'The Colbert Report' serves politics with comedy
Sixth season features new segments, acclaimed ingenuity
Stephen Colbert anchors "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central, lampooning conservative news programs and discussing recent events in a hard-hitting and humorous fashion. The show airs on Monday through Thursday at 11:30 p.m.
"This is the Colbert Report!" announces Stephen Colbert as a trumpet fanfare and guitar riffs begin his outlandish and hilarious news show. Usually when the TV screen in front of me breaks out in flying bald eagles and a man running around and jumping with an American flag, I change the channel as fast as I can. With Colbert, however, I cannot tune in faster.
"The Colbert Report" is a half-hour show which lampoons popular conservative news shows like "The O'Reilly Factor" and "Glenn Beck." Every episode seems to take the best and worst out of recent news and put a delightful spin on it, whether in the form of Colbert making fun of news anchors or pointing out obvious flaws in any type of government which happens to slip up that week.
The show began in 2005 when Colbert (pronounced cole-bear) was given his own show on Comedy Central. Colbert had previously been working on "The Daily Show," another parody of the ridiculous media tactics shown today, as a correspondent. With this fresh start, Colbert soon made a name for himself and now his show is just as popular as "The Daily Show."
Now in its sixth season, "The Colbert Report" returned on Jan. 4 with a new set and opening video clip. The show is also broadcasting in HD for the first time since the show began, a fact Colbert often takes pride in.
An episode usually consists of a few reoccurring news segments followed by a short interview with a special guest. On most occasions, I find the guests entertaining and informative, ranging anywhere from admired actor Morgan Freeman to Swedish swing/hiphop/jazz band Movits.
Colbert approaches the interviews in a very lighthearted fashion, often diverging onto different topics if things get too heated. This is something I especially like about the show, having sat through countless and pointless discussions between two opposing forces on other networks.
"The Colbert Report" accomplishes what it was made to do -- highlight farces in popular media and culture and deliver news with laughter being the main focus. It is hard-hitting, concise and humorous in every viewing." --Nick Avery, '12
One of the most popular segments on the show is called 'The Word' where Colbert picks a word, often fictional, and pairs it with an example of a mainstream news story which emerged on any well-known show that day. This is heavily and very obviously influenced by Bill O'Reilly's 'Talking Points Memo' which appears on his show on Fox News.
Of all the segments, Colbert's 'Better Know a District' is my favorite. He picks a district in a state at random and reports on everything that has to do with that particular district. The segment provides clear-cut information along with jokes and zings issued by Colbert.
Although marketed as a hard-hitting news program, "The Colbert Report" is nothing more than a show full of jokes anchored by a great entertainer who never breaks character. Even though Colbert is portrayed on the show as more conservative than half the Republican Party, he is actually a Democrat.
Overall "The Colbert Report" accomplishes what it was made to do -- highlight farces in popular media and culture and deliver news with laughter being the main focus. The show maintains its high caliber by being hard-hitting, concise and humorous in every viewing.
"The Colbert Report" airs Monday through Thursday on Comedy Central at 11:30 p.m. The show is also available on Hulu.com and Colbertnation.com.