Thursday, January 10, 2008

Stewart and Colbert are Back

Without their writers because of the writers' strike.

The two shows we've seen this week are a very small sample, but Stewart seems about the same in tone and delivery -- though all his "sketch" correspondents are absent, except for the Englishman who said his work visa doesn't allow him to strike.

Colbert seems a little more manic, even agitated. Of course, if he is working without a teleprompter, and if he thus is extemporizing more, I suppose the choice is either being more deliberate (to give time to think) or revving up the energy so that there is no opportunity for thinking, any pause being fatal to his performance.

Perhaps, he is immersing himself in the destructive element, if I may paraphrase Conrad, perhaps too loosely since I have no teleprompter.

I don't know. For a while every year of my adult life it seemed I learned that some bit of public spontaneity was scripted. It may be that everything the two are doing is "scabbed up," as carefully prepared as it was before the strike. We're glad to have them back, but not at the price of their working being scabbed up.

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