I finally got to see the end of the election night Daily Show special, and saw Messrs Stewart and Colbert deftly handle the "I can't actually speak, so I'm just going to drink my coffee and let the crowd cheer" moment. Colbert babbled on a bit to cover for his mate, who I think would have risked saying something far too emotional about the victory, and as he'd said it, those muffled, struck back lip quivers would have got a little more pronounced.
Y'man from Fox news (brave guy) gently ribbed him about it the next day but missed the point in one sense. It's a comedy show, right? He's allowed to be partisan. Er, well... it's a satire show. It's basically the funny bits from Private Eye, but written way better, and on every weekday (phew). It's a brilliant, jewel of a show and it works more often than it doesn't.
I started to feel uneasy about quite how obviously partisan they were being during the democratic nomination race. To be fair, I doubt if Hillary offered to come on the show, but there again, there was a reason for that. They'd signed up to the Obama ticket from the off. during the election race, they made clear, and humorously bad attempts to be fair (ie: they didn't even try to be) in their sniping - much as they had a pretty huge target in Palin.
How are they going to claw their way back to the centre and say to Obama, clearly, right, the honeymoon is over and you will now be held to account for everything you do? Will they be able to do this without looking a little awkwardly hypocritical?
In one sense, capturing the zeitgeist and energetically protesting the need for change, in the face of a tsunami of lost opportunities, embarrassing stupidity and worldwide condemnation was important, and brilliant to see. A real sense of the whole country galvanising came from watching the show. But for a satirical programme to be so strongly associated with the campaign of the new President...? They're in a difficult place.
Would I have cried? Obviously. But then, I'm not the host of an enormously popular satire show! Lucky for you, let me tell you.
Colbert, as usual, ridiculously funny by not appearing to be funny at all. His timing is perfect. I wish his show was more accessible on British TV, I don't enjoy watching that much TV on my laptop for some reason.