Colbert was absolutely the theme of our day. Not only did we see how the intro to his show was made, but we also got meet with him in person for a Q&A and I personally got to go on his show.
Unfortunately, Mr. Colbert personally asked that we don’t share anything from the Q&A since he was out of character and spoke frankly and personally to us. However, I can say two things: his character is the legitimate center of the universe and we may have begged him to speak at 2012 Commencement… We’ll seewhat happens.
As for the show, it was out of this world! The comedian was fantastic at the beginning of the show. His job was to warm the audience up and after finding out that Njeri, a fellow major, was from Kenya and a Media Studies major he decided he would use her and the rest of us as material. Njeri was a great sport and so were we as he teased us about our major. Maybe he should take a Media Studies course with Professor Bodroghkozy before he dismisses our major.
Then came the main act: Stephen Colbert himself. Though I am not a regular viewer of the show, I had an amazing time and felt like I had been watching the show forever. Stephen really made the audience feel both comfortable while putting on a wild show. The highlight of the show was absolutely Stephen’s guest, Bernard-Henri Lévy or Bernie Hank as Stephen endearingly called him. Lévy is a French philosopher who recently wrote a book with another French philosopher from the opposite end of the political spectrum, Michel Houellebecq. The name of their book, which serves as a sort of debate between the two, is “Public Enemies”.
Colbert and Lévy were incredibly dynamic together, so much so that their conversation went on for 15 minutes instead of six. They touched on everything from intellectualism to Hurricane Katrina to American Radicalism compared to European Rationalism. Sadly not all of the conversation was included in the actual episode because time limitations. An entire story had to be cut.
I promised myself I wouldn’t do this because I want this blog to be fun and not too technical, but I have a quick Media Studies nerd moment. I have to say seeing so much great material from Colbert get cut from the actual show made me incredibly disappointed with the American Media system. The show is both limited by the structure of television programming and advertising (30 minute time slots including 8 minute advertisement). The form of this content limits the value of the content. If we have this model the viewer would presumably benefit from the additional material. Of course I could go on for hours about limiting discourse in the public sphere and embedded vs. inherent media, shout out to my adviser Professor Petersen, but I’ll leave it there.
One last thing, Stephen asked me to give this disclaimer: he is perfect and did not make a single mistake all show, it was the greatest experience our lives.
Below is a somewhat blurry picture of us with Stephen, as soon as I get home you’ll get to see the good picture Kristin took. Also check out the clip below if you’ve never seen Stephen’s work, he really is a great performer.