I liked the recent Al Franken show. Not because of any particular love for Franken, but because he’s got much the same skill set as Colbert, and knows what the game is going in.
Can someone explain to me what they do for the interview segments (also on the Daily Show)? Specifically with the “Know a District” stuff. It looks at times like it’s two seperate things pasted together with the camera placement and such. The other night with the $100 bill and the soft money ban and stuff was a riot, but I can’t see the congressman agreeing to the schtick, OR how they get those responses.
I think a lot of it is that the subjects don’t know what they’re getting into when they accept the interview. I don’t know how this works with the Daily Show at this point, but it’s not hard to imagine some congressman, eager to get any publicity at all, agreeing to do an interview for a show they’ve never heard of.
I have a theory that they use look-alikes for at least some of the shots. You very rarely see both people’s face in the same shot. So the person actually doing the interview is just someone that looks like Stephen or the DS correspondent from behind, and they do the mock interview without the interviewee knowing who he’s really talking to. Then come back to the studio, dress up a sound stage to look like the interview location, and get a second actor who looks like the interviewee from behind to film the sequences where Stephen/correspondent asks the questions and does reactions, etc. Then edit it together to the finished product.
I didn’t care much for the Colbert Report when it first came out, but now it’s starting to kick some serious ass. I usually tune out of the Daily Show after the first 15 minutes. The news segments are awesome, and the mock news stories are usually entertaining, but I rarely give a shit about the celebrity interviews. In fact, I think the Daily Show would be stronger without them.
The celebrity interviews on the Colbert Report, however, are the best part of the show. For a devil’s advocate / pretend hardcore conservative, Colbert is pretty damn good at making his “opponent” look foolish. He made Hart look completely ineffective, and I was laughing out loud during his debate with Al Franken. “I’m from AMERICA, sir.”
The Daily Show seems to be doing a lot less celebrity interviews recently, though. They still get the occasional actor on publicity tour for their new movie, but mostly it’s authors, journalists, and politicians. I love it.