The Washington Post

‘TIME 100’ Most Influential List: ‘Doonesbury’s Trudeau pays tribute to Colbert


IT WAS AT THE DAWN of this blog, in the summer of Aught-Eight, that Comic Riffs first learned what a true fan Garry Trudeau was — and is — of fellow satirist Stephen Colbert.

“Colbert in particular is as good as it gets,” Trudeau said in the inaugural Comic Riffs interview of the comedian behind the fake pundit. “With the character he plays, every day is Opposite Day, and he's sustained and built on that conceit brilliantly.

“And because Colbert is as charming as he is quick, he's bulletproof,” continued the creator of the Pulitzer-winning “Doonesbury.” “Not a scratch on him. After two years, his running critique of the ignorant, right-wing blowhard still stands, and there's not a damn thing Bill O'Reilly can do about it.”

Since then, Trudeau has appeared on Colbert’s Comedy Central show as a guest (in 2010). And today, in Time magazine’s just-published “100 Most Influential People in the World” list for 2012, the cartoonist pays tribute to Colbert.

“Because of how his humor works, the audience finds meaning through sustained inference, which is a lot more fun than it sounds,” Trudeau writes in his Time tribute. “Colbert's riffs are so ingeniously convoluted and deeply weird that the post-reason wingers have no response to him. They just have to absorb the punishment, night after night.”

The cartoonist ends his praise with a prediction: “Look for him to hold down this spot on TIME's list for years to come.”

That, as envisioned by someone who’s remained on the list of satiric relevance for four decades.

[ALI FERZAT: Beaten Syrian cartoonist named to TIME 100 list]

Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the "Comic Riffs" column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Post's Book World. He relishes sharp-eyed satire in most any form.


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