Friday, June 23, 2006

The inside story behind Colbert's White House Correspondent's Dinner performance

via Dailykos diarist NYCO, an important nugget from a Salon interview with Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello:
Salon: It was probably the bravest thing I've seen anybody ever do, ever ever ever.

Sedaris: Paul helped write it, actually.

Salon: Did you?

Paul Dinello: Yeah.

Salon: How did you feel about the response to it?

Dinello: Well, initially he and I were shocked that... the intention was, being comedians, to get laughs. So when no one was laughing, you know, I was surprised, because we'd read over the script the night before. We had worked on it - he had worked on it for weeks. And we said "This is gonna kill 'em." And then when it didn't... I think that context gave it more weight than was intended. Because the President wasn't... I mean, had the President went "Ha ha ha," and slapped his knee, and everyone laughed, I don't think there'd be a lot of discussion about it. Because it wasn't out of character for what he does on his show, so...it was in tone, you know, he didn't pull any surprises - it wasn't a surprise attack. It was consistent. I mean, some of the stuff was actually taken right from his show.

But he was brave to soldier on when he knew it was failing. You know, he could have made a decision to try to soften - like, this might be too harsh for the room and soften it, but he didn't - he made a conscious choice, "This is the material I prepared, well, I'll deliver it."

He's happy how it turned out. I don't think he likes to be thrust as the leader of the liberal movement... You know, I don't think that's a role that he has time or desire... but he feels grateful. There's a website called thankyoustephencolbert where there was like 100,000 letters. He feels really grateful that people were moved by it.
Actually, there are 61162 thank yous. You can still add one!

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