bush's routine with his impersonator was, while obviously less brave, at least kinda funny. While I agreed with a lot of what Colbert had to say, I enjoyed watching Bush much more.

No comments: