It's all odorophonics and sonics
June 9, 2012 2:54 AM   Subscribe

Stephen Colbert reading 'The Veldt' by Ray Bradbury
posted by Knigel (24 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
posted by Knigel at 3:04 AM on June 9, 2012


Sorry, I admire Stephen for trying, but listen to "The Veldt" on the old X Minus One radio show.
posted by Mblue at 3:56 AM on June 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Part 1: 17,522 views
Part 2: 7,366 views
Part 3: 6,127 views

That's a shame.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 3:57 AM on June 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Deadmau5's song named The Veldt rocks, btw.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:21 AM on June 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


That could to some extent be people spreading out their listening, Philosopher Dirtbike.
posted by Harald74 at 4:30 AM on June 9, 2012


I liked the Colbert version, actually.
posted by gen at 7:40 AM on June 9, 2012


I have to agree with Mblue: Colbert's smarmy-ironic tone doesn't work for me here. But this post got me to reread the story, so thanks!
posted by languagehat at 7:44 AM on June 9, 2012


The Veldt was assigned reading in 5th grade. I have never been the same person since. I'm sad that I didn't take my one chance (at Comic-Con in like, 2004 or something) to tell Mr. Bradbury about the effect that story had on my understanding of, like, humanity. It also totally transformed my ability to enjoy the concept of the holodeck - seasons 1 through 4 of TNG were this time of total innocent "that would be SO COOL" and seasons 5+ and all of DS9/Voyager were bizarrely infused with a vague sense of dread and mistrust. I also assumed all kids on TV and in film were quite possibly murderous sociopaths, which puts a very weird spin on everything produced after 1990. Imagine "Party of Five" where the middle kids somehow possibly made their parents die on purpose.

It's as though I knew, intellectually, about evil, but I had never realized how it "felt" until then. (I also read "Flowers in the Attic" that same year, and a couple of Orwell books too.)

(It absolutely requires a dispassionate, steady recitation, as far as I'm concerned. Completely unaware of just how strange and horrible the story is. There is no room for cuteness. Sorry, Mr. Colbert.)
posted by SMPA at 8:08 AM on June 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Philosopher Dirtbike, it is a little sad, but the first act as cut is pretty amazing as a stand alone. It works that well.
posted by es_de_bah at 8:13 AM on June 9, 2012


I don't think Colbert's delivery gets in the way of the ... meat of the story.

Seriously though. He does a fine job, given what he's used to doing. And I still get the heebie jeebies.

And the Deadmau5 track is well worth playing along with part one of Colbert's reading.
posted by Chutzler at 8:33 AM on June 9, 2012


I like Colbert's smarmy delivery. It feels like a good fit for the snide, atavistic ethos that pervades Bradbury's story.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 8:43 AM on June 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always heard it like a documentary voice over narrators voice. I like my printed words printed. I'm old that way.
posted by infini at 8:46 AM on June 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Cant Colbert just read me Bradbury stories all day?

Its been a decade since I read this story, but it still gives me goose bumps. What would a mind reading holodeck pull up from the dark parts of my own subconscious?
posted by KeSetAffinityThread at 8:49 AM on June 9, 2012


What would a mind reading holodeck pull up from the dark parts of my own subconscious?

Monsters from the Id?
posted by localroger at 9:04 AM on June 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is it just me or the version Mblue has posted not only sounds better, but the English pronunciation sounds so crystal clear.
posted by elpapacito at 9:26 AM on June 9, 2012


That sort of freaked me out, until I saw the links to parts two and three. I felt sure the story ended with bloodshed and dead parents, like all good children's stories should. Suddenly, part one ended, and the parents were still alive, and vaguely frustrated at their middle class lives, and inability to connect with their children. Where was the blood? Where was the veldt I grew up with, I thought.

Then I saw the links to parts two and three, and my bloodlust was satiated. All is well. The parents have been eaten, as parents should be.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:40 AM on June 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mblue: Sorry, I admire Stephen for trying, but listen to "The Veldt" on the old X Minus One radio show.

I expect that show owes more than a little to Archive.org Science Fiction.
posted by Decimask at 9:45 AM on June 9, 2012


Decimask, are you implying that X Minus One is pulling most of its content from Archive.org?

Because I'm pretty sure that X Minus One is the original source that Archive.org is archiving.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:01 AM on June 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I'm Gau! I'm your friend! Let's travel together!"
posted by PipRuss at 11:23 AM on June 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


I thought the same thing, PipRuss. And heard the beat of drums...
posted by duvatney at 12:41 PM on June 9, 2012


I think Colbert's sitcom-esque tone is appropriate to the post-WWII feeling of the story, with America suddenly finding itself on top of the heap and not quite knowing what to do with itself.
posted by Strange Interlude at 2:23 PM on June 9, 2012


I was around in those years, and I assure you Colbert's tone is completely alien to it. America may not quite have known what to do with itself, but it definitely didn't talk or act like that. I'd say it was around the Reagan era that people started pretending that nothing mattered and all of life was just material for a comedy routine. If you could be magically transported back to '50s America, you would find it painfully earnest, whether the person you were talking to was earnest about literature, money, or life on the road. There's a reason people talked so much about Sartre back then: the meaninglessness of life was serious stuff.
posted by languagehat at 2:51 PM on June 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Text available here
posted by IndigoJones at 5:22 PM on June 9, 2012


The parents have been eaten, as parents should be.

I am torn as to whether to chastize this or tweet it.
posted by localroger at 6:22 PM on June 9, 2012


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