After nine years on the air, The Colbert Report ends its run on Comedy Central this Thursday. To celebrate all the wonderful things Colbert has brought to the parody news show format, Vulture reached out to 49 celebrity fans and former Colbert Report guests to get their final word on the show and give “Stephen Colbert” a proper sendoff. Here’s an excerpt from Dan Savage’s response:
I think we clicked — me and “Stephen Colbert” — because that stuff doesn’t offend or faze me, and I like my bigots like Homer Simpson likes his homosexuals: flaming. Stephen — the real Stephen — is a genius, first and foremost, but his character, this right-wing blowhard, was the best way to send up O’Reilly and Hannity and the rest of the right-wing blowhards. Stephen took their toxic politics and their self-regard as a starting-off point and added just a touch of cluelessness and something both of those men lack — charisma. Colbert demonstrated that agreeing with them — or pretending to agree with them — was the deadliest way to satirize them.
The key for me was to remember that he is brilliantly funny — and that the last thing I needed to worry about was being funny. Stephen does all the heavy lifting. Its point of view [was what made it special]. The show had its rules, but they would bend and break them all the time. Knowing that Stephen usually felt the opposite of what he was saying — through some of the best writing ever on TV — was an added pleasure.