Back home now after the exhausting, exhilarating NY media blitzkrieg, which included more than a dozen radio interviews, a smattering of TV chats and a big finish Thursday with an appearance on one of my favorite shows, The Colbert Report. Of all the media I’ve done so far, I was sweating this most of all – I count Colbert as one of the smartest, most fearless guys on TV today and I had no idea what he’d made of me or this book. I’m still not sure where the rejuvenile phenomenon falls in the political-cultural continuum, and was even less sure how it might translate for such a deeply ironic, blazingly smart performer.
Anyhow, I needn’t have worried. It was the polar opposite of the Maher experience a few weeks back – Colbert hung out in the green room beforehand (his advice: “I’m willfully ignorant; it’s your job to disabuse me of that”), was funny without being cynical, and in the end took aim at neither me or the book but the grumpiness of TV pundits around anything in the least nuanced (“Is it a bad thing or not? We like to tie up my stories in a nice little bow around here”). Especially after the Today Show’s wholeheartedly perky treatment the day before, it was nice to get message out that the phenomenon cuts both ways, from the wondrous upside of childlikeness to the ugly escapism of childishness.
And unlike the truly depressing backstage spread at the Today Show (veggie platter, Skippy peanut butter), the Colbert dressing room was stocked with booze, cookies and a genuinely awesome gift bag (coupons for free shoes, vodka and a bag stocked with Altoids of every conceivable flavor)…
The interview is posted on the Comedy Central site (Windows Media Player required), on a page with a bunch of other recent segments. Look for my smirking mug.
There’s also two good radio interviews available online. The first is a 20-minute chat with a sympathetic radio guy in St. Louis on all aspects of the phenomenon. The second, for the syndicated Money Matters Financial Network, is all about corporate attention to the rejuvenile market.
I promise to get back soon to posting actual ideas rather than self-referential media updates. It’s just been that sort of week…
No harm induldging in your own achievements, really.
I’m glad to here the folks there are the Colbert Report aren’t stingy. Anyways, it always comes off that Stephen’s demeanor during an interview is to allow the audience to come to their own conclusions about the guest, rather than going with his.
And of coarse, he achieves that by reacting in the most well-thought out asinine of ways. It’s a clever gimmick--but you stood the test.
Posted by Rayne on 07/02 at 04:48 PM
.: I just watched the interview this evening on tape. You did fine, and Rayne’s observations above are accurate - Colbert pretends to play the right-wing Jesus-loving conservative, all the while allowing those watching to make the final decisions regarding the issue raised by the guest. Good job, and I can tell you that the subject of your book hits very close to home. Continued success with your new book.
Posted by randy on 07/03 at 10:00 PM