13 March, 2013

Not a Successful Comic

Stephen Colbert

A bizarre book. Colbert is some kind of television comedian in the US (at least, i really, really hope he's supposed to be a comedian; it's a little hard to tell because he's not really funny [see below], but it would be scarier to think he's serious in what he writes); i've never heard of him, except as someone who has encouraged people to vandalise Wikipedia to make some kind of (perhaps humorous?) point, but i gather that he has some fairly large following. I suppose i can see why, having read this.

He affects, truly or not, to be the most conservative person, an American of Americans, fairly ignorant and unthinking, unwilling to see any perspective except his own, Cyclopean, and convinced of his own correctness in all things; his character could, in fact, be described as an American version of Joyce's Citizen. Not the best basis for comedy, one might think and, indeed, the book is not really funny.

There are funny lines, a few amusing ideas, but on the whole it is more depressing than amusing, because i know too well that such people do exist and believe and behave in this manner. Colbert's main idea of humour seems to be to make outrageous or stupid statements as though they were perfectly natural; this can be funny ~ i do it myself ~ but generally only in fairly small doses, otherwise it becomes tedious. I have to say, i found that word (tedious) appropriate for this book; clever and amusing in concept, but in practice, probably not really worth it.

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