It’s Classic Clip Friday: The Colbert Report – Truthiness

Who’s the finest political satirist of recent years, did you say? Why, I’m glad you asked!

In the Choob’s humble opinion, that honour belongs to Stephen Colbert.

His four-night-a-week show, The Colbert Report – in which he plays a fictional version of himself who is a self-important, poorly-informed right-wing political commentator – serves not only as a scathingly ironic indictment of the manipulative misinformation masquerading as news that is pumped out by a certain large US news channel but also, along with its parent show The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, it offers some of the finest and most incisive political analysis on TV anywhere – and makes us laugh while doing so.

It’s the type of show that Britain used to excel at, from the likes of That Was The Week That Was in the 1960s, through to Spitting Image in the 1980s/90s, but which has been largely absent from our screens over here since the early days of The 11 O’Clock Show (before it became little more than a showcase for Ali G and Ricky Gervais) on Channel 4 back in the late 1990s. Sure, Have I Got News For You remains a standard bearer for news-based comedy, and relative newcomer Mock the Week also has elements of satire, but the format of these shows is a little restrictive for proper political satire most of the time.

Both The Colbert Report and The Daily Show air on Comedy Central in the US. In the UK, The Daily Showis on cable channel More 4 but, disgracefully, The Colbert Report is not currently showing over here. It used to air on FX but they dropped it when their contract ran out a few months ago and nobody has picked it up yet. I find it astonishing that when we have so many channels, mostly filled with repeats, reality TV dross and repeats of reality TV dross, one of the increasingly rare examples of intelligent, top-quality television production is not being broadcast at all in the UK.

Someone needs to sort that out post haste.

In the meantime, you can at least watch clips of the latest shows (though not, in the UK, the complete episodes the Yanks get to watch – grrrr!) plus some classic segments online at the official Colbert Nation Website.

Here are a few to whet your appetite. First up, from the very first episode, which aired in the US on October 17, 2005, “The Wørd” segment featuring Colbert’s now legendary definition of “Truthiness“:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Here’s another Wørd – this time “Wikiality“;

Vodpod videos no longer available.

And here is a round up of highlights from all this week’s (week of 17/08/09) shows:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Check out Colbert Nation for much more.

Oh yeah, for fellow comic geeks, Colbert is also an official part of the Marvel universe:

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Filed under Current and recent TV shows, It's Classic Clip Friday!

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