Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Love These Guys

In recent weeks, both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have produced segments that really crystallize what I love about what they do and who they are. Enjoy. (I apologize if there is a commercial before the clip...I had to copy these from the Comedy Central website.)

Jon on the Arizona Shootings, 1/10/11:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Arizona Shootings Reaction
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Stephen on what "Mika Brzezinski" thinks of Sarah Palin, 1/18/11:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Mika Brzezinski Experiences Palin Fatigue
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Both of these clips represent exactly what I admire about each host's respective styles and talents. For Jon, his uncanny ability to put into words with laser precision and disarming eloquence the thoughts many of us were, are and will be thinking about actions and events too large and affecting to fully fathom. He does so seemingly off the cuff, and with complete sincerity and genuine humanity. His intelligence is clear, his mind is quick, and his optimism is ever present in even the most cynical of situations.

For Stephen, his unflinching daring and flawless delivery. The word choice in this clip is perfect, and remarkably insightful. Like Jon, he takes the intangible thoughts one is experiencing and hones it to a razor sharp, dead-on string of undeniable truths. The utterly convincing delivery does not betray for a second that he his speaking his own mind. That is the key to the genius of his character. He give the audience the information from the point of view of one who is oblivious, and allows them to figure out what is true and where they stand.

The ease and skill with which both Jon and Stephen skewer modern politics and commentary to its absolute core could easily lead some to cry for their entrance into the political or professional news arena, but that is rash. Their purpose is to translate and decode what's laying between the lines, and reassure the public that they are not alone. Were they to join and try to change the world they comment upon, they would lose their effectiveness, and we desperately need them to stay where they are. These moments of clarity and humor are important, and help me to realize things are not nearly as bad, nor as impenetrable as they may sometimes seem.

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