alibi online
Free Will AstrologyAlibi's Personals
 V.14 No.44 | November 3 - 9, 2005 

Idiot Box

“Truthiness” Be Told

“The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central

Comedy Central has finally found a perfect companion to its hit series “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” by commissioning a spin-off series for regular contributor Stephen Colbert. The show is styled after personality-driven talking-head TV commentators, pundits like Bill O'Reilly who don't report the news so much as parrot party-line opinions about the news so that like-minded individuals can feel good about themselves by agreeing wholeheartedly.

“Your voice will finally be heard,” Colbert has assured viewers, “in the form of my voice.” Colbert's show, “The Colbert Report” (both “t”'s are silent), is an even more daffy parody of current TV news trends than its predecessor, allowing the witty, well-spoken comedian to wax rhapsodic on the day's headlines. Keeping with current journalistic trends (like those espoused most loudly by FOX News), “The Colbert Report” is a red, white and blue-draped morality play that concentrates on “truthiness.”

Colbert has already fashioned a few classic segments, including the daily “Threatdown,” which enumerates the top five things we Americans should be terrified of on any given day--from avian flu to bear attacks. Slightly less successful are Colbert's interview segments. What should be vicious, knockdown, drag-out riffs on screaming cable “debates” featuring never-wrong commentators like O'Reilly/Scarborough/Hannity/Cooper are--more often than not--watered-down “Daily Show” interviews with fourth-tier celebrity guests. Perhaps Colbert hasn't been around long enough to bait many politicians and pundits into going along with the joke. (Oh, to see Colbert and Zell Miller gnawing at each other in mock outrage.)

To be sure, Colbert hasn't had as much time in the chair as Jon Stewart. He occasionally muffs a line or two and doesn't quite look as comfortable when the guests show up. This may be because Colbert is doing far more of a “character” than Stewart is. Call him the clueless, college-educated white guy in the Brooks Brothers suit. Still, there's no reason not to believe he'll ease into the gig with polished, pointed perfection. (Perhaps easing our sadness over the loss of Steve Carell.)

Given the state of TV news today, Colbert's straight-faced takeoff shows just how thin the line between serious television journalism and utter stupidity really is. Watch and learn, people. ... Oh, and laugh.

“The Colbert Report” airs every weekday at 9:30 p.m. on Comedy Central.

Tomorrow's Events

Trash at National Hispanic Cultural Center


After three boys picking trash in the slums of Rio de Janeiro find a wallet in the daily detritus of their local dump, they little imagine that their lives are about to change forever.


Trolleywood at Albuquerque Museum of Art and History


New Mexico Labor Film Festival at Center for Progress and Justice

More Recommended Events ››

  • Select sidebar boxes to add below. You can also click and drag to rearrange the boxes; close using the little X icons on each box. To re-add a box you closed, return to this menu.
  • Because you are not logged in, any changes you make to these boxes will vanish as soon as you click to another page. If you log in, the boxes will stick.
  • Latest Posts
  • Web Exclusives
  • Recent Classifieds
  • Latest User Posts
  • Most Active Users
  • Most Active Stories
  • Calendar Comments
  • Upcoming Alibi Picks
  • Albuquerque
  • Duke City Fix
  • Albuquerque Beer Scene
  • What's Wrong With This Picture?
  • Reddit Albuquerque
  • ABQ Journal Metro
  • ABQrising
  • ABQ Journal Latest News
  • Albuquerque
  • NM and the West
  • New Mexico FBIHOP
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • Only in New Mexico
  • Mario Burgos
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • High Country News
  • El Grito
  • NM Politics with Joe Monahan
  • Stephen W. Terrell's Web Log
  • The Net Is Vast and Infinite
  • Slashdot
  • Freedom to Tinker
  • Is there a feed that should be on this list? Tell us about it.