Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Endorsing America's Next Top President -- with free bonus book review included!

Stephen Colbert announced his candidacy for President of the United States last night, and The Park Bench would like to hereby officially endorse the good man as its number one choice – nay, its only choice – for the job. We issue this endorsement not only because we respect his manly coiffure and panther-like prowess behind the anchor desk, but also because we feel this is the safest route possible in the event that the Colbert Nation actually takes over the nation. Which, if they move very quietly and without any sudden movements, is entirely possible. So I hope Future President Mr. Colbert will remember who his friends were in the early dark days of his campaign when no one but his mother and millions and millions and millions of rabidly loyal fans were behind him.

And since we're sucking up to Colbert anyway, I may as well share my thoughts on his best-selling tome, I Am America and So Can You. But before I do, let me just take a moment to high-five the creators of the Barnes and Noble discount card for saving me a whopping $12 on this beauty. It was a moment of gorgeous frugality and one I’ll likely never forget…until the day I save $13 on something.

Anyway, back to the book. It’s very good, very entertaining and very funny. Parts of it lag, but that’s just the way it is with any humor book. You’ve got to give folks a respite from laughing at insulting the elderly and Colbert's (written) cries of “Baby carrots are making me gay!” So with that in mind, the book definitely satisfies…yes, just like a Snickers.

I Am America owes a lot to the usual “this is my political philosophy, aren't I awesome” books that politicians and pundits like to cough up like so many hairballs every election cycle. It also owes a lot, though, to John Hodgman’s Areas of My Expertise with its willingness to just shoot manically and without reason from subject to subject with breathtaking ease and hilarious results. And I love the margin notes, which perfectly mimic the point/counterpoint of the nightly The Word segment on "The Colbert Report."

The book is a well-written, perfectly toned exercise in absurdity, something which I hope real politicians will aim for in the future. It would make this whole process a lot easier.

So, both of my thumbs are up in the air, wavin' like I just don't care, for I Am America and So Can You. And, by the way, if you’re waiting to buy the soft cover, don’t, because there are lots of very cool unexpected extras in the hardcover, like a sign you can put in your window alerting firefighters as to how many copies of I Am America and So Can You are in your household and in need of rescuing before and/or in place of your pets and children. You know John Grisham is kicking himself for not thinking of that one first....

6 comments:

Mickie Poe said...

Few are aware of how difficult it is to write a comedy book. For comparison, to see just how good Colbert and his big brother Stewart are at their craft, just take a gander at Mo Rocca's stinkfest of a book. It's under the Humor section. Just follow your nose.

Liz said...

Exactly. It's really hard to keep a gag going for 200+ pages, so color me very impressed with the Colbert book and the Stewart book. They and their team of writers do a great job of keeping the comedy flowing without over- or under-doing it.

annie said...

Also like Areas of my Expertise, I think that I am America will perhaps be a better listen than read.

agent57 said...

I was in Borders today, and I made the mistake of opening the cover of a copy of it. This is how much of a printgeek I am... as soon as I saw the endpages, with the red and blue Colbert pattern, I knew I was doomed to buy the book. I know I shouldn't judge a book by its cover (or the bit just inside its cover) but dang. It's really well put-together. (Also, stickers!)

I haven't read more then a few little bits of it yet... haha. But I'm already sure it's well worth the purchase.

Liz said...

Ooh, yes, I love the end pages and the bookmark ribbon. The presentation of the book is wonderful.

SFG said...

OK, so according to Wikipedia Sweetest Day is a creation of the candy industry.

(In other news, the population of African elephants has tripled...)