Stephen Colbert and the missing laugh track
By Eric Verlo
NOT MY TRIBE - 5/03/2006 2:56PM MDT
Stephen Colbert bombed. We know this because there was no laugh track.
I watched Colbert’s verbal pie-throwing at the Washington Correspondents Association Dinner. The press corps though it wasn’t funny big time.
First off, how do you make fun of this administration and what it’s done? War crimes, torture, theft, breaking the law, it’s not readily very funny. The emperor has no clothes. His bare willy might be funny if it wasn’t pushed deep into a writhing bloody world.
Stephen Colbert did the best he could and what was most unfunny about his effort was the reaction of his audience. They didn’t like what he said at all. The emperor doesn’t know he has no clothes, he’s oblivious. But his courtiers know better, they can see it. If they’re opting to say nothing, they certainly don’t welcome a Colbert coming in and making light of their eyesight or their motives.
At the dinner, Bush played up the adversarial relationship he has with the press. Stephen Colbert played along with this so-called rivalry when he explained why he should have been considered for the position of press secretary. Pointing to the audience Colbert told the president that he had “nothing but contempt for these guys.”
Which turned out to be likely, didn’t it? Stephen Colbert proved that the press were nothing but yes-men courtiers, conspirators and collaborators who couldn’t laugh.
Colbert’s press club jokes were funny. It’s just that the laugh track was missing. His jokes hit home, even if, as we’ve always suspected, no-one was home.