Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Too Weird To Be Funny?

I really like Stephen Colbert. He's hilarious, and the targets of his satire are always deserving. He and Jon Stewart are two of my favorite people on television, but, together, they were my favorite team on television. I miss This Week in God, and Colbert's running "senior _____ correspondent" joke.

Comedians, almost to a man, prefer Colbert to Stewart. Colbert's background is in improv; Stewart's is in stand-up, which isn't considered to be as hip or as edgy by the comedy cool kids; indeed, many of today's most popular stand-ups, such as David Cross, became popular stand-ups only after getting famous by doing improv and sketch comedy, instead of working their way up through the stand-up comedy ranks as previous generations of stand-ups had done. Colbert's absurdist sensibilities, which sometimes comes close to being meta-comedy, can lead him to some annoying self-indulgent places, as was the case with this bit last night.

Did anybody laugh after the bad pun (other than an uncomfortable chuckle?) I know what Colbert was trying to do - we all get it - but the bit had reached Monty Python and the Holy Grail-levels of "get on with it!"-ness well before the guys came out with the sedan chair. Just a lot of weirdness all around.

No comments: