Today, we have a special treat for you Hubsters! Guest contributor Sharilyn Johnson has sent in this article examining the upside to losing Stephen Colbert as host of ‘The Colbert Report’. Sharilyn is a Toronto-based writer and comedy journalist, who created the stage show ‘Fake News Fangirl’. You can read Colbert News Hub’s exclusive interview with her here.
5 Silver Linings of Losing the Colbert Report
By the end of 2014, “Stephen Colbert” the character will be no more. That’s lot to process. It’s sudden, it’s surreal, and – despite the “onwards and upwards” angle to all this – it’s sad. The Colbert Report has been a unique television creation in so many ways, and it’s a shame to see it disappear. But aside from what we’re directly getting in exchange (an hour of the real Stephen, five nights a week), there are other upsides to the loss.
“As I’ve mentioned a couple of times before, I worked with Stephen Colbert at a well known Italian restaurant in Chicago, by the name of Scoozi. Stephen worked the lunch shifts, and then headed over to Second City for evening comedy improvisation shows. I worked the night shifts at Scoozi to finance my college education.
In the evening we had the luxury of three member teams of front waiter, back waiter, and busboy. We hustled for eight to nine hours straight without breaks, and made very good money in a hectic, but never frantic pace.
The daytime shift by comparison was horrendous. The busboy/backwaiter position was combined. I found myself carrying seventy five pound trays full of dirty dishes,over my shoulder back to the kitchen, and then scurrying out of the kitchen to retrieve several checks filled out by the front waiter that needed processing on a computer terminal for the kitchen staff to activate orders. The contrast from brutal grunt work to reading, scanning abbreviations for food items written in waiter’s scrawl was dizzying.
The lunch pace was a shotgun two hours straight, and then everything slacked off. At this time, the main waiters would gab about auditions that they were up for in films like “Uncle Buck.”
What was interesting about my day shifts spent working along Stephen Colbert is that the guy seemed to avoid the trappings of the waiter gabbing about his ship about to come in routine. Instead, Colbert helped the backwaiter/busboys with all sorts of tasks that weren’t his responsibility. He loaded giant sized aluminum oval shaped trays placed on bus stands with dirty dishes. He was essentially busing tables which he didn’t have to do.
POPULARITY:The Colbert Report drew in more young viewers for Republican convention coverage than actual cable news networks. 2007 book I Am America (and So Can You!) spent 29 weeks on New York Times best seller list, thirteen weeks at number one; 2012 children’s book parody I Am a Pole (and So Can You!) also debuted at No. 1; latest book, America Again! Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t just entered list at number three in first week of release. Drew reported 215,000 to Washington D.C. Mall for his and Jon Stewart’s 2010 Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.
FACEBOOK FOLLOWERS: 2.7 million
TWITTER FOLLOWERS: Nearly 4 million for Colbert himself
FAN NICKNAME: Colbert Nation.
MAIN HANGOUTS: Comedy Central’s Colbert Nation site, where the Colbert clips can be shared on social networks.
AVERAGE DEMOGRAPHIC: Tends to skew male and educated; the median age of a Colbert viewer is 39, which is two years younger than Jon Stewart’s fan base and ten younger than Jimmy Fallon’s.
Imagine if Faulkner, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald teamed up to write the Greatest American Book. Now imagine that didn’t happen and instead Stephen Colbert wrote one. Because that’s what happened.
I believe it was Tolstoy who once said, “First Stephen Colbert wrote a book. Then he wrote a second book. Now a third? Is there any number of books Stephen Colbert can’t write?”
America Again is a work of stunning clarity and bold vision, and it contains some of the greatest hyperbole ever written in the history of mankind. Also, it has pictures. And page numbers, many of them in chronological order!
Comedy Central’s late-night stalwarts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have extended their contracts with the cable network. Stewart’s extension will keep him at the helm of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, where he will continue as executive producer, writer and host, through the middle of 2015, marking 19 years on the air. Colbert’s extension will keep him and The Colbert Report at Comedy Central, where it launched in 2005, through the end of 2014. Colbert serves as executive producer, writer and host of the show, which is produced by Stewart’s company.
So who is the funniest Catholic in the Western world: New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan or Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert?
It’s a tough call for anyone who has followed either man’s impressive record of rim shots, but we may finally get an answer to that urgent question when the cardinal and the comedian team up for a panel on faith and humor this September at Fordham University in the Bronx, N.Y.
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“I’m looking forward to a great conversation with a terrific theologian and a gifted comedian. They are both,” quipped the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and popular author. Martin will be moderating the Sept. 14 event, titled “The Cardinal and Colbert: Humor, Joy, and the Spiritual Life.”
“This is just what the Catholic Church needs,” said Martin, who has been on “The Colbert Report” so many times that he is called the official chaplain of the Emmy-winning news parody program. “Being joyful does not mean that you overlook suffering or pain or even scandal.”
Martin noted that the Book of Ecclesiastes says that there is a time to mourn and a time to laugh. “In the Catholic Church we tend to mourn more than we tend to laugh. This panel is trying to help restore the balance.”
Colbert is a lifelong Catholic whose spirituality was shaped in part by the loss of his father and two of his brothers in a plane crash when he was 10. The comedian credits his mother with imbuing him with a deep faith through all the trials.
“She taught me to be grateful for my life regardless of what that entailed, and that’s directly related to the image of Christ on the cross and the example of sacrifice that he gave us,” Colbert told The New York Times earlier this year.
“What she taught me is that the deliverance God offers you from pain is not no pain — it’s that the pain is actually a gift. What’s the option? God doesn’t really give you another choice.”
In lieu of the recent influx of articles examining the academic side of Stephen Colbert and ‘The Colbert Report’ Remy Maisel and Sophia A. McClennen have written a piece for The Huffington Post asking ‘Is it Stupid to Study Colbert?’
Again and again, Colbert has been called out for not staying within the bounds of his role as a comedian and entertainer. But now, it seems, he’s really overstepped. He’s become the subject of study at our nation’s universities with books and articles and classes dedicated to him. This guy just can’t be stopped!
The Washington Post has posted an article about Stephen Colbert’s popularity among college professors and their students, including some scholarly samples about his work as a fake news pundit and a satirist.
Last we checked, Colbert was a mere TV comedian, or a satirist if you want to get fancy about it. (And, of course, being college professors, they do.) He’s a TV star, like Donald Trump, only less of a caricature.
Yet ever since Colbert’s show, “The Colbert Report,” began airing on Comedy Central in 2005, these ivory-tower eggheads have been devoting themselves to studying all things Colbertian. They’ve sliced and diced his comic stylings more ways than a Ginsu knife. Every academic discipline — well, among the liberal arts, at least — seems to want a piece of him. Political science. Journalism. Philosophy. Race relations. Communications studies. Theology. Linguistics. Rhetoric.
There are dozens of scholarly articles, monographs, treatises and essays about Colbert, as well as books of scholarly articles, monographs and essays. A University of Oklahoma student even earned her doctorate last year by examining him and his “Daily Show” running mate Jon Stewart. It was called “Political Humor and Third-Person Perception.”