Look Out Oprah, It’s Comedy Central!
Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: Comedy, Television.
The Peabody Awards, The Emmys and more…Hey kids, it’s not just fart jokes any more! (Fully realizing that the previous statement is about 9 years too late…but still…) One of my favorite moments this past year included visiting a taping of The Colbert Repor(t) and slapping hands with one Stephen Colbert as he made his way to the interview table. The show has taken Comedy Central further into mainstream rhetoric concerning satire and general political criticism.
South Park is heading into its 10th season. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has been on the air for 10 years. Comedy Central has changed from a beer guzzling brew-ha-ha of middle aged slapstick jokesters to a beer guzzling brew-ha-ha of middle aged slapstick jokesters that keep societal and political implications in mind when writing. When I first saw The Daily Show it was broadcast on Canada’s Comedy Network and was highly hyped as the next big thing in the big game of humo(u)r. I, of course, only knew Stewart from various low-brow rolls such as his “on weeeeeeeeeed”-guy roll in Half Baked and found it shocking to learn that there was indeed a different side to him…he thinks too!
And South Park, a show that once started as a vulgar cartoon has turned into a vulgar cartoon that dispels bipartisan group think and levels each episode with sociopolitical commentary.
If anything I feel that even despite trying to brainwash Dave Chappelle (damn you Comedy Central!!!) I’m thankful that there’s an outlet for a lot of what I see on the air. Last night, in particular, I came home from a twelve hour shift and just wanted to sit and do nothing. The Colbert Report was on and Stephen was discussing a few things with Frontline producer Lowell Bergman. In conclusion, Bergman tried to separate the two shows by asking Colbert what he thought the difference between the two of their programs was:
Bergman: How come so many younger people watch your show as opposed to PBS?
Colbert: ‘Cause… it’s good?
Not that Oprah would ever have to worry about a cable television network gnawing away at her ever increasing empire, but I’m just saying that as more shows consciously make you think about where you stand and attack your comfort zone on many issues much of mainstream middle-American media will be changed forever. And for that, I applaud the channels writers. Just please, no more David Spade.
“Most of the time when people ask us about, you know, ripping on celebrities and featuring celebrities in the show, I always say, ‘Well, you know, it’s not personal. It’s just ripping on the idea of celebrity itself. You know, it’s just kind of this absurdist thing that we do.’ But then you look at this episode and it really isn’t that. We have to stop little girls from looking up to Paris Hilton.” – Matt Stone
Also, just wanted to mention that Isaac Hayes, despite his Scientology ways, pretty much gave South Park any intial credibility in its struggling “too-hot-for-tv” days. For those of you who don’t remember, allow me to reintroduce you to a few long lost gems from Chef Aid.