Chris's Rants

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Two perspectives

The fact that Colbert's performance is still being discussed 6 days later is a testament to its effectiveness. Here's a perspective on the matter that I believe is spot on -- Stephen Colbert and the Death of "The Room":
In other words, what anyone fails to get who said Colbert bombed because he didn't win over the room is: the room no longer matters. Not the way it used to. The room, which once would have received and filtered the ritual performance for the rest of us, is now just another subject to be dissected online. Colbert—as he might say on The Colbert Report—'gets it.' So does his patron, Jon Stewart, who similarly was said to have bombed at the Oscars because he turned off the stars in the theater with a snide performance that was much funnier to the (much bigger and more relevant) audience at home.

All of this, in other words, is yet another sign of how authority is fragmented and democratized in the Internet era—the top-down authority to assess and interpret for the masses that used to be much of the raison d'etre of the room. So if the room wasn't too amused by Colbert Saturday night, you'll have to excuse them. They don't have as much to laugh about anymore.
And then, there are the wankers like Cohen, who simply don't get it for exactly the reason cited in the Tim piece above.


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