This round-up of a week’s worth of The Colbert Report by Meredith Blake at The AV Club is a good distillation of why Colbert is running a funnier, more interesting, and more pointed television show than its big poppa The Daily Show:
Personally, I’ve always been partial to Mr. Colbert. It’s an affinity that dates back to his days playing closeted history teacher Chuck Noblet on the essential Strangers With Candy, and has grown in almost direct proportion to Stewart’s increasingly inflated sense of importance. Now, I’ll give credit where it’s due: The Daily Show is brilliant and groundbreaking, but unlike many of my peers, I don’t just see The Colbert Report as the quirkier offshoot its more acclaimed lead-in. To use an admittedly hyperbolic metaphor that the Catholic Colbert might appreciate, he is Jesus to Stewart’s John the Baptist. Stewart had to come first, but Colbert is, in most ways, superior—as a political commentator, as a comedian, even as a quasi-journalist.
One thing that I fully agree with that Ms. Blake brings up is how much better Colbert is with his guests. I usually skip the interview on The Daily Show; meanwhile, I always watch them on Colbert, both for its greater variety of guests and how Colbert somehow can pull off being a spotlight hog, armed with a dizzying array of zingers, while also being deeply, truly interested with what the interviewee is saying.
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