I write this in the midst of the COVID-19 social distancing era. If you are reading this generations from now, or even in a couple of weeks, put yourself in the intensity of the mood at the moment.
- A virus more intense than the flu of 1918 that killed huge swaths of the world.
- An economic upheaval that looks something like 1987 and 2008 combined.
- An impeached president making things worse by the hour.
Amid all that, and the social isolation that we are all supposed to be doing to #FlattenTheCurve, well, we need some comic relief.
But where are our comics?
Nowhere to be seen.
Hi Folks. We have a new show tonight w no audience, but we cancelled next week’s shows before our scheduled break. I wish I could stay on stage to share this uncertain moment w you, but I don’t do this show alone, and I have to do what’s best for my staff. Hope to be back soon.— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) March 13, 2020
I get it about the staff, but this is freaking 2020. The writers could meet by video chat. The camera on one of Stephen's kids phones makes video in HD.
But he won't do it. Watching him without an audience was funny, but kind of cringy and awkward.
I get it that doing it without an audience is a different thing, but it doesn't make it impossible.
I understand it, but I do not understand it. How psychologically askew is Stephen and all of the others? How is it that without the immediate affirmation that comes from the audience, he becomes... mute?
Sure, there’s clearly some level of mild psychosis needed for all comedians. Stephen and Conan get into that in a hilarious-while-chilling way on Conan's podcast.
So, what is the answer?
Well, just as I agree with those who say that the world would be in much better shape if Elizabeth Warren were just running things right now, I think we would all be in better shape comfort-wise if some women would take over in comedy.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, for example, went from a world of audience-included sketch comedy on SNL to perhaps the two funniest no-laugh-track shows of all time, 30 Rock and Parks & Rec.
Perhaps the two of them can figure out a way to come on the interwebs every night for 10 minutes or so. Really, just the two of them talking each a night about the events of the day would be so helpful for me. I am quite sure I am not alone in this.
Tina, you helped your nation twice before. The first time was when you laid the Sarah Palin insanity bare, and the second was when you introduced the word sheetcaking into the vernacular of the day.
I am now asking you, on behalf of a desperate country, call up your pal Amy every night on video chat, and stream the whole conversation so we can have the catharsis that we need so much.
Thank you in advance,
P.S. I am not kidding. Start this right now. Thank you.