Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Daily Show vs. The Colbert Report

Sorry Toby Johnson, but The Colbert Report is clearly better than The Daily Show now.

The Daily Show has become way too political and has moved away from its roots, when portable bags you could pee in were as important as anything George Bush (or Bill Clinton) was ever doing. My point is that I used to love the random segments from around the country with some of the funniest and most bizarre people discussing some of the weirdest concepts and products imaginable. These segments are still on sometimes (I recently saw a great one about a newspaper that only prints good news in Newark, NJ), but not nearly often enough. Part of the problem here is that the correspondents are not as good as they once were, but more good stories would make up for this deficiency. Basically, The Daily Show takes itself too seriously now and no longer strikes as funny a balance between news and comedy. And Jon Stewart is just so darn smug. (Editor's note: I think that Craig Kilborn's time on the show is greatly underappreciated.)

Meanwhile, over at The Colbert Report, things are fresher and funnier. Colbert still focuses a lot of his comedy on political matters, but with a new twist. I am an especially big fan of his 435-part series about each and every Congressional district in the country. Colbert interviews the Congressman or Congresswoman from each district, concluding with the question: "George Bush: Great President, or greatest President?" One very liberal woman responded, "Not great, not good, terrible. He is terrible." Colbert's perfectly deadpan reply was, "Ok, I'll put you down for great." Colbert may be making Bush jokes just like Stewart, but he is coming at the issue from a more creative angle.

While I initially questioned the creation of The Colbert Report, I now believe that it is has proved itself to be worthy late-night viewing, even if it means that you don't watch The Daily Show.

7 comments:

  1. Good post Rich. This is the kind of Marquis-exclusive content that keeps me coming back.

    Anyway, it's not like Steward or Colbert thinks of any of this stuff though, right?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excellent post. Stewart has been off his game for years now. I also respond more to humor that criticizes the institution of politics more than particular politicians. Though I would hope you agree that the transgressions of the current administration are egregious enough to warrant sharp rebuke.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree that Stewart is smug - but he certainly has reason to be. His show is both funny and informative. I find the Colbert Report boring and uninformative. It's a waste of my time. I already know that FOX news sucks...that's why I don't watch it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good point, Reuben. I give props to Stewart for being "too political." The mainstream media has given a six-year free ride to the most iniquitous administration in our nation's history. Stewart's show functions as a voice of reason amid this grotesque whitewashing of an entire presidency. Does this make the Daily Show less funny? Yeah. A little. But until you find yourself living in a nation with an honest, responsible media, don't knock the few people who actually tell shit like it is.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes. I agree with Tom. Reuben is clearly mistaken. Stephen is 100 times more relevant than Jonny S.

    ReplyDelete
  6. By the way, you are totally right about Kilborn as well... His shit was the bomb.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Too political? See if you can put these words in order, you goddamn commie: day was 9/11 everything the that changed

    Anyway, I like the Colbert Report too, but the whole thing seems to be Steven Colbert playing a character who's a send-up of several Fox News windbags, mostly Bill O'Reilly. How long can any gimmick last?

    ReplyDelete