Friday, July 27, 2012

Tavis Smiley: I raise all that to ask what is it about our culture, about our society, that makes that kind of political satire work so well today?

Ed Helms: We are so just rife with hypocrisy, it is all around us. It’s everywhere. It’s not just even in the political forum, it is in the media coverage, the news coverage, of politics is just so abundantly hypocritical at times.

I think that just from my experience on “The Daily Show,” that is what we always looked for. It was never an ideological angle, like how do we skewer the right wing or whatever. It was always who is being hypocritical here.

That is the very foundation of “The Colbert Report” is a character who is so ridiculously hypocritical (laughter) and self-involved that I think that it’s a release valve for fans who are just sort of fed up and angry with all of this hypocrisy around us, and then they get to see a guy like Jon Stewart just nail it, like really surgically dissect why what Barack Obama said in that situation was ludicrously hypocritical, or what Bill O’Reilly said, or whomever.

It’s also fun. There’s a little bit of an innocence to it because at the end of the day it’s just for laughs, and so it has some meaty content and some fun to it.