What is the connection between Stephen Colbert and Peyton Manning? We switched between Monday Night Football and the Colbert Report last night and saw two people at the top of their game. Colbert did to his national audience what Manning did to the Raiders defense. The question is how do I do that with my writing?
Obviously both men started with incredible talent, and then worked extremely hard to get where they were. They also had people who believed in them. Stephen got his break from Jon Stewart, Payton had to get his start from his father, before the coaches at Tennessee.
Payton Manning is perhaps the only quarterback you can identify from space. If aliens were watching from above and they saw Payton's unique style of audibles and running around, they would say that's Payton again. Much could be said about Stephen Colbert. While almost every talk show host is the same, Colbert seems to try harder.
Both are not perfect, Payton does throw the occasional interception and is no RGIII on the ground. Some of Colbert's interviews that he does in character come off a little flat-- like a quarterback that is throwing a slant pattern while the receiver is running a screen.
So how do we get there? Hard work of course. The willingness to improvise mid-play like Payton. Colbert's strength is his commitment to character.
Right now, I'm doing my imitation of Payton Manning as I sit at my keyboard. I'm looking in all directions, shouting out meaningless numbers, faking a bit, and then looking deep downfield...well looking deep into my computer screen.
It seems to be working. . .hut, hut, hut...