In election years past, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert were a millennial’s savior, intelligently presenting the ridiculousness of both parties and their candidates. While their work was satirical comedy, it still managed to expose an often apathetic generation news concerning the world around them — hopefully encouraging them to read more into issues discussed. With their Comedy Central departures, we were left with a void in our political satire.
Fortunately, CBS gifted us in 2015, by allowing Stephen Colbert to become the host of “The Late Show.” Colbert, playing himself as opposed to his character of the same name on “The Colbert Report,” has brought his own political ammunition to the major network.
Colbert wasted no time in kicking-off the Republican National Convention, and security wasted no time tossing him out. Dressed as Julius Flickerman, who Colbert described as the cousin to Hunger Games host Caesar Flickerman, Colbert arrived early to the convention with his taxidermy ferret – Caligula.
Colbert proceeded to criticize the GOP’s lack of minority representation, the party’s leadership setting aside moral beliefs to back Trump, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and North Carolina’s bathroom legislation. Colbert concluded by taking the stage in front of press members preparing for the evening to announce the start of the “Hungry for Power Games.”
“I know I’m not supposed to be up here, but let’s be honest, neither is Donald Trump,” he said as he was escorted off the RNC main stage. Oh, and all of this occurred in only a four-minute segment.
The Late Show’s first episode during the convention also saw the return of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert (the Comedy Central character).
Colbert (character) stormed the The Late Show set in a gold chariot pulled by shirtless Uncle Sams, wielding a Captain America shield. After arriving, Colbert reintroduced “The Word.” A segment popularized on his former Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report.
“Truthiness (a word he invented on Colbert Report) was from the gut, but Trumpiness clearly comes from much further down the gastrointestinal tract,” Colbert said. “These legitimately angry voters don’t need a leader to say things that are true or feel true. They need a leader to feel things that feel feels,” his bizarre definition continued.
The episode beat the ratings of its competitors for the night, a feat it hasn’t accomplished since February. The show’s Hungry for Power Games segment has over 8.6 million views on Facebook as of this publication. It’s clear that people are paying attention.
In the past, both Stewart and Colbert have made it clear that what they do is comedy. However, sometimes comedy is a necessary relief to the perils of our surroundings and not only has this comedy brought us laughs, but they’ve been laughs rooted in important matters. Maybe it’ll help people pay attention, after the laughter ends and they have that “oh, crap” moment when remembering things are still a mess. Or maybe it’ll just plunge us further into apathy. Who knows?
At day’s end, people are unhappy and at least we still have media personalities like Stephen Colbert to put a smile on our face over how ridiculous the world is.