Monday, May 08, 2006

Too Smart for the Room 

Irony has risen from the dead. Stephen Colbert's poorly received, unfunny, and much-downloaded speech at the White House Correspondents' Dinner led to an enormous boost in the ratings of The Colbert Report, which just had its biggest week ever:
"The Colbert Report" averaged just under 1.5 million total viewers for its four episodes last week, an increase of 37 percent over the show's year-to-date average through April 30.

About two-thirds of those viewers were in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 year old demographic.
We are reminded of Pierrineum, for many years the beloved Court Jester of Zembla, whose decision to "go ironic" last spring in his Command Performance at the Festival of St. Skeezix-Who-Slew-the-Lepers prefigured Mr. Colbert's. While we like to imagine ourselves an enlightened monarch, not at all averse to a little good-natured ribbing (if tastefully delivered), the subtle barbs that Pierrineum directed at Yr. Mst. Bnvlnt. Dspt. were, to put it charitably, coolly received by the large and, may we say, remarkably perceptive audience at Court.

In marked contrast to Mr. Colbert, however, our erstwhile Jester did not enjoy a consequent surge in popularity among the advertiser-coveted 18-49-year-old demographic. In fact, his ratings went into something of a tailspin after the beheading.

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