An adverter-wooing study commissioned by Comedy Central — so, at least a little skepticism is allowed here — says that more than 20 percent of TDS and Colbert Report fans say “people think I’m cool because I watch [those shows],” according to the New York Times. Here’s where I’d make my “then call me Miles Davis” joke, except I’m afraid making a Billy Madison reference will strip me of whatever illusory coolness points I’ve earned by seeing every episode ever of both TDS and The Report.
I’m extremely reluctant to buy the idea that just watching a show (or a movie or whatever) can make you cool. It’s an art, not a science, etc etc, deep down I’m a guidance counselor, etc. But! If there’s any show that could do it, it really is The Daily Show: What’s cooler than being smart and funny? (Please say “nothing.” This is my only chance. I am terrible at sports.) It’s not just a matter of watching it, of course, but also of internalizing and appropriating some of its attitudes — acting a little like Jon Stewart is cool. Even awesome shows like The Office wouldn’t have the same effect; as much as I love Jim and Pam, I’d be hard pressed to call them “cool.”
Sort this one out with me, PopWatchers: Are there shows that make you cool? Does watching Lost improve your social standing, or shall we just sit on the couch, eat cookie dough, watch America’s Funniest Home Videos, and talk about how we didn’t want to go to the prom anyway, so who cares?