As you have most likely already heard, Stephen Colbert will be taking over for David Letterman as host of The Late Show. Some are lamenting this decision, while others are rejoicing. Colbert has said that he will be hosting The Late Show as himself, so as he prepares to retire his much-loved alter-ego at the height of his show’s popularity, perhaps now would be a good time to reflect on the legacy of both the character and the show…
Few there are who seem able/willing to question the wit and integrity of either Colbert or Stewart, which is why this brutal Baffler essay by Steve Almond is so incredibly refreshing! Almond completely eviscerates the two and puts them both in their place, refusing to apologize for what he views as mindless mollification and mediocrity for the masses.
The entire essay is well worth the read, though here are a few highlights that are particularly poignant, resonating with a righteous fury:
Stewart and Colbert’s net effect is almost entirely therapeutic: they congratulate viewers for their fine habits of thought and feeling while remaining careful never to question the corrupt precepts of the status quo too vigorously…We have come to accept coy mockery as genuine subversion and snarky mimesis as originality.… Read the rest