Stephen Colbert interview featured in new book “Satiristas”

One of the things I love the most about working in the book business is getting to see the many new titles that are coming from the major publishers a month or two down the road. But somehow this one eluded me on the job, so I owe a big tip of the hat to Jennie for bringing it to my attention. Satiristas: Comedians, Contrarians, Raconteurs & Vulgarians, by Paul Provenza and Dan Dion, is a new title from HarperCollins’ It Books imprint being released next Tuesday, May 11th. It features conversations with some of the finest comedy minds around, both veterans and rising stars, on the nature of satire and the art of making people laugh. From the HarperCollins web site:

Our nation’s finest comedians, contrarians, and comic subversives come together to discuss the nature of humor, its relevance to society, and how simply speaking the truth as one sees it can give life meaning.

. . .

Perhaps the greatest collection of comic talents ever between two covers, ¡Satiristas! is a collaboration between Paul Provenza — comedy’s insider inquisitor extraordinaire, director/co-creator of the film The Aristocrats, and star of Showtime’s The Green Room with Paul Provenza — and Dan Dion, comedy’s most celebrated portrait photographer. A virtual who’s who of iconoclastic comedy, the book is an epic, hilarious, multivoiced manifesto on satire and comedy, and a revelatory study of the complexities and inner workings of the comic mind.

And from the Satiristas web site:

What’s a Satirista?

¡SATIRISTAS! are cadre of independent comic provocateurs and proud voices targeting political hypocrisy, media distortion, complacency and the institutionalized ignorance infecting American culture. They are distinguished from generic comedians by the savage bite of their wit, virtuosic command of sarcasm and irony, and finely tuned bullsh*t detectors.

Just looking through the list of participants will give you an idea of the scope of this book. In addition to Stephen, it will feature interviews with Lewis Black, George Carlin (one of his final interviews before his death), Cheech & Chong, Craig Ferguson, Janeane Garofalo, Penn Jillette, Tom Lehrer, Bill Maher, Mike Nichols, Conan O’Brien, Lily Tomlin, Robin Williams, and too many more to list individually. There’s no Jon Stewart, unfortunately, but Daily Show creator Lizz Winstead is included. John Oliver was also interviewed, but sadly his interview was one of many that had to be cut from the final book due to space limitations. According to the book’s web site, these “lost interviews” will be released online at some time in the future.

This looks like it’ll be a must-read for any serious fans of smart comedy. Many of my own favorite comedic voices are included: Stephen, Conan, Craig Ferguson, Monty Python’s Terry Jones, Robin Williams, even the Smothers Brothers, who were my first introduction to satire back when I was too young to understand the concept. There are some previews posted on the web site; you can read one for Stephen, Conan, Craig Ferguson, Lewis Black, and about ten others. The book will be available in both hardcover and e-book editions next Tuesday.


  1. lockhart43 says:

    As one of those serious fans of smart comedy, I am absolutely buying this book!

    I’m also a fan of the wonderful picture of Stephen that they used on the previews page of the site. :]

  2. Karenatasha says:

    Thanks for the heads-up! I’m in the book business too, but somehow missed that. Sorry no Jon, though.

  3. bandaidhead says:

    I love that picture of him

  4. Wow, that’s some line-up. Looks like a great read!

  5. magdalena says:

    Can’t wait for this to come out, so that i can get my comedygeek on! Thanks for alerting us.

  6. Hi Ann,
    Thanks for writing up our book! I think you’ll find it very interesting and hilarious. There are portraits of both Jon and Mr. Oliver, though, as well as a portrait and interview with Lewis Black!


    Dan Dion

    • Hi Dan, thanks for passing on that info! I love the portraits I’ve seen so far, and can’t wait to see more. Thanks for stopping by!

    • lockhart43 says:

      Thanks for stopping by the site, Dan! I was actually on your web site last night – you have some excellent portraits. Really looking forward to reading the book!

  7. luvtcr says:

    Just in time for summer! This will make a nice read- in between dissertation drafts! I’ll need some funny!

  8. PriyaNoblet says:

    OOH! THAT PICTURE!!! *heart skips a beat*
    I’m insanely excited for this. I had some extra cash laying around, and I wasn’t sure what to do with it, now i know. HAHA. May 11th is it? Perfect. 2 days before Stephen’s birthday!

  9. I really hope Stephen Colbert stuck it to all the liberals in the book, the lone voice of reason.

    Colbert has a great mind. Can only recall a few times where he’s talking comedy out of character. His interview with Pete Dominick comes to mind. Pete being Stephen’s warm-up act and Sirius Radio host.

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