Unlike the Democrats, "The Colbert Report" had plenty to crow about this past week.
Fresh off of its Peabody win, "Colbert" demonstrated its anything-but-faux clout in the contempo political landscape, drawing brief appearances by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and a sit-down with Michelle Obama. How desperate are these candidate for the approval of "Colbert's" youthful affluent/educated/urban hipster (dare we say elite) aud? Really desperate.
For "Colbert," the show's weeklong stand in Philadelphia (aka the special "Doritos Spicy Sweet Pennsylvania Primary Coverage From Chili-Delphia -- The City of Brotherly Crunch!" edition) added up to the most-watched week in its two and a half years on the air. An average of 1.5 million viewers tuned in Monday-Thursday -- not bad for 11:30 p.m. on cable. It averaged a winning 1.8 rating with the men 18-34 that Clinton, Obama or McCain would love to see in their column on Election Day.
Most important, Stephen Colbert was on fire, taking the foul air out of the gaseous pre-primary atmosphere in Pennsylvania by skewering what the show aptly dubbed "Democralypse Now: The delightful dismemberment of the Democratic hopescape!"
"Shameless!" Colbert inveighed in one of his commentary segs on Obamamania. "Scoring political points using footage of Hillary being booed for scoring political points using comments Obama made to score political points. Who does he hope he is?"
On Friday, Comedy Central was kind enough to send along a highlight reel for the week:
And since they did the same for "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," what the heck, give it a spin. Stewart was in fine form too. On Thursday he added his pointed critique to the chorus savaging the perf of moderators Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos in Wednesday's Democratic debate on ABC.
"The first hour of last night's debate was a 60-minute master class in questions that elevate out of context remarks and trivial, insipid miscues into subjects of national discourse ... which is MY job!"