The Daily Banter

MEMBERS ONLY: The End of “Stephen Colbert” and the Beginning of Stephen Colbert

In a perfect world, The Colbert Report would’ve shamed Fox News Channel, and perhaps the other cable news outfits, off the air. For nine years, it has relentlessly and hilariously held a funhouse mirror up to the pasty white faces of the conservative entertainment complex, exposing it as the thoughtless, shallow and incredibly spoofable joke that it is. Normal human beings would’ve run for cover, frantically tweaking the embarrassing flaws and shallow delivery of the news that “Stephen Colbert,” the right-wing character played by Stephen Colbert, has highlighted so wickedly every night on Comedy Central.

Other than, perhaps, The Daily Show, there hasn’t been and likely will never be another half-hour that’s both consistently the smartest, funniest late night show on television while also achieving something that in lesser hands would never have endured this long much less remained relevant and hilarious for its entire run. Stephen Colbert invented a character that could’ve been perfectly successful as a sketch show feature on SNL, and which very few observers would never have guessed could enjoy the longevity of nine years, four nights per week, and a treasure chest of awards. That’s how rare Colbert’s talent is. No one else could have done what he did. It’s never happened in the history of television… CONTINUE READING