Pharos-Tribune

Columns

April 16, 2014

PARKER: It's time to take a joke, America

In selecting Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman as host of the “Late Show,” CBS has waged war on America’s Heartland — or so proclaims that Palm Beach font of heartland mirth, Rush Limbaugh.

Don’t you believe it, Heartlanders.

But wait, there’s more. CBS also must be waging war on Asian-Americans since a Twitter activist who calls herself Angry Asian Woman called for an end to “The Colbert Report” late last month following a joke she didn’t like.

Apparently, Colbert in his pretend role as a loudmouthed, conservative blowhard (keep guessing) made a crack about the “Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever” in response to the new Washington Redskins Original American Foundation created by team owner Dan Snyder, who refuses to change the Redskins mascot name. It was satire, folks.

If you have to explain a joke ... you may be living in post-humor America.

Oy!

May I say that? Just to be safe, let’s go with heavens to Murgatroyd, begging forgiveness from all Murgatroydians extant and, again, just to be safe, non-extant.

Finally, no offense to Snagglepuss.

But back to Rush, who elaborated as follows: “What this hire means is a redefinition of what is ‘funny’ and a redefinition of what is comedy, and they’re blowing up the 11:30 format under the guise that the world’s changing and people don’t want the kind of comedy that Carson gave us or even Letterman.

“They don’t want that anymore. It’s the media planting a flag here. I think it’s maybe the media’s last stand, but it’s a declaration. There’s no unity in this hire. They’ve hired a partisan, so-called comedian to run a comedy show.”

Here’s the thing, and I say this with all due respect, Colbert is a comedian whose shtick is to present an exaggerated impression of a conservative talk show host. He’s a character! Sort of like, spoiler alert, Bill O’Reilly.

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