BLOGS

The Telefile

So That Was Uncomfortable

by admin January 8, 2008 12:36 pm
jon.jpgDid you see last night's returns of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report? It's hard to know what to say, except that this is what it looks like when funny people are forced to be where they don't want to be, doing something they don't want to do.

Stewart is in a more precarious position, for several reasons. He doesn't have a separate persona the way Colbert does, so he's forced to appear, essentially, as himself. And no matter what he does, it will displease someone.

He talked extensively about the strike, taking shots both at the AMPTP, whose claims of desperation and poverty he repeatedly ridiculed, and the WGA, whose artsy "Speechless" campaign he poked fun at for managing the incredibly difficult feat of rustling up the support of the always reticent Sean Penn. During his interview with a labor relations expert, Stewart strongly alluded to his frustration with the fact that he'd been unable to secure a side deal with the WGA as Letterman did. (Yes, the situations have differences; they also have similarities. Discuss!) I actually thought the discussion got pretty funny when Stewart asked the professional writer whether the different treatment might be the result of anti-Semitism. It sounds a lot more awkward, believe me, than it was in practice.

Colbert's show...look. I like Stephen Colbert very much. I think his show is terrific, and I've missed it. I don't like it as much as Stewart's show, precisely because the persona creates distance that keeps me from every being as satisfied as I am by a direct hit from Jon Stewart's actual gut. Nevertheless, I'm happy for Colbert that he's back, and he did choose to stay away from bellyaching about his own show's situation. But...dude. The ovation when he came out lasted for more than two full minutes, which was...ridiculous. Appreciative, but ridiculous. Ultimately, the show ran several minutes long, which undercuts the idea that they set up the two-minute ovation to fill, meaning it apparently was the audience's spontaneous decision, in which case: settle down, y'all.

Frankly, both shows seemed...awfully similar to the way they usually are. I'm not sure what writing anyone is allowed to do, but someone had clearly set up a lot of the bits on both, and I'm not sure what the difference is between arranging bits to be funny and writing jokes. That line seems awfully fine, from my perspective.

In the end, though, what I most regret about both is that neither of these guys wanted to be where they were, at least not under these circumstances. Good comedy requires a certain energy, I think, and when people are doing it against their will, mostly dreading the curtain, it cannot be the same.

Comments

SHARE THE SNARK

X

Get the most of your experience.
Share the Snark!

See content relevant to you based on what your friends are reading and watching.

Share your activity with your friends to Facebook's News Feed, Timeline and Ticker.

Stay in Control: Delete any item from your activity that you choose not to share.

MOST RECENT POSTS

BLOG ARCHIVES

The Telefile

March 2014

25 ENTRIES

February 2014

24 ENTRIES

January 2014

43 ENTRIES

December 2013

15 ENTRIES

November 2013

28 ENTRIES

October 2013

40 ENTRIES

September 2013

37 ENTRIES

August 2013

16 ENTRIES

July 2013

15 ENTRIES

June 2013

26 ENTRIES

May 2013

38 ENTRIES

April 2013

43 ENTRIES

March 2013

35 ENTRIES

February 2013

58 ENTRIES

January 2013

62 ENTRIES

December 2012

48 ENTRIES

November 2012

62 ENTRIES

October 2012

107 ENTRIES

September 2012

103 ENTRIES

August 2012

103 ENTRIES

July 2012

78 ENTRIES

June 2012

88 ENTRIES

May 2012

101 ENTRIES

April 2012

108 ENTRIES

March 2012

103 ENTRIES

February 2012

93 ENTRIES

January 2012

113 ENTRIES

The Latest Activity On TwOP