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hipstamirror

soaring eagles

The thing about the Colbert Report is that the ironic soaring eagle in the opening credits barely approaches the absurdity of the sincere animated soaring eagle from Fox News. This is sort of emblematic of why I haven't quite fallen in love with the show.

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I have. But I think it has a lot to do with the fact that Stephen and I share last names. That, and because he is "grippy."
I agree that he's doing a very good job. It's might be that the shows that he's parodying are already SoBIG.
The eagle thing is slight and doesn't really hit home, but I think his recurring vocal snippets really hit O'Reilly where it hurts. I love "you're on notice", "I'm going to nail you", pandering to the viewership by calling them "heroes", the way he introduces guests who are already seated and then soaks up the audience applause, the portrait of him that has another portrait in the background, the relentless application of his name to the set, and, of course, "The Word". I love how the bullet points get off track and become self-referential. Oh, and that whole thing with bears. That always cracks me up.

Anyway, my only complaint about the show is that he's trying so hard to be smug and pompous that he flubs his lines a lot. When Jon Stewart messes up a line he isn't above making reference to it and laughing it off, cause he's just trying to be Jon Stewart. But Colbert doesn't have that luxury, and it sort of takes you out of the moment when he completely botches a line and has to start over.
I think you raise an interesting and important point here. Where The Colbert Report almost requires you to know about O'Reilly et al to find his parody funny, the Daily Show is often hilarious on it's own. Sure, you need to know something about the real news for the fake news to be funny.

Also, because Colbert is so good at mocking the style and tone of O'Reilly, the smug pompous attitude still comes across as an emotionally taxing thing to endure right before going to sleep.

Finally, while the Daily Show isn't exactly what I'd want a real news show to be like, it does keep me feeling sane to know that at least someone finds the actual news more than a little ridiculous.
When the Iraq war started, the Eagle morphed into a bomber jet and dropped bombs onto the news crawl at the bottom of the screen. It was AWESOME!
I'm not making this up.
That's what I'm saying! It's hard to top that level of over-the-topness, particularly when it appears to be obscenely sincere.