I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again: I don’t watch regular morning news. When I’m eating my bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats and sipping my Green Mountain Caramel Vanilla Creme coffee, I go to my DVR recordings and play the previous night’s Colbert Report. Not only is the character that Stephen Colbert plays on it utterly hilarious, making me laugh my ass off and begin my day with an ear-to-ear grin, he gives his viewers the same main headlines as other news programs. The best part? I retain that information better because it is portrayed with humor (like how you get more in a class where the professor is way more likeable and funny in addition to presenting you with a real education). In fact, a recent study found that The Colbert Report is more informative than those other news programs:
BOOM. ‘NUFF SAID IN THE ARGUMENT FOR HUMOR’S VITAL ROLE IN SAVING HUMANITY.
The better informed we are, the better we can make solid ethical decisions. The Colbert Report informs us by revealing necessary truths about the state of this world. Sure, it’s a late night satire on Comedy Central, but that does no discredit to the results of that survey. In fact, it backs it up. That’s what satire is! It is a tool used to draw attention, through irony, sarcasm, and wit, to larger social issues by ridiculing follies and vices. SIGN ME UP.
The best part, though, is how often he brings himself, or his character, into it. I love nothing more than when someone is making fun of (or seemingly making fun of) himself. Self-deprecating humor is something else I’m a firm believer in- being able to view your own faults and laugh at them. It keeps us modest, without being depressing about it. But that’s another topic.
See also: Conan O’Brien*
Something about all that makes me feel hopeful about the bad things we see in the news. Because I’m not ridiculously depressed while/after watching and hearing about these news stories, I feel like maybe there actually IS something we can do about it. Stephen Colbert isn’t just giving us a news story, he’s revealing a necessary truth about it in the hopes that someone will want to change it. And that’s what I want to do- change things. I wouldn’t feel so passionate about wanting a better world if I were watching the regular morning news. I’d just be sad.
Moral of the story: Watch the Colbert Report. It’s informative, real news, that will give you a true sense of the state of the world, while making you laugh.
And when you laugh, you’re happy, and you just may feel hopeful enough to go out and make the world a better place.