In the latest edition of National Review (dated February 6), comedy writer Rob Long knocks the political shtick of Stephen Colbert. He says Colbert causes a certain kind of “LOL” or laughing out loud – “mostly, they’re not laughting. They may be smiling wryly, or nodding in agreement, or noting in a subdued fashion the wit behind the statement, but they’re not laughing out loud. They’re agreeing.”
In short, they're awarding Clever Points, which is different than guffawing. Long finds the whole shtick "geriatric" in tone:
Stephen Colbert – and his partner on Comedy Central, Jon Stewart – hew to a fairly predictable lefty line. It’s not MSNBC left, or The Nation left – though they earn a lot of LOLs from that crowd, no doubt. It’s more along the lines of the Good Taste Left – NPR, The New Yorker, that sort of thing. Which is why the whole idea has a certain geriatric quality to it. What Colbert is trying to do, or his pompous persona that represents, to his LOLing viewers, a sharply etched blend of the entire lineup of Fox News, is mock the primary process and the idea of Super PACs especially.
Oh, my aching sides...
Long then explained Colbert's "Mitt the Ripper" ad -- that if Romney believes corporations are people, he's a serial killer. He's not amused:
Look, if this kind of thing is funny to you, then don’t let me stand in your way. Go ahead and LOL all you want. But notice, if you would, that you’re not actually laughing. No one has caused those involuntary explosions of breath to burp unexpectedly from deep inside you. Nothing snuck up on you. It’s exactly what you expect from Stephen Colbert. He’s a liberal pretending to be a conservative – you can tell that instantly, because he’s playing a moron – and all conservatives are morons, see? – and he’s rich enough to set up a real super PAC to mock arcane campaign-finance rules and the current Republican front-runner.
It’s not funny. It’s what we call “NPR funny.” And predictably, the Good Taste Liberals are eating it up. The rest of us, not so much.
As for Comedy Central shows, Long wrote he preferred Tosh.0, which makes him actually LOL.