Unless you live under a rock, you know that last night was the final episode of “The Colbert Report”, and that host Stephen Colbert will be taking over “The Late Show” from David Letterman in 2015.
Whenever anyone asks about MAD magazine’s influence on pop culture, invariably how it shaped today’s satirical comedy becomes part of the conversation. The three things I always point to are “The Onion”, “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report”. All three of those shows are benchmarks of modern satire, and all three publicly cite MAD as a major influence on their work and comedic sensibilities. Colbert even celebrated Al Jaffee’s birthday on the show.
The Colbert Report in particular is satire at its most biting and effective. He created a persona that pointed out the absurdities of extreme right-wing conservatism so brilliantly that not a few Tea Partiers probably still think he was serious.
It will be very interesting to see Colbert no longer in character behind Letterman’s old desk. Best of luck to him in his new gig!
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