Starring: Stephen Colbert
Studio: Comedy Central 85247
Video: 4:3 full screen color
Audio: English Dolby Digital stereo
Length: 175 minutes
Rating: *** 1/2
I’d been curious for some time to see what the Colbert Report is all about, being a strictly OTA TV viewer lately. I know many of the younger generation are getting most of their TV news from the likes of him and John Stewart, so I wanted to see how the already distorted TV news looked thru the wrong end of the telescope, so to speak.
Colbert pulls out all the outrageous stops in his parody of a four-star American hero, flag and eagle-loving commentator. He does it very well; in fact I can image some viewers missing the satirical intent entirely, as some did the “piano stylings” of Jonathan Edwards years ago. The various politicos he interviews are the real thing, and most of them prove equal to the task of being put on the spot, with clever responses to Colbert’s proddings. One insists, “Mr. ColBERT – why don’t you pronounce your name the way real Americans would say it?”
His regular features on “The WØRD” struck me as the funniest. He celebrates on one of them that Merriam-Webster chose his made-up word “truthiness” as their 2006 Word of the Year. The program is one big tribute to truthiness. The Green Screen Challenge was a nod to the ease with which users can videotape and process their own videos now; Colbert shot himself against a green screen attacking some unknown thing, and held a contest for who could come up with the best special effects of what he was fighting. An amazing number of viewers with lots of time on their hands created various special effects creatures for him to fight.
This Best Of DVD didn’t turn me into an instant fan, but I think part of the problem was that Colbert was dealing with last year’s political campaign here and not the current one. It’s probably more fun when he’s covering current events and campaigns.
– John Sunier