Thursday, February 18, 2010

Colbert Notions

In between Lindsey Vonn becoming the first American woman to win an Olympic downhill skiing race and snowboarder Shaun White cleaning up on the halfpipe, I keep looking for satire at the Games, but Stephen Colbert, who's practically a neighbor of mine (he lives about four miles from me), pretty much finds it without even trying. It helps if you a) get to go to Vancouver yourself and b) happen to be Stephen Colbert.
Colbert, who has generously sponsored the U.S .speed-skating team and mockingly dismissed Canadians as "syrup suckers," was on the NBC late-night Olympics show last night with Bob Costas. Colbert was telling him how he became the speed skating team's assistant psychologist and helped Shani Davis (who called Colbert a jerk for his comedic style) win the 1000-meter skating race by running alongside him and getting him angry enough to race to the finish line. He reportedly told Davis to remember to wear his headpiece and that he had to skate to win. In between that and explaining the blade duels between American and Soviet Winter Olympic athletes during the Cold War, he cuddled up to the studio fireplace and then climbed into the "fireplace" while the "fire" was going.
I didn't think they really had a chimney at the International Broadcast Center, and I knew the fire couldn't be an authentic one, but it never occurred to me that it was an electronically generated projection.
This is just a sample of Stephen Colbert's Olympic satirical genius, which he's exhibited for several days. I'll keep looking for things to make fun of at the Winter Olympics - it turns out I'm doing at least as well at that as I did in 2006 on Torino and better than I did in 2008 on Beijing - but Stephen is the master.
I thought I was the Olympic parody king, but I've just handed my satire crown to him. :-D

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