Can anyone look good on the Colbert Report?

What is the trick to doing an interview with Stephen Colbert without looking like a goof? This guy couldn’t do it: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/content/nation/epaper/2006/07/22/m1a_wexler_0722.html?cxtype=rss&cxsvc=7&cxcat=0

What would you advise your boss, if he or she were about to go to be interviewed by Mr. Colbert?

I think the best way to look good is look like you know it’s a joke, play along and try not to look like a humorless douchebag. Wexler said he ahd never seen the show. That was his firts mistake. His second was that he made the common Colbert/Daily Show mistake of truing to give straight answers to ridiculous questions. When Colbert asks you if you think caribou are more important than his SUV, you say yes. When he asks you if you would be in favor of an SUV that runs on caribou meat, say you would prefer it to be bear meat (an answer that would show you have some familiarity with his show and actually get that it’s a parody).

In Pat Bucahanan’s interview on Da Ali G Show, Ali G. kept asking him about the “BLT’s” in Iraq. Instead of trying to correct him, Buchanan just rolled with it and smiled and started calling them BLT’s right along with him and he ended up coming off pretty well as a guy with a sense of humor (contrast that with Andy Rooney’s interview on the same show where Rooney blew up and just came off like a clueless, cranky old asshole).

Colbert himself comes off pretty well…

So, what you’re saying is that his authentic self shone through?

Here’s a link to the video of the segment with that interview.

I thought the guy actually did pretty well. The article says things like “Colbert tricked him into saying cocaine was good”, when it seems to me he was (as Diogenes makes in his point) just playing along. It was a joke about him being able to say anything since his re-election was unopposed, not a cunning sting that caught him unguarded.

But I think even Andy Rooney would say he was a cranky old asshole, of course he would use a lot more words and wait for laughter, but he would say it.

shelbo: There was an interview on the Report a few weeks ago where the Guest came off looking smart and with a sense of humor and actually got the better of Colbert.
I posted about it then, …waiting for search engine… …waiting…
Here it is:

Jim

Here’s a YouTube deconstruction of how Fox News took the Colbert interview in the OP and took parts of it out of context to make the Democrat look even worse.

And here’s Colbert’s incisive piece on the media “frenzy” about Wexler’s appearance.

There was nothing wrong with the guy getting interviewed. He obviously was playing along with the joke. It’s just more evidence that the real news media is far more distorting and ridiculous than anything Colbert says. They turned an obvious joke into “CONGRESSMAN SMOKES CRACK AND STOMPS ON BUNNIES”, trying to play it straight. Ridiculous.

To add:

Colbert’s editing staff could’ve made the politician out to be worse than he was. But the editing clearly showed Colbert saying basically “this is a joke, but since it can’t hurt you, let’s have some fun with it…”… the Colbert Report’s editors could’ve changed the context around and made him look bad, but instead, they actually showed it realistically, as is.

It was the “real” newsmedia that completely distorted the context of the interview.

And… so… the Colbert Report has more journalistic integrity and honesty than the news shows making a big deal out of this.

Kinda makes you wonder if “truthiness” will supplant “journalistic integrity” as a standard of excellence.

Caitlin Flanagan looked okay on the show because she wouldn’t let Colbert out-extreme her; she just agreed with everything he said. I can’t say I thought Fox had any shame, but damn.

I think many of the guests who come on the show to be interviewed come off looking great. Most recently, former New York Times editor Howell Raines, who was interviewed on Monday. I thought he seemed very sweet and genuine. Julian Bond of the NAACP was on last week and did an excellent job.

On the other hand, the Congresspersons who are interviewed in the Better Know A District segment are intentionally made to look like buffoons. They are asked ridiculous leading questions, and the interviews are edited to be as silly as possible. Although Wexler was clearly going along with Colbert’s joke, I thought while watching his interview that he would have done a lot better to point out that even if you are in an uncontested election, discussing cocaine use and prostitution could be detrimental in other ways. I was shocked that he didn’t answer the prostitution question with some variant on, “it may not matter to the voters, but it will matter to my wife.”

I think that the best a Congressperson can do is to watch the show beforehand to get a feel for it (and it does help to know some of the hundreds of inside jokes), answer questions genuinely, have a sense of humor, and follow the SDMB rule, don’t be jerk.

Okay. I’ll admit I’ve never heard of Julian Bond before I saw him on the Report (hold that “T”), but now I think he is one of the coolest dudes on the planet.

Doris Kearns Goodwin has been on one or both of those shows, with her dignity intact. I guess it helps that she doesn’t have an obviously loony agenda.

That would not have been nearly as funny. I thought Wexler did a pretty good job; he was obviously uncomfortable, but he still had the balls to go along with what was obviously a joke.

Congressfolks and politicians always are made to come across as fools. But others can play the game, laugh at themselves, and look OK. Mort Zuckerman for instance and the Scarborough Country host (whassisname).

Michael Pollen, for instance, came across as fine.

Colbert’s explanation eviscerates the “straight media” for playing his joke segment as straight hard news, alongside their own complete fluff mascarading as hard news.

To add another example, the guest on the show last night was Neal Katyal, the lawyer who represented the Gitmo detainees in front of the Supreme Court case. This guy had done his homework, and he was prepared. He even brought props: an obviously fake photo of Stephen Colbert with Osama bin Laden, and a large parchment copy of the Constitution - supposedly Bush’s version - with almost everything blacked out except the bits on Presidential authority. The result? Comedy gold.

Uh, Joe Scarborough?

:wink: