Cennamology Chief Editor
Without a doubt, Stephen Colbert is my favorite political comedian, and the news that he would be leaving “The Colbert Report” in favor of replacing David Letterman on “The Late Show” can only be described as
The ‘bitter’ part of this transition is Colbert’s announcement that he will not be doing his new gig in character.
What made “The Colbert Report” great was that it was a very unique idea. Colbert created a character modeled off of idiotic conservative television hosts like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, adopting their mannerisms and incorporating their beliefs in a comedic way. Colbert mastered the parody of the conservative pundit in a way that only he could pull off.
You know you have done your job well when a lot of people hate you for doing it. And the commentators who Colbert modeled his character after are irate that he has been chosen for this new gig with CBS.
Bill O’Reilly, the person who is not-so-secretly the primary inspiration for Colbert’s character, accused
Colbert of being part of the “downfall of civilized society.”
O’Reilly is just bitter that Colbert was able to expose his show and his profession in such a clever way
that most of the country now looks upon O’Reilly as a buffoon. O’Reilly’s ratings have fallen dramatically since 2005, especially among the prime 18-49-year-old demographic (the average age of his audience is now 72) and Colbert’s persona exposed O’Reilly to the point where not very many people take him seriously anymore.
Long story short, O’Reilly is a sore loser. The purpose of Colbert’s character is to be a slightly less-subtle version of the typical Fox News pundit. Colbert used the art of parody to expose what most of these
excessively conservative commentators are – frauds.
O’Reilly accuses Colbert of trying to indoctrinate American with a “liberal agenda,” but all he was trying
to do was to expose the bias of political “news” shows like O’Reilly’s.
As recently as 10 years ago, the general public viewed Fox News as an unbiased, respectable news
channel. That is no longer the case. The owners of the Republican echo chamber still try to convince people that they are not biased by broadcasting their slogan that is so laughable it’s pathetic – “Fair and Balanced.”
Even O’Reilly still tries to paint himself as a centrist. To this day, he claims to be an “independent,” even
though the records maintained by the New York Board of Elections confirm that he is a registered Republican. Now, people do not view O’Reilly as a voice of the middle, they view him as a loudmouth of the right.
Many people fell for O’Reilly’s fanciful claims of independence until Colbert came and showed people
otherwise. Because of this, Colbert has done a great service for the American political debate.
“The Colbert Report” is more than just a comedy show, it is a societal necessity. American politics
needs shows like Colbert’s to bring some pragmatism to the heated rhetoric, even if it is veiled in parody.
Without this pragmatism, less people would be interested in politics, including myself. I partially credit Colbert and Jon Stewart for being the root of my interest in politics, as they were the first politically themed shows that I watched on a regular basis.
Although I will miss Colbert’s character, I am sure his comedic genius will carry over to “The Late Show.”
I am excited for it to begin and I will not be surprised if it turns out to be a big success.