Stephen Colbert’s first Iraq show was great — the drill sergeant routine, the head-shaving, his character’s surprise that the war isn’t over yet, the use of “Risk” as a guide to the rules of war — but my favourite part may have been the fact that he was carrying a golf club during his opening monologue. This was an homage to Bob Hope, the most famous and prolific entertainer of the troops. I’m sure a lot of people got it, but I wonder what was the median age of people who caught the reference.
But that’s one thing I love about Colbert’s show: along with the satire and irony, there’s a healthy dose of nostalgia for old-school popular culture (Christmas specials, Bob Hope specials, sitcoms) which works as both a parody of TV pundits — who are frequently talking about how much better and cleaner pop culture was in their day — and as genuine, sincerely-felt nostalgia.
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