Headlines usually make their shows. Now, late-night comics are making headlines.
Stephen Colbert is in Iraq entertaining the troops and his audience back home.
He is taping four episodes of “The Colbert Report,” the
Comedy Central show featuring his egotistical, fake-macho, nationalist
blowhard alter ego, in Baghdad this week. It’s the first time in the
history of the U.S.O. that a full-length nonnews show has been filmed,
edited and broadcast from a combat zone.
The Times is trying to figure out this character.
Mr. Colbert’s entire career is based on being gleefully
insincere, a man who literally wraps himself in the flag to the
screaming of majestic computer-generated eagles.
On the other hand he is unquestionably a real supporter of the
troops, raising money through donorschoose.org for school supplies for
children of soldiers, through his WristStrong bracelets for the Yellow
Ribbon Fund, which helps injured veterans, and by donating to the
U.S.O. proceeds from iTunes downloads of this week’s episodes.
As the guy he imitates would likely say…..Mr. Colbert is a patriot.
Meanwhile, Conan O’Brien got through his first week as new host of
The Tonight Show. Critics watched to see how his performance and
ratings went, and fans watched to see how the popular show would
evolve. O’Brien talked a lot about his new studio home at Universal and
his gleaming new set. But he didn’t say where they came up with the design.