Today’s news that Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report would end its run at the end of the calendar year and Stephen Colbert would retire the faux conservative TV personality he’s previously described as a “well-intentioned, poorly informed, high-status idiot” was sad for the conservative TV and radio talking heads who have counted on Colbert over the years to regularly provide them with conversational lighter fluid.
“I won’t be doing the new show in character, so we’ll all get to find out how much of him was me. looking forward to it.,” Colbert said in a statement after CBS announced it had hired Colbert to take over Late Show when David Letterman retires some time in 2015.
On the bright side, it gave one of those pundits something to talk about today. Rush Limbaugh announced today on his syndicated radio show that CBS has “declared war on the heartland of America” by hiring Colbert. (Watch his rant below.)
Related: CBS’ Late-Night Drama Not Over Yet
“No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values, conservative values. Now it’s just wide out in the open,” Limbaugh said. “What this hire means is a redefinition of what is funny, and a redefinition of what is comedy, and they’re blowing up the 11:30 format.
“The world is changing — people don’t want the kind of comedy that Carson gave us, or even Letterman gave us,” Limbaugh said ruefully – kind of weird since Limbaugh and Letterman have disliked each other for years. In 2009, for instance, Letterman had Katie Couric doubled over with laughter talking about “that bonehead” Limbaugh appearing at a conference looking like an “East European gangster.” IThe following, Dave introduced a show segment called “Rush Limbaugh: Funnier Without Audio,” in which he showed viewers footage of Limbaugh gesticulating wildly, without the sound. That same year, Limbaugh, talking about cracks Letterman made about Sarah Palin’s family, suggested that Palin is well spoken, stands up for what she believes in and is attractive, which is “the exact opposite of the dominant, perverted liberal culture of the day” — which, loosely translated, meant Letterman. Limbaugh added that Dave “has just sunk to a shadow of himself. He used to be genuinely creative and funny back in his NBC days, but he has now just degenerated into an angry old man, filled with cynicism, not humor.”
Anyway, getting back to Limbaugh’s Colbert reaction today: “It’s the media planting a flag. Media’s last stand,” Limbaugh said, warming to his theme. “But it’s a declaration. There is no unity in this hire. They’ve hired a partisan, so-called comedian, to run a comedy show.”