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burntbonez's avatar

Can you explain Colbert's Schtick?

Asked by burntbonez (5194 points ) February 20th, 2013

Slate’s Emily Bazelon makes Steven Colbert cry when he interviews her about her book on bullying. Colbert raises the issue about whether there should be a Federal Dept. of Bullying. She says there should be bullying studies departments at universities.

It’s pretty funny stuff. There’s power imbalance. Pathos. Empathy. Gender relations.

But really, Alfie. What’s it all about?

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6 Answers

bookish1's avatar

Hey now… A question of mine about Stephen Colbert dancing while holding a chicken got modded. In all fairness, I did just really want to share the video, haha.

ETpro's avatar

Yeah, and I’m still waiting. But I do have to say he gave it a decent stage rendition. And also, I’m sure he has cried for real and will again.

burntbonez's avatar

Well, I know who my friends are now. Had to edit the question, which makes the first two answers a little iffy. The original question was something like Have you ever seen Colbert cry?

But honestly, I don’t quite get Colbert. What was he after in this interview? Is he on her side or not? I gather he’s supposed to be playing a conservative talk show host, but he’s really a liberal, personally? He’s also a humorist, so he makes fun of things. But is he trying to make his guests look like fools or not? Does he care about bullying really, or is it just grist for the mill?

As I wrote originally, what’s it all about, Alfie? How do you explain Colbert to the uninitiated?

ETpro's avatar

It’s about comedy and making a wildly popular TV show. It’s about keeping an audience. It’s not Oprah, who kept an audience just fine, but not Colbert’s audience.

That said, Stephen Colbert does appear to care what impression he creates. He’s certainly aware that, for the under 30 set, he and Jon Stewart ARE the 6 PM News. And they bring far more honesty and true understanding of what is going on in America today than anyone is allowed to share on the news shows owned by big corporate media conglomerates.

burntbonez's avatar

What is he trying to make fun of?

sinscriven's avatar

Colbert’s Character is a Satirical representation of far right wing political punditry and pundits like the ones specifically on FOX News. His technique is taking the news bites from the week and using typical conservative talk-show host talking points and drives the point to absurdity.

Those who get it, understand he’s making the point that these conservative media or political perspectives are completely BS, but there are indeed people who don’t understand satire, some people who do have those kind of views actually think he’s serious.

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