To mark the release of Judd Apatow’s ‘Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy‘ on Tuesday, June 16th, 2015, Vulture have put together an article featuring some of the best stories from the book, including three from Stephen Colbert.
Stephen Colbert wasn’t burned out, he just didn’t respect punditry anymore.
It wasn’t necessarily that Stephen Colbert got burned out. “I like the grind,” he tells Apatow. The reason why he decided to retire his conservative pundit was because he felt done with the model. “I play a character on my show, and he’s modeled on punditry, and I no longer respect my model. That’s my problem,” said Colbert. “Regardless of whether I was moving on to something else after this show, I don’t know if I could have done it much longer, because you have to be invested in your model. And I really am not. I can’t watch that stuff anymore.” Good thing he quit before the elections.
Sick in the Head gathers Apatow’s most memorable and revealing conversations into one hilarious, wide-ranging, and incredibly candid collection that spans not only his career but his entire adult life. Here are the comedy legends who inspired and shaped him, from Mel Brooks to Steve Martin. Here are the contemporaries he grew up with in Hollywood, from Spike Jonze to Sarah Silverman. And here, finally, are the brightest stars in comedy today, many of whom Apatow has been fortunate to work with, from Seth Rogen to Amy Schumer. And along the way, something kind of magical happens: What started as a lifetime’s worth of conversations about comedy becomes something else entirely. It becomes an exploration of creativity, ambition, neediness, generosity, spirituality, and the joy that comes from making people laugh.
Loaded with the kind of back-of-the-club stories that comics tell one another when no one else is watching, this fascinating, personal (and borderline-obsessive) book is Judd Apatow’s gift to comedy nerds everywhere.
Available from Thursday, 16th June, 2015 on Amazon and Random House
Stephen Colbert is best known as the mock news pundit of the hit show The Colbert Report. His character is an over the top yet loveable know-it-all who speaks from the gut more than the brain. In the 2005 pilot episode Colbert coined the word “truthiness” to encapsulate his blend of confidence, ignorance, and adherence to the doctrine of American Exceptionalism. Truthiness became the ethos for The Colbert Report, but it also became a brand of satirical comedy which Colbert has pioneered and developed over the last ten years.
Nevertheless, good comedy is about more than just getting laughs. Good comedy tells the truth, reveals that the Emperor has no clothes, and shines light into the dark corners of our world. While Stephen Colbert is no stranger to trivial silliness, his overall comedic voice is deep and profound. This voice – honed over hundreds of episodes, public appearances, and public stunts – is fundamentally concerned with telling the truth. Truth by satire. Truth by telling lies. Telling The Truthines.
This book explores the function of Colbert’s comedy and art as truth telling. At the same time, it draws out biblical themes and ideas including the doctrine of sin, truth and revelation, comedy and sarcasm in the bible, and ultimately, “parhessia” – a New Testament word having to do with redeemed human beings granted “free speech” before God.
Telling The Truthiness affords space to wrestle with how Colbert wears mock ignorance to mirror the blissful ignorance of our culture. It delves into the cathartic nature of poking fun of our “sacred cows,” the historical prophetic calling to speak truth to power, the ability to face darkness with laughter, and the gospel related freedom the truth brings – even the freedom to not take ourselves too seriously.
This book is not a biography of Stephen Colbert. Nor is it a mere highlighting of religious moments on the show that confirm Colbert’s Catholic convictions or religious sensibilities. This book is an analysis and celebration of the art of Stephen Colbert as prophetic truth-telling.
Available in Paperback or on Kindle.
As originally announced on “The Colbert Report” on July 16th, 2014, Sam Wilson aka “The Falcon” is taking over the role of Captain America, after Steve Rogers was drained of the Super Soldier Serum that gave him his strength, speed and endurance, leaving him unable to wield the shield.
And sadly for Stephen Colbert, despite having Captain American’s shield hanging on the wall of “The Colbert Report” set, he was not chosen to become the new Captain America. Instead, Marvel commissioned one of their artists, Kris Anka, to design an image of Stephen as Falcon to be used as a variant cover for the “All New Captain” to be released on November 12th, 2014.
Friends of the Hub, Sophia McClennen and Remy Maisel have co-authored a new book, “Is Satire Saving Our Nation?: Mockery and American Politics“.
Does satire strengthen or weaken public perceptions of politics? While political satire is nothing new, talk shows and news parody shows have taken this form of entertainment to new—and arguably powerful—heights. As the social media-savvy millennial generation enters the voting pool, they continue to redefine notions of engaged citizenship and activism. Referencing scholarship on the state of democracy and media, McClennen and Maisel examine the critical potential of satire and the satirists most prominent in the nation today. They show us that one thing is certain: post-9/11 satire exercises tremendous influence on public opinion and is shaping a new version of US democracy.
James Poniewozik details the nation of Stephen Colbert ‘genius’ in the creation and evolution of “Stephen Colbert” the character, in ‘TIME Secrets of Genius: Discovering the Nature of Brilliance’. A preview of the chapter “WHAT’S SO FUNNY? Truth in Art?” is available on Amazon.
TIME profiles history’s most gifted and inventive humans and explores the work of scientists who are using advanced technologies in their attempts to isolate and quantify the nature of genius itself. We’ll explore the tantalizing questions surrounding human brilliance: Is genius the product of nature-or nurture? Is there a genetics of genius? Can science find new ways to enhance our intellectual and creative powers? How are child prodigies shaped? Is there a link between genius and mental instability? And can the experience of those with brain injuries open new windows into the nature of genius?
For those interested in the topic and nature of ‘genius’, I would also highly recommended reading Darrin McMahon’s ‘Divine Fury: A History of Genius’ which gives a detailed and extensively researched history of the idea of genius in the Western world.
(Thank you to StephenSmile64 for the Tip!)
Stephen Colbert’s University of Virginia Valedictorian Speech is now available for download on [iTunesU].