Stephen Colbert Brings Too Much 'Truthiness' To The White House Correspondents' Dinner
UPDATE: YouTube has pulled the Colbert Vids because of copyright infringement. You can find Colbert's Correspondents' Dinner performance here:
And here's an interesting 60 Minute interview with Colbert.
The 2006 correspondents' dinner held up the long-standing tradition of poking fun at the president. This year Stephen Colbert was chosen as the topper for the event...I'm guessing the guy from Associated Press responsible for 'hiring' Colbert might now be having some second thoughts about that decision. For those of you not familiar with Colbert, he's a very funny and biting satirist who used be a 'correspondent' on the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and is now the host of his own spin-off show The Colbert Report. Colbert plays the role of an uninformed loud-mouthed pro-Bush talk show pundit modeled largely on Bill O'Reilly, whom Colbert affectionately refers to as 'Papa Bear'. Of course Colbert was completely in character during the correspondents dinner, you can see the full video of his performance below.
The Bush administration usually doesn't take too kindly to criticism, and that was pretty evident in the video from the pained fake smiles and chilly silence that often followed Colbert's riffs. In contrast to the happy USA today article I linked to above, you can an honest idea of the real reaction to his performance in this article from Editor and Publisher. Apparently a lot of attendees weren't too pleased. I can imagine Bush and his cronies fuming about the perfidious 'liberal media' after having to sit through Colbert's 'blistering' performance. It's great to see at least one publication captured the uncomfortable and sometimes stony reaction from the assembled guests. For a while now I've been inclined to give Colbert the edge over Jon Stewart for the title of America's greatest television satirist. After his performance last night I think Colbert has clinched it. Here's an interesting interview with Stephen Colbert talking about his show on NPR.
The man must have balls the size of watermelons to have stood in front of that audience at the White House and mercilessly lambasted the president on every level, taking some pointed shots at the cowardly media as well. Incredibly gutsy and pure genius. His video audition wasn't quite as amusing as the rest of performance, but I did get a chuckle out of the Gannon button on his podium. The Helen Thomas chase scene probably dragged on a little too long, but she definitely deserves the hat tip. Helen Thomas, who's now 86 years-old, is the ball-buster of the White House correspondents. She's the only White House correspondent who has had the guts to consistently ask Bush critical questions during his press conferences.
Here's the entire video of Stephen Colbert at the Correspondents' Dinner in three parts.
And here's a bunch of hilarious clips from The Colbert Report I found at youtube. Great show, and one of America's finest satirists. :-)