When the news hit that Stephen Colbert would be taking over for David Letterman as host of The Late Show on CBS and leaving behind the right-wing talk show pundit character he has portrayed for years on The Colbert Report, comedy fans wondered what would happen to the 11:30 slot on Comedy Central. Would Jon Stewart's Daily Show be followed by a sharp new half hour of political satire, or would Comedy Central fall back on the smirky fratboy humor that serves them so well the other 23 hours of the day? Well, fans of topical meta-jokes can relax now, because a worthy replacement for Colbert has been found! Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you the comic stylings of Jonah Goldberg.
Like Colbert, Goldberg's genius lies in playing a clueless right-wing pundit named "Jonah Goldberg" who sees himself as a "conservative intellectual" while spouting hilarious parodies of bad writing and worse ideas, usually riddled with stale Star Wars or Simpsons references, mixed with one-liners swiped from old Ronald Reagan speeches. Part of the charm of his character is his goofy combination of laziness, sullen smugness, and word-salad articles where he contradicts his own point, often in the same sentence. Jonah's persona has fooled so many people that he managed to get hired as the editor-in-chief of National Review Online. His brilliant book-length lampoon of viciously muddy thinking, Liberal Fascism, (which hilariously refers to Hitler as "a man of the Left" and defends the weird assertion that liberalism is a form of fascism with the classic quote: ""Liberal fascism differs from classical fascism in many ways. I don't deny this. Indeed, it is central to my point") was actually taken seriously by people like Glenn Beck, who spent many tearful hours on camera in front of a chalkboard trying to make sense of Jonah's obviously sarcastic non-sequiturs about Woodrow Wilson.
Rumors are circulating around Comedy Central that Jonah has been deeply troubled lately that so many Republicans really believe he and his buffoonish character are one and the same. Many of them seem to admire the deliberately ignorant things he says, much like Colbert's character and before that, Archie Bunker of the groundbreaking sitcom All In The Family. Friends claim that he is hoping that, by moving into Colbert's old time slot, he can reach a more media-savvy young audience who get the joke. One makeup artist, who wishes to remain anonymous, quotes Goldberg as crying out in frustration, "My God, these people on the right! Hasn't anyone ever taught them about the old unreliable narrator trope?" while she applied simulated flop-sweat on his brow before the taping of the pilot episode.
Details about the new show are mostly being kept under wraps so far, but we do know that Jonah's first guest will be legendary comedian Andy Kaufman, who, after faking his own death as a joke back in 1984, has spent the last 30 years engaged in an elaborate performance art stunt under the pseudonym "Rick Santorum".