This Is Comedy? Colbert Dances with Vaccines

29 Sep 2021

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BUCK: Clay, I actually walk past — on a pretty regular basis — the Colbert show where they tape it here in New York.

CLAY: Yeah. It’s Letterman’s old studio.

BUCK: Yeah, it’s Dave Letterman’s old studio. There’s a line. Look, I get it. I’m just happy that anybody wants to visit New York these days, given some of the stuff the city’s going through. So, the more the merrier in terms of tourists. Actually, it’s so good for the city. It’s so important for the economy here. And look, I think New York’s still a great place, despite all the challenges it has.

But there are hundreds of people who, I mean, it will be raining and they’re waiting in line to go into the Colbert show. You know, they’ll be standing out there and they’re kind of instructed by these audience coordinator people. It’s a little bit like children. They’re like, “Okay, everybody! When we do this, you clap. When we say this, you laugh.”

But people like to go and see live shows. I got it. The problem is Stephen Colbert is not fun and hasn’t been fun since he’s been basically pretending to be Bill O’Reilly or some version of right-wing punditry years ago on The Daily Show. Not The Daily Show. On Comedy Central. What was it called? The Colbert Report.

CLAY: The Colbert Report. But he initially got his start on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

BUCK: But last night… We’re gonna play it for you. There was this moment where they had a whole… They’re playing the tequila song. I don’t know. What’s that song called?

CLAY: I think we’ve got 30 second cut. They had already dress up like vaccines, right?

BUCK: Yes.

CLAY: Dressed up like vaccines and danced on the stage. Here a 30 second sample of what.

BUCK: Tequila!

CLAY: Except they’re saying “vaccines” instead of “tequila.”

BUCK: Right. Right. That’s whole point. They were playing Tequila in place of vaccines.

CLAY: Who watches? Donald Trump broke late-night television with the exception of the Greg Gutfeld show on Fox News —

BUCK: Beating Colbert.

CLAY: — which outrates all of them.

BUCK: Yep.

CLAY: Everybody followed Stephen Colbert into this woke, anti-Trump universe. ABC with Kimmel. Even Jimmy Fallon, who used to be totally not a political angle guy, right? And as a result, there’s almost no humor on these shows anymore. It’s strange.

BUCK: I would watch… If they were just being funny and even funny —

CLAY: I used to love them.

BUCK: — in how they made fun of the other side, meaning our side, I would be willing to at least sometimes watch. If the jokes are really funny, I’d be like, “All right, we’re getting it.” They’re not funny, man. The Colbert thing is not. I see clips of it sometimes. You see what’s going on with it. But to have everybody dancing to vaccines? It’s just weird, man. People have the vaccine necklaces and your trucks backup dancers and all this stuff.

CLAY: It’s super weird.

BUCK: If we had said a year ago that this is where it the consensus Democrat culture was going, where people actually… If you talked about —

CLAY: Your governor, Buck, has a vaccine charm on her necklace!

BUCK: Necklace! Yes! Clay, people will not go on dates with people unless they know they are vaccinated now, as if that’s the biggest concern you should have. “Oh, what if you have covid!”

CLAY: (laughing)

BUCK: It’s amazing to see how it’s just infiltrated so many aspects of the culture. You wonder, what actually…? We talk about going on back to normal. What will it take for people to realize how weird all of this is?

CLAY: Well, what’s so crazy is you mentioned, was at 54th Street where the Colbert studio is in Manhattan?

BUCK: Yeah, it’s on Broadway and like between 53rd and 54th.

CLAY: So I know you did not love him, but I loved David Letterman back in the day. I would watch it. Letterman was, in my opinion, a rebellious individual who basically made fun of the concept of a talk show, right? You didn’t like him. You liked Leno. But either way, they made equal opportunity jokes at the expense of any political figure, whether it’s Rudy Giuliani, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush.

BUCK: They were going for mass appeal.

CLAY: Yeah.

BUCK: They were going for anybody. Whether you were a conservative truck driver from Nebraska or a left-wing software engineer in the Bay Area, they were making jokes that you could basically laugh at. Certainly, I could speak to Leno. I can’t speak to how you think Letterman’s better than Leno.

CLAY: I loved Letterman, and I went and sat in his studio audience as a kid in college on a trip to New York City and it was an incredible highlight for me to get to watch that show in person. I understand why people line up to watch it. I don’t understand how late-night television — the Johnny Carsons, the Jay Lenos, the David Lettermans, whoever you enjoyed watching — has descended into this absurd universe where everybody has the same opinions. It isn’t funny, and you’ve got people dressed up as dancing vaccines?

BUCK: It’s awkward, too, man. You see it, and people the kind of know; they’re being told to clap. Look, I want people to have fun. I actually like when there are these parties and no one’s masked and we have to point out that, sure, there’s a double standard. But at least there are people out there enjoying themselves, which we need more of that, not less. But wouldn’t it be so nice if…? Clay, do what you can. Can you make some calls? If we could just depoliticize sports and late-night comedy, I feel like we’d have some of the soul of the country back that the left has taken from us.

CLAY: Yeah, no doubt.

BUCK: So make some calls.

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