There is very little on British telly I watch nowadays. Even the news, which I find in its want to be "neutral Westminster centric British," is grating (with the exception of Channel Four). I find British comedy now either elitist, stupid or crass. And Scottish telly is as bad.
During the recent horned beast of a Trump Show, I found CBS News, CNN International , MSNBC and other American outlets. And in particular, the The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. It ticks a lot of boxes. It is, stylish intelligent satire, gently funny and fun to watch. He likes his guests, and isn't competing with them. Unlike todays British chat shows, the comedy doesn't make you feel uncomfortable (unless you are a right wing, Fox News digesting, AK47, antler wearing Quonservative quonspiracy theorist) and the music is great. The Colbert show house band, Stay Human led by Jon Batiste really is the best chat show band around (and I've gone through the lot...). They play everything beautifully... From Blue Note style Jazz... To sea shanties... And the music guests have given me some new leads on great music. Musically, I have a lot to explore, which really is different from the blandness of Brit-chat, which usually goes for what is being promoted by the large brit-music industry concerns. Blando boogie created by daddies money.
It is odd, and pretty brilliant, that its easy to catch up on decent TV via Youtube. I was an early adopter of Youtube... And I am still surprised as to where it has led us. I haven't adopted TikTok... It really seems like Twitter for the less literate... I'm being unfair as some people are in it to promote themselves using the language of the auteur aiming at an audience of Dory minded fish. Quick quality.
And odd that I discovered David Letterman during the first lockdown (in particular, I watched all of the brilliant Andy Kauffman slots and interviews). Letterman was the previous incumbent in The Late Show, and pretty much the inspiration for Jonathon Ross, whose show in the eighties on Channel 4 were decent. I recommend Letterman's more recent long interviews, which can be found on Prime, I think. And he has become a little more political as well.
Watching the most recent episodes over breakfast has become part of my routine, as has watching MSNBC . Its brilliant seeing the view of here from there, in particular the view of Brexit, Scottish independence (Jon Stewart's interview of Nicola Sturgeon is a must see) and of the buffoons controlling the UK. Also a must see is Colbert's interviews of Jacinta Ardern, and his visit to New Zealand.
And of course, Colbert has been brilliant viewing during the Trump Show and the subsequent opening days of the Biden administration. It is partisan, but intelligent, rational and "fair," as opposed to Fox Faux News and its new ultra right wing rivals who are competing for the still fooled Q-Trump viewers.
Of course, ultra left friends will bemoan the liberal intelligensia and establishment credentials of Colbert. But anyone who can say directly to President Bush, by way of a satirical character he played invited to speak at a Whitehouse dinner,-
"I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers, and rubble, and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message: that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound—with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world. -
is alright by me.
Visit Colbert on YouTube HERE