Monday, April 28, 2014

On Stephen Colbert replacing David Letterman

Billy Hallowell has an interesting piece, "Did You Know That Stephen Colbert Is a Devout Catholic Whose Childhood Was Impacted by a Very Traumatic Event?" (The Blaze, April 11, 2014), which, among other interesting bits, has this clip of Stephen Colbert being interviewed about his Christian Faith, God, Hell on NPR:

Guy Noir - Private Eye comments:
Arresting bit of news it is that Colbert is taking Letterman's place. I was always a fan of Carson, but not so much of Letterman, since I prefer my humor without much malice and my irony lite. Colbert is a bit sunnier, though I would nit-pick that he strikes me as a Fr. John Courtney Murray Catholic. A few years ago the Post reported on his effort along with John Stewart:
"Stewart named his march the "Rally to Restore Sanity" and called for everybody to come to Washington to show the 15 percent of America that drives the conversation that the rest of the country can get along. "A Million Moderate March ... a clarion call for rationality," Stewart called it. Colbert, who often takes the role of bombastic conservative host to Stewart's exasperated liberal, announced that he will sponsor a "March to Keep Fear Alive."
Funny thing, though, is that one of Fr. John Murray's big fans was actually Frank Sheed. I think of the following lines written by Frank Sheed's son, ones I imagine almost anyone in Hollywood who professes faith might identify with. And I also wonder: what would Sheed or Murray make of Colbert or Stewart -- or even, for that matter, the current incarnation of America magazine, the latter which both gentlemen can fairly be said to have inadvertently helped create...
Frank and Maisie were much too civilized to use social occasions to convert people. Yet they lived in —dread is too strong aword—mild apprehension that something silly would be said at a mixed gathering which would require a Catholic answer. Frank believed (and in this Maisie was a rubber stamp) that Catholics live in the real world and the rest don’t and that this has implications far beyond the religious. So every conversation was a mine field. And the danger faced both ways. Outsiders might admire Sheed/Ward from afar, but if they got too close to it or went too deep, they would have had to find it insane (as they would Dorothy Day or Mother Teresa). Those crazy claims must be symbolic, aren’t they? Virgin births? Resurrections? No, I’m afraid they’re not. If Rome was the true Church, and there was no if about it, Catholics were right and the others wrong, except insofar as they agreed with Catholics. Discussion is difficult on these terms. Wilfrid Sheed, Frand and Maisie: A Memoir with Parents, XX.
It will be interesting to witness how the culture at large warms to Colbert. He seems nice and sincere and, yes, Catholic! But I also wonder, in today's increasingly acerbic-to-fatih climate, how far can someone really get without soft-peddling faith. That is an honest question, not an accusation.
[Hat tip to JM]

1 comment:

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

When a new guy moves into a position of Great Importance in Entertainment, the media starts churning out everything about him that somebody somewhere somehow might find appealling. Just as in politics, when the money men start taking a guy seriously, the media crap blizzard reaches brownout intensity.

Right now, Stephen Colbert is being sold to us. And Catholics, frankly, are the dumbest suckers on the block. We want to like the cool people soooo bad, and our leaders roll over on their backs like doggies begging for a tickle to be "liked" by them. If "to be liked" means "to be used", that's ok. Witness Bp Falstaff, a man with absolutely no pride when it comes to posing with important people.