"Stephen Colbert": Great host? Or *the greatest* host?
December 18, 2014 8:15 PM   Subscribe

Tonight! He's "a well-meaning, poorly informed, high-status idiot." An it-getter. A knight. A doctor (of fine arts). A Real American Hero. And after tonight, his arched eyebrow of justice will never again grace American television screens in quite the same way. "Stephen Colbert": a brief retrospective. Truthiness - The White House Correspondents' Dinner - Better Know a District - Formidable Opponent - Tek Jansen - Papa Bear - I Am America (And So Can You!) - Americone Dream - The ThreatDown - Late Night Fight! - Testifying to Congress - The Rally to Restore Sanity - Colbert Super PAC - Maurice Sendak - Wheat Thins - Lorna Colbert - Tolkien-off - Ask a Grown Man - The Decree. So much more inside.

Non-Report stuff:

Prince Charles scandal
Ted Hitler
A poor Virginia turd miner
Colbert on Whose Line is it Anyway?
King of Glory (Liturgical Dance)
The Best of Phil Ken Sebben
TVTROPES
Previously on MeFi

2005

Early promos: (1 - 2 - 3 - 4)
The First Episode
The Word: Truthiness
Better Know a District: Barney Frank
The On-Notice Board (make your own!)
Guest-hosting Sesame Street's All-Star Alphabet

2006

Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondents' Dinner
The Word: Wikiality
The DaColbert Code (2 - 3)
Phil Gingrey is a Georgia peach
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland vs. the Ten Commandments
Eleanor Holmes Norton is not an American
Robert Wexler enjoys cocaine because...
The Art of Manliness
The Hungarian bridge campaign
Formidable Opponent
Filliam H. Muffman
Tek Jansen! (previously)
Equations are the devil's sentences
2006 midterms reaction
Colbert vs. The Decemberists guitar solo challenge

2007

Colbert on the O'Reilly Factor
Backstage at the Report
Cheating Death with Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, D.F.A.
I Am America (And So Can You!)
Americone Dream
Jane Fonda cozies up to Stephen
Stephen Colbert, for your editing pleasure

2008

Giant inflatable poos, Mr. Cookenboo, and Killer iPhones
Alan Rabinowitz and the plight of the voiceless
An Anthemic Duet with Steve Carrell
RAIIIINNN!
Jon and Stephen play the Alphabet Game
Howard Dean says "bye"
Late Night Fight!
WRISTSTRONG
Obama wins the presidency
Colbert's portrait at the Smithsonian
A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All

2009

Colbert's cosmic treadmill
Who's Attacking Me Now?
Obama and the National Day of Prayer
The General and the Haircut

2010

Testimony to Congress on migrant farm workers
Thoughts on the BP oil spill
DEVO
Even Stepvhens
Welcoming the troops home
Dr. Strangelove and Mutually Assured Coercion
At the Vancouver Olympics
The Rally to Restore Sanity (and/or Fear)
Stephen takes O'Reilly to task on scripture

2011

Munchma Quchi
Palin Fatigue
Atlas Shrugged and Objectivism
Tribute to Steve Jobs
Colbert Super PAC (and the 2012 aftermath)

2012

Fantastic interview with Maurice Sendak
Colbert Talks at Google
Oprah interviews Colbert
The Playboy interview
Wheat Thins
Interviewing Clint Eastwood... 's Chair
On Rick Perry's TV ads

2013

Boston Marathon bombing
Remembering Lorna Colbert
Stephen's sister for Congress! (aftermath)
Colbert's first Emmy
Get Lucky
On a small Kentucky town's anti-LGBT discrimination push
Tolkien showdowns with James Franco

2014

Stephen congratulates Jimmy Fallon on his late-night promotion
Ask a Grown Man: Stephen Colbert
Best Crack-ups
President Obama takes the helm and sits for an interview (part 2)
Interview with Smaug
Everything pulled from under the desk
Interactive virtual tour of the studio

"Stephen Colbert": 1997-2014
posted by Rhaomi (133 comments total) 262 users marked this as a favorite
 
Sorry for the super-basic formatting and the frequent Comedy Central links that might not work overseas -- I'd planned to polish it some more and find alternates where possible, but the CC video site was sluggish all day today and took up all the time I'd set aside to make this. I'll try to update with more later!
posted by Rhaomi at 8:16 PM on December 18, 2014


Thank you so much for this post. The final show starts in 11 minutes and I'm not sure how I will survive. This will surely help!
posted by blurker at 8:19 PM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Encyclopedic. Epic. Thank you!
posted by blucevalo at 8:29 PM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Glad I turned into the tail-end of the interview with Chris Rock. "My movie is VERY Korean-friendly!"

Not sure I am ready for the end of the Report, though. Formidable Opponent was always one of my favorite recurring sketches, reminding me of Even Stephens from back when Colbert and Carrell were on the Daily Show.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:30 PM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I know I'm out of touch completely, but why did the show end?
posted by aryma at 8:31 PM on December 18, 2014


Colbert is replacing Letterman.
posted by dumbland at 8:33 PM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Letterman is retiring and Colbert is the new host of the Late Show.
posted by yasaman at 8:33 PM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


That Prince Charles Scandal clip is possibly my most favorite thing I've ever seen on TV.

(Just to watch two pros losing it like that.)
posted by Cyrano at 8:35 PM on December 18, 2014 [14 favorites]


Standing up at the White House Correspondent's Dinner and denouncing George W Bush to his face, that alone would have made Stephen Colbert a legend, but he just went on to greater things and I'm sure he'll make a great Letterman. I'm pretty much just in awe of him.
posted by Flashman at 8:38 PM on December 18, 2014 [44 favorites]


The Report debuted while I was in college, and I had a standing date to watch it with friends. We laughed so much. Those were good days, and I'll always remember this show fondly.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:39 PM on December 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


"Truthiness."
posted by valkane at 8:40 PM on December 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think that Colbert is leaving his own show only because there's only so long you can prop up a singularly focused shtick before you get bored of it or it becomes tired and tedious to the very audience you meant to entertain. I'm sad to see him move on, too, but at the same time I don't blame him. God's speed, you glorious son of a bitch!
posted by surazal at 8:41 PM on December 18, 2014 [14 favorites]


"We'll Meet Again".

I'm in tears.
posted by saturday_morning at 8:52 PM on December 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Holy crap that musical number shredded me.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 8:53 PM on December 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


OMG this is amazeballs. He's got two Muppets and a cast of hundreds
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:53 PM on December 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


The Correspondents' Dinner was a classic case of the right thing at the right time- my god, but watching Colbert tear Bush apart in front of the nation, to his face! It was exactly what a lot of us needed.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:58 PM on December 18, 2014 [38 favorites]


That ended perfectly. The Colbert character may be gone, but he'll always be out there for us, alive forever in clips and quotes.
posted by Servo5678 at 8:59 PM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Two things make me sad: he won't assume the CBS throne until SEPTEMBER (Letterman's last show is the last day of the May Sweeps, then they'll totally rebuild the set in the Ed Sullivan Theater and give him a premiere with the 'Fall Prime-Time Season'), and, having unplugged my TV cable last month, I'm not getting to see the Grand Finale (well, here in the Pacific Time Zone, we were stuck with a 3-hour delay anyway).

So, please, dear friends and MeFites, GIVE ME TOTAL SPOILERS FOR THE LAST SHOW. EVERYTHING. "two Muppets and a cast of hundreds" is not enough...
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:00 PM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


The final formidable opponent is classic.
posted by ckape at 9:05 PM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Keith Olbermann is posting pictures taken from the stage as they were all singing, they're pretty amazing.

(Also, Bill Clinton chimes in.)
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:08 PM on December 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


Thank you, Rhaomi.
posted by clockzero at 9:11 PM on December 18, 2014


In the mid-21st century when all the current Colbert Report devotees find themselves furiously justifying their nostalgic enthusiasm for the show to all the youngsters dissing it in Metafilter threads - as tends to happen with beloved decades-old pop culture stuff around here nowadays - I'm gonna be chuckling my freakin' ass off from beyond the grave.

Not to disparage Colbert, a talented comedian who certainly deserves every bit of the praise he's getting here and elsewhere, nor this fantastic post. Just a friendly reminder that what goes around comes around.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:12 PM on December 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I assume someone here will list all the returning guests from the musical finale. So full of win. And tears.
posted by blurker at 9:13 PM on December 18, 2014


Second greatest use of "We'll Meet Again" ever! (Dr. Strangelove retains the title of best.)
posted by dannyboybell at 9:14 PM on December 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


1400-plus episodes, 700-plus hours of original content in-character. Has anyone ever done that? James Arness was only Marshal Dillon in 600-some hours of Gunsmoke.
posted by Etrigan at 9:15 PM on December 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Comedy Central has an hour-plus long playlist of all the Super PAC stuff, which was a surprisingly enlightening look into a very unsexy topic. I'm glad to know John Oliver is taking up the baton on longer-form investigatory comedy like this.

Also missing: Colbert interviews Neil DeGrasse Tyson outside the show (who was among the dozens in that final song!)
posted by Rhaomi at 9:19 PM on December 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Jon Stewart, Bryan Cranston, Willie Nelson, Tom Brokaw, Mandy Patinkin, Sam Waterston, Big Bird, Cyndi Lauper, Katie Couric, Ken Burns, Andrew Sullivan (?), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Barry Manilow, Jeff Daniels, Patrick Stewart, David Gregory, Christiane Amanpour, Cookie Monster, Arianna Huffington, Alan Alda, Cory Booker, George Lucas (?), Henry Kissinger, Bill Clinton, Eleanor Holmes Norton, lots of familiar faces I can't put names to.
posted by maggieb at 9:26 PM on December 18, 2014


8 years later I still can't believe the Bush administration was so tone deaf and ignorant as to invite him to speak at the loathsome White House Correspondents dinner. 2006 was still the tail end of the "why do you hate America" era, when that phrase still had some power, and Colbert came in and threw the entire failed Bush presidency right in his smug face.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:29 PM on December 18, 2014 [12 favorites]


Some people win the Internet.
Some people win Cable.

Stephen Colbert just won the Universe.

[exit, pursued by a bear]
posted by uosuaq at 9:30 PM on December 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


lots of familiar faces I can't put names to

My apologies to Doris Kearns Goodwin...
posted by gimonca at 9:30 PM on December 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


His daft was incredibly deft.
posted by vapidave at 9:33 PM on December 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


8 years later I still can't believe the Bush administration was so tone deaf and ignorant as to invite him to speak at the loathsome White House Correspondents dinner.

The Correspondents' Association does the inviting (it's their event) not the White House.
posted by AndrewInDC at 9:39 PM on December 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Vox has an unofficial list up. Somehow I missed Rod Stewart.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:39 PM on December 18, 2014


maggieb: "Jon Stewart, Bryan Cranston, Willie Nelson, Tom Brokaw, Mandy Patinkin, Sam Waterston, Big Bird, Cyndi Lauper, Katie Couric, Ken Burns, Andrew Sullivan (?), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Barry Manilow, Jeff Daniels, Patrick Stewart, David Gregory, Christiane Amanpour, Cookie Monster, Arianna Huffington, Alan Alda, Cory Booker, George Lucas (?), Henry Kissinger, Bill Clinton, Eleanor Holmes Norton, lots of familiar faces I can't put names to."

Just rewatched that part. Also caught:

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Neill DeGrasse Tyson, Trevor Potter (Colbert's lawyer for the Super PAC stuff), James Franco, Dean Kamen (the inventor of Segway), Mike Huckabee, Michael J. Fox, Vince Gilligan (the creator of Breaking Bad, locked up in the basement), Esteban Colberto (the Latino Colbert host from an old Formidable Opponent segment in the post), the C.O.L.B.E.R.T. treadmill in the ISS, JJ Abrams, possibly Colbert's wife and kids, Thomas Friedman, and Paul Krugman.

edit: lots of overlap with FiveThirtyEight's list of most frequent Colbert guests
posted by Rhaomi at 9:40 PM on December 18, 2014


That was a great ending. It was pretty much what I wanted it to be. Can't say that about a lot of things.
posted by Cyrano at 9:47 PM on December 18, 2014


I am very sad about this, but will hold back the tears for a little while to suggest:

- It seems like there's nothing from Colbert's appearances on Venture Bros. (he was the original voice of Dr. Impossible), although admittedly there weren't many of those. He was also on Strangers With Candy.
- One could build an entire post off of how he carried the show, from a writing standpoint, single-handedly during the Writer's Strike. He handled the grueling funnyman death march with amazing style.

It's nice that John Oliver has picked up the baton and built something both funny and also more substantive, but I really think Colbert is the funniest political humor the nation's ever seen, with the possible sole exception of Hunter S. Thompson when he was at his best, and Colbert produced so much more material. Even giving him the benefit of his writing staff and frequent breaks, that's an amazing feat.

I'll be interested in seeing how Larry Wilmore picks it up. All eyes are going to be upon him. Colbert is a once-in-a-generation comedy genius, but I have my fingers crossed. Good luck to him!
posted by JHarris at 9:49 PM on December 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


"We'll meet again"? Yep, I'd say we just saw the first hundred guests the Real Stephen will have on The Late Show in September-December 2015...
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:53 PM on December 18, 2014




.
posted by readyfreddy at 9:58 PM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


While it's hard to think of going so long without Colbert on my tv, I think it's a good idea because
1) damn, does he deserve a vacation after all these years of keeping the show at such a high standard
2) it'll help put this Stephen Colbert to rest so that the real Stephen Colbert can take the Letterman desk
I imagine that he (and we) need some critical distance from the persona for a while.
posted by TwoStride at 9:59 PM on December 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


John Oliver needs to get back on the air ASAP.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:25 PM on December 18, 2014 [13 favorites]


That was... emotional. Also, I wish I looked as good in a pink tuxedo as Keith Olbermann did.
posted by sparkletone at 10:30 PM on December 18, 2014


If you haven't seen his poetic and heartfelt eulogy for his mother (Remembering Lorna Colbert, 2013), it is worth the time. It's one of my favorite things I've seen him do, which is so lovely, because for how hilarious and cathartic his character has been, he is clearly a gracious, warm, and wonderful person, and I'm excited to get to know the real Stephen Colbert in his new adventure.
posted by missmary6 at 10:32 PM on December 18, 2014 [11 favorites]


Oh, she finally died? I missed that one. I remember when he took unexpected time off to be with her when she had major health issues two or three years ago, but she made it through. Ah well.
posted by JHarris at 11:03 PM on December 18, 2014


What a send off. I cried.
posted by wrapper at 11:05 PM on December 18, 2014


Thanks for this. I'd been meaning to check out the Obama interview. I don't get much of a chance to watch the show, so this post is very useful as an encapsulation pf the run, and which I'll probably refer to a few more times for little chunks of truthertainment.
posted by not_on_display at 11:12 PM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


change is good
posted by philip-random at 11:12 PM on December 18, 2014


Why can't he do both The Colbert Report and Late Night?
posted by mazola at 11:20 PM on December 18, 2014


Why can't he do both The Colbert Report and Late Night?
posted by mazola at 11:20 PM on December 18 [+] [!]


They should just let him run the country.
posted by chavenet at 11:34 PM on December 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


Here's a video of the final musical number!
posted by yasaman at 11:50 PM on December 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


Greatest host, his ear has always freaked me out though.
posted by This is the decision I made. at 11:54 PM on December 18, 2014


"Here's what [Barney Frank] calls a waste of TV space..." (YT mirror)

Incidentally, I wonder how long the Colbert Report video archive will stay up. It was always most used to virally share the latest scathing segments, but as months and years pass and the old clips grow less relevant, when will Comedy Central decide the costs outweigh the benefits? There are only a scant few DVD releases of the show, and the halcyon days of every choice bit appearing on YouTube are long gone.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:16 AM on December 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


Rhaomi: Incidentally, I wonder how long the Colbert Report video archive will stay up.
All I know is I linked a clip from The A List from 1992 in a comment here just a week ago. I think media outfits are catching on that if you don't want to fight the whack-a-mole posters on YouTube forever, you've got to make the stuff available online somewhere.

I have to wait until morning to catch the finale. Somehow it escaped my attention it was tonight.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:29 AM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


I was going to ask how it would happen that they closed the show with Holland, 1945, but then I googled it. It felt strangely right, but now feels even sadder.
posted by team lowkey at 12:34 AM on December 19, 2014 [13 favorites]


Thank you for giving me something to do at work tomorrow!
posted by stennieville at 12:39 AM on December 19, 2014


The president of the place i now work for was actually a guest in October, and I spoke to him a little both before and after.

Before, when I told him that going on the show should be "interesting," he gave me a slightly worried look and said "I'm not quite sure how I'm meant to take that". But he was singing Steven's praises after -and admitted to being a tiny bit disappointed Steven didn't give him a bit more of a harder time.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:15 AM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


"Sorry, but this video is unavailable from your location. It's one of the detriments of living under a monarchy. But in case you can't give up your vegemite and move to America, watch clips from the Colbert Report at thecomedychannel.com.au"

Awww. I miss him already.
posted by langtonsant at 1:16 AM on December 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


Thanks so much, great post.
posted by evil_esto at 1:24 AM on December 19, 2014


"Vox has an unofficial list up. Somehow I missed Rod Stewart."

You didn't...

"Correction: The original version of this post misidentified Barry Manilow as Rod Stewart. We deeply regret the error."
posted by Auz at 3:28 AM on December 19, 2014 [7 favorites]


I feel like we missed an opportunity for a singing Smaug.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:47 AM on December 19, 2014


I am currently trapped in MississIppi with my loud, angry, libertarian father-in-law, so these clips help immensely. Thanks, Rhaomi.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 4:43 AM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Stephen Colbert kept me sane through the Bush administration.
posted by the christopher hundreds at 5:05 AM on December 19, 2014 [9 favorites]


Fantastic debut episode of Slate's "Working" podcast was Stephen Colbert's description of how he works.
posted by stevil at 5:10 AM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Always love it when a D&D nerd makes good. Colbert is #1 on my list of people I'd like to high-five.

...hmm, I wonder if he's posted any of his old D&D characters anywhere. I'm curious now.
posted by rifflesby at 5:48 AM on December 19, 2014


Keith Olbermann tweets:
From #Colbert Farewell: @MarkCuban finalized Rondo deal in green room, sitting w/Waterston, Daniels, me + dismaying UN Amb. Samantha Power
I have to wonder how many "green rooms" they had set up for this thing and how much jockeying there was to get into the "good" ones.
posted by Etrigan at 6:02 AM on December 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


Colbert's appearances on Venture Bros.

Not his only Cartoon Network gig. He hit it huge while voicing the wildly eccentric boss "Phil Ken Sebben" on "Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law" and had to leave the regular cast - but he made a surprise appearance in the show's finale, notable for one scene where Sebben's flying upside-down and backward in a car while shouting "Ha-HA! Stuntcasting!"

Colbert knows how to send a show out with style, all I'm saying.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:51 AM on December 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


There's a great Asimov science fiction story called The Martian Way. In the future, rocket ships use water for reaction mass, but any kind of water works, even saltwater. So Earth exports seawater to Mars and other space colonies for rocket fuel and for drinking, bathing, etc. Seawater is dirt cheap for Earth; you can send millions of gallons into space and it makes no difference to the environment. But an ambitious politician on Earth has cynically decided to drum up fear of a water shortage to advance his career, so the Martian colonists learn they're about to be cut off. They can't buy water to run their rockets, or to drink. They'll have to return to Earth.

A few bold Martian spaceship pilots come up with a plan. They fly to Saturn (this has never been done before; in the story, humans have hitherto stayed in the inner solar system), and find a small ice moon a mile wide. They attach rockets to it, and using the moon's own ice for reaction mass, fly it back toward Mars. This takes years, but they make it, and arrive back at Mars on the very day on which the treaty which cuts off the Earth water supply will be signed. In full view of the press gathered for the event, they land a solid cubic mile of ice on the surface of Mars, hop out of their spaceships, explain to the gathered journalists that they now have enough water for the next thousand years, so they don't need to buy anymore from poor, thirsty Earth; in fact they offer to sell some. The politician's career is ruined, and humankind's expansion through the solar system is now assured.

Anyway, how the bad guys in that story felt, is how I imagine Suey Park feels right now.
posted by officer_fred at 6:59 AM on December 19, 2014 [11 favorites]


Thanks for the All-Star Alphabet link! When my daughter was tiny I got the DVD at random and didn't notice at first that it had Stephen Colbert and Nicole Sullivan in it. I think it was prior to the Colbert Report so it was like "hey one of the Daily Show guys"! He's great in the mall segments as the sad letter Z who isn't in any words while the A is in EVERYTHING.
posted by freecellwizard at 7:08 AM on December 19, 2014


I can't improve on blucevalo's comment. Magnificent post.
posted by Gelatin at 7:13 AM on December 19, 2014


By the way, in the spirit of the holiday season, let's also enjoy Colbert, Michael Stipe and Mandy Patinkin singing "Good King Wenceslaus".
posted by Gelatin at 7:17 AM on December 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


His name is going to be uttered alongside Mark Twain someday. The stuff he's done with this show has been incredible. If nothing else, those SuperPAC episodes (which won him a Peabody) were an absolutely brilliant example of using humor to genuinely educate the public on a very complex issue.
posted by jbickers at 7:32 AM on December 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


I'm really disappointed that Better Know A District didn't get to all 435 congressional districts. You broke a promise Mr. Colbert! I hope he continues it in his Letterman reincarnation.
posted by dis_integration at 7:32 AM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


The end hit me harder than I expected it to. I knew it was going to hit me hard -- I just didn't realize how hard.

The Colbert Report began right around the same time that I started dating my now-husband: our first date was October 4th, his first episode was October 17. It began just a couple months after I had moved cross-country for grad school. I have had Colbert with me through my education, through my courtship, my career, my marriage. Colbert has been with me. He was with me late at night, when I was a grad student. At that point, in my youth, his show marked the shift in my thought from "late evening" to "late night." He ended the day for me. Later, he was with me early in the mornings, when I had a full-time job that started way too early. I would drink my daily cup of coffee while watching the previous night's episode. He started the day for me. He centered my days.

Since the start of his show, I've moved too many times, had too many jobs, had both good times and extreme hardships. Throughout it all, Colbert was there. I loved his show, and, even more so, I loved the consistency. The "Tonight!", the sound of the eagle, the cadence to "In here, out there, and all around the world." I don't know how exactly, but his brash, egotistical, idiotic persona became a comfort, a companion. And I'm going to miss him, so much.

It feels so silly to be so moved by the end of a silly, half-hour late show. It feels ridiculous to be so torn up by the loss of a comic who, really, will be back in just a few short months, especially given that the Daily Show isn't going anywhere. But, for me, as I suspect for a lot of people, it is the end of an era. There was something my life was like, when I had the Colbert to watch four times a week, and now my life will no longer be like that.
posted by meese at 7:41 AM on December 19, 2014 [17 favorites]


I'm sorry for this, it might seem nonsensical to you, but typing it out helped me work through some of my grief that the show, which was one of my favorite things on TV and something which helped me bond with friends, is ending. I put a bit of thought into making it consume as little page real estate as possible. In recognition that Stephen Colbert, while the primary talent, is far from the only person who makes a show like this possible:

THE COLBERT REPORT
Executive Producer:
THE REVEREND SIR DOCTOR SEN. STEPHEN T. MOS DEF COLBERT, D.F.A., HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD** LA PREMIÉRE DAME DE FRANCE
JON STEWART   *   TOM PURCELL
Co-Executive Producer:
MEREDITH BENNETT   *   BARRY JULIEN   *   EMILY LAZAR
Director: JIM HOSKINSON *** Head Writer: OPUS MORESCHI
Writers: MICHAEL BRUMM - NATE CHARNY - AARON COHEN - STEPHEN COLBERT - PAUL DINELLO - ERIC DRYSDALE - ROB DUBBIN -
 ARIEL DUMAS - GLENN EICHLER - GABE GRONLI - BARRY JULIEN - JAY KATSIR - MATT LAPPIN - TOM PURCELL - MAX WERNER
Supervising Producers: TANYA MICHNEVICH BRACCO - PAUL DINELLO - MATT LAPPIN *** Line Producer: STEVE HOLTZMAN
Senior Footage Producer: SCOTT LAWRIE *** Coordinating Producer: ADAM WAGER *** Associate Director: YVONNE DE MARE
Senior Script Supervisor: DEANNA STOREY *** Talent Associate Producer: MONICA HICKEY *** Talent Coordinator: AMY SCHWARTZ
Production Manager: KATE SUNBURY *** Art Director: ANDRO BUNETA
Graphic Designers: PAUL HILDEBRAND - KRISTOPHER LONG - BILL MARKO *** Animator/Jr. Graphic Designer: TIM LUECKE
Prop Master: BRENDAN HURLEY *** Managing Producer: JEFF COOPERMAN *** Senior Producers: LIZ LEVIN - NICOLE SAVINI
Editors: CHRISTEIN AROMANDO - JASON BAKER - BRYAN DINELLO - ANDREW MATHESON *** Post Production Supervisor: NICK VASILE
Field Associate Producers: MEGAN GEARHEART - JESSE McLAREN *** Footage Coordinator: TOREY STRAHL *** Senior Researcher: KYLE HEALY
Researchers: TYLER G. HALL - GLORIA TEAL *** Technical Directors: SCOTTY ANDERSON - JON PRETNAR *** Lighting Designer: MICHAEL SCRICCA
Audio Engineer: TODD KILPONEN *** Tape Operator: JACK ROCHE *** Deko Operators: MICHELLE LIPPITT - MARK TOPAZ
Key Stage Manager: MARK McKENNA *** Stage Managers: JEFF LEIB - SUSAN SCHROER - PHYLLIS DIGILIO
Camera: KENNY DECKER - JOHN HARRISON - ARIE HEFTER - WADE LATZ - JEFF LATONERO - JOHN MEIKLEJOHN - DANTE PAGANO - CLAUS STUHLWEISSENBURG
Video Engineers: TAYLOR DEES - BILL VIGNARI *** Gaffer: CONSTANTINE S. LEONARDOS
Lighting Board Op: JASON BAERI - JUSTIN CHEATHAM - HILARY KNOX - JASON SEILER *** Electrician: CORY SCHAUB
Stagehands: EDWARD COSTELLO - JOSE ROSARIO *** PA Mixers: JAY MORGAN - BOB WALKER *** Audio: MARK HUTCHINS - BRIAN KINGMAN - JOHN MULLANEY - SCOTT MEYER - MUSIC MIX MOBILE
Utility: ERNEST ALBRITTON - MICHAEL CATAPANO - GUISEPPE RESTIVO - AARON SCHELINK *** Teleprompter: MICHELE DECKER - SANDY GARFUNKE *** Key Stylist & Costume Designer: ANTONIA XEREAS
Hair & Makeup: KERRIE PLANT-PRICE - BRIDGET TRAMA *** Audience Warm Up: PAUL MECURIO - KEVIN BARTINI *** Accountant: JASON BLOCK
Payroll Accountant: LAUREN BRUNDAGE *** Production & Website Coordinator: ERICA MYRICKES *** Audience Coordinator: STEWART NURICK
Asst. Production Office Coordinator: KATERI PALEN *** Assistant to Stephen Colbert: AMY COLE *** Executive Assistant: JAMES KUO
Writers' Assistant: MEG DRISCOLL *** Production Assistants: JORDAN A. DRUTMAN - WYNN HARRISON - ELIZABETH MIGLACCIO - JOHN WILLIAMS *** IT Manager: ALEX MARTINEZ
Chief Engineer: ASSLAM KHAN *** Engineer: FELIX ARCE *** Facilities Manager: BILL WILLIG *** Set Designer: JIM FENHAGEN
Show Open and Graphics Package: MR. WONDERFUL *** Original Theme Song "Baby Mumbles" Written & Performed by CHEAP TRICK *** Additional Music Composed by: STEVEN M. GOLD - ADAM SCHLESINGER
Executive in Charge of Production: TANYA MICHNEVICH BRACCO *** Executive in Charge for Busboy Productions: CHRIS McSHANE *** Executive in Charge of Production for Comedy Central: DAVID BERNATH
Wardrobe for Stephen Colbert provided by: BROOKS BROTHERS *** Production Services Provided By: HELLO DOGGIE INC.
APOLOGIES TO DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN
This has been a presentation of Comedy Central *** Ⓒ 2014 Comedy Partners *** All Rights Reserved
SPARTINA - BUSBOY


Thanks, everyone!
posted by JHarris at 7:50 AM on December 19, 2014 [27 favorites]


Answering the question in the headline:

GREATEST HOST.

Boom. Done.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 7:55 AM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Allison Silverman, The Colbert Report's original head writer, has a great reminisce piece about the show's early days. Her backstage account of Colbert's White House Correspondents' Dinner speech is the highlight of many terrific, insightful anecdotes:
In 2006, Stephen gave the speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. I remember Stephen rehearsing in the ballroom hours as the hotel’s workers set out plates and silverware. And they all seemed to like it. They were laughing. They were smiling. We thought everything was going to go great. But when Stephen was performing the actual speech in front of the president and the press, it did not feel great. {...} But for anyone who wasn’t involved in the preparation, there was nothing in his demeanor or his performance to suggest that he was aware of, or even cared about, the audience staring him down. He stayed completely in character as the most important people in the country stonewalled him.

{...} As a performer, Stephen will always go for it — he will always take the big swings — in a way that writers just dream of. He’s not afraid to fail because he kind of likes failing. Stephen used to tell me, “You’ve got to learn to love the bomb.”
It's one thing to "speak the truth to power", in the Quakers' brave phrase, but it takes that much more guts to tell jokes to power's face.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:58 AM on December 19, 2014 [33 favorites]


It's one thing to "speak the truth to power", in the Quakers' brave phrase, but it takes that much more guts to tell jokes to power's face.

That performance was absolutely and utterly brilliant. It's worth noting that as much as Colbert excoriated Bush and his cronies, he also lambasted the members of the Washington press themselves for being courtiers and lapdogs. (Paraphrasing: "Go home and work on your book about an intrepid reporter -- you know, fiction!" Ouch.)

It's also worth noting that the White House Correspondents' Dinner hasn't had invited a speaker who gave a similar performance since. I'd suggest that fact reflects better on Colbert and worse on the "correspondents" the more time goes on.
posted by Gelatin at 8:17 AM on December 19, 2014 [13 favorites]


I was thinking to myself the person to make a great Colbert post would probably win the best post contest for December, congratulations in advance! I'm going to enjoy going back through all of this, and I hope Colbert is just as great in the future as he was on this show.
posted by DynamiteToast at 8:18 AM on December 19, 2014


1400-plus episodes, 700-plus hours of original content in-character. Has anyone ever done that? James Arness was only Marshal Dillon in 600-some hours of Gunsmoke.
posted by Etrigan at 12:15 AM on December 19


Answering questions like this helps me work through my grief in losing The Colbert Report:

Helen Wagner played Hughes family matriarch Nancy Hughes on American soap As the World Turns from its April 2, 1956 debut through her death in May 2010. At one point, she was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the actor with the longest uninterrupted performance in a single role.

A number of soap opera performers played roles for twenty years or longer, occasionally on more that one show:

* Rachel Ames played Audrey Hardy on both General Hospital and Port Charles from 1964 until 2007, and returned in 2009.
* Susan Lucci played Erica Kane in All My Children from the show's debut in January 1970 until it ended its network television run on ABC on September 23, 2011.
* Erika Slezak played Victoria Lord on One Life to Live from 1971 until the show ended its network television run on ABC on January 13, 2012 and resumed the role in its short-lived online revival on April 29, 2013.

To my knowledge, though, actress Lesley Saweard is the undisputed champion of the "longest uninterrupted performance in a single role" category. She's played Christine Barford in the soap opera The Archers since 1953--a whopping sixty-one years.

Sorry, but the other day a friend and I were talking about the decline of the American daytime soap opera and got to reminiscing about our favorite storylines and characters....
posted by magstheaxe at 8:28 AM on December 19, 2014 [8 favorites]


...It's also worth noting that the White House Correspondents' Dinner hasn't had invited a speaker who gave a similar performance since. I'd suggest that fact reflects better on Colbert and worse on the "correspondents" the more time goes on.
posted by Gelatin at 11:17 AM on December 19


I may not be remembering this correctly, but didn't they invite Rich Little the next year? All I know is that the last time I'd seen Rich Little on television, Charo was also a guest that night on Merv.
posted by magstheaxe at 8:32 AM on December 19, 2014 [8 favorites]


He defined a political, and pop cultural, mood for a whole generation. Excited for whats next.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 8:39 AM on December 19, 2014


From Doktor Zed's link is this interesting bit:
I was super, super impressed that Stephen pushed through that speech. He took out a couple jokes on the fly, which was unusual for him. He skipped one joke that involved handing the president a kids’ diploma, like the kind you’d get for graduating kindergarten. To me, that meant Stephen knew that there was serious tension in the room. But for anyone who wasn’t involved in the preparation, there was nothing in his demeanor or his performance to suggest that he was aware of, or even cared about, the audience staring him down. He stayed completely in character as the most important people in the country stonewalled him.
Wow. Can you imagine how the kids' diploma joke would have gone, in that room? Nice to see Stephen has some sense of self-preservation!
posted by JHarris at 8:42 AM on December 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


"Truthiness."

It is amazing to me that "Truthiness" comes from Colbert's very first episode. Unlike most National Treasures (like, say, The Daily Show), Colbert's show was amazingly great right out of the gate and kept going at that same level for nine years. Think of how many SNL sketches can't maintain their premise for nine minutes.

"Anyone can read the news to you. I promise to feel the news at you." The man kept his promise.
posted by straight at 8:51 AM on December 19, 2014 [25 favorites]


The end of the same piece is also very nice. Alison Silverman writes:
Audiences can sense the goodness in Stephen even though he’s playing this aggressive, overly confident character who’s clearly trying to compensate for being extremely dumb. One of the first things we decided about Stephen is that he thinks Watership Down, the novel about bunnies at war, is nonfiction. I always loved hearing the real Stephen’s ideas about the fake Stephen’s stupidity because real Stephen is so ridiculously smart. He has a crazy memory for language. It was pretty normal for a conversation to veer into a Lewis Carroll poem and then straight into some hip-hop that he loves.

I think Stephen is a person who makes very conscious decisions about how he wants to live and how he wants to interact with the world. He really, really tries to be disciplined about keeping to that. He describes his religious faith as “a choice” he makes every day, and I think the idea of actively choosing to be a positive force in situations instead of being more passive about [them] is something that’s with him all the time. His life is very deliberate in how he decides to interact with people and in how to behave.

I think Stephen will be great hosting The Late Show. And maybe, since he’ll be himself, people won’t be so scared of being interviewed by him. I mean, a lot of guests were terrified. In my years backstage at Colbert, I saw many of the country’s most powerful people take far too many trips to the bathroom.
posted by JHarris at 8:51 AM on December 19, 2014 [10 favorites]


Boy, there sure were a lot of smug self-congratulatory white businessesspeople on that stage. The awful Huffington, Marc Cuban, et all? These are the paragons of 'sticking it to the man'?
posted by softlord at 9:12 AM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Boy, there sure were a lot of smug self-congratulatory white businessesspeople on that stage.

Those people had to share the stage with the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Eleanor Holmes Norton, so I think your point may be a bit dilute. Also, who ever said the one and only point of the show was "sticking it to the man"?
posted by psoas at 9:30 AM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Boy, there sure were a lot of smug self-congratulatory white businessesspeople on that stage.

boy, that's a really nasty and off base thing to say. have you ever even watched colbert?
posted by nadawi at 9:33 AM on December 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


A couple of months ago Colbert helped Slate kick off it's new Working podcast with a great look into how Colbert creates the show, and gets into character. Highly recommended!
posted by Frayed Knot at 9:34 AM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


My love only went deeper when I realized that the opening credits had Stephen jumping over "shark" this past week....

Meanwhile, here's a 14-minute supercut of Stephen cracking himself up. I remember the Walmart colonoscopy and the "Munchma Quchi" ones vividly.
posted by TwoStride at 9:38 AM on December 19, 2014 [10 favorites]




Nice of Comedy Central to put the full episode up earlier today; I was expecting them to hold it for a day or two.

The finale was a fitting end to a complex and compelling satirical work, way better than we had any right to expect.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:17 AM on December 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


- One could build an entire post off of how he carried the show, from a writing standpoint, single-handedly during the Writer's Strike. He handled the grueling funnyman death march with amazing style.

He was so good during the strike. Stewart runs his staff well, but as a standup he isn't trained to come up with that much material on his own (thank goodness an immigration requirement meant John Oliver could stick around). On the other hand, Colbert's improv background meant his show got better in a lot of ways. He broke character a lot but it so fun watching him do whatever he wanted for 20 minutes a night because there was no fear of failing.

As an aside, it was the same with Leno and Conan. Leno ran a tight ship but tried to stick with the formula during the strike. But Conan seemed to delight in the free pass to goof off, sing songs and do whatever he wanted knowing the network had to air whatever he came up with. I think both Colbert and Conan's show improved after the strike because they kept some of that playfulness.

This show send off was a bit sad, but I'm so looking forward to what Colbert can do on a show where he gets to be himself.
posted by Gary at 10:24 AM on December 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


The Heartbreaking Story That Might Explain the Song Stephen Colbert Chose to End His Show
By Forrest Wickman


And now, somewhere in Oregon, a grown man in a tie is crying at his desk.
It may or may not be I.

I'm really appreciating the catharsis of this thread, and you all, very much.
I did not expect grieve this, and I'm still trying to process why its affecting me so.

Again, thank you.
posted by The Legit Republic of Blanketsburg at 10:35 AM on December 19, 2014 [6 favorites]


but as a standup he isn't trained to come up with that much material on his own

That seems completely backwards to me. All the standups I know develop all their own material.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:36 AM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think they meant material as in skits and remote pieces they could do, rather than just riffing in front of a camera.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 10:37 AM on December 19, 2014


All the standups I know develop all their own material.

By "that much" I presumed they meant 20 new minutes of material every night, not any of their own material at all.
posted by Green With You at 10:39 AM on December 19, 2014


That seems completely backwards to me. All the standups I know develop all their own material.

Sorry, I meant the volume of material. Stand-up is more about refining a routine, and even the really great ones only release a new hour every year. Improv is far less polished, but I think it gives Stephen a quicker wit when reacting to unexpected situations.
posted by Gary at 10:43 AM on December 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


The handoff clip that they had to redo was great and I'm glad they included it, including resetting and getting back into character.

"I'm getting angry at liberals!"
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:54 AM on December 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


It should be noted that tonight will also see the series finale of Craig Ferguson's show, which has been delightful, charming, and important in its own special way. I don't have the time to do a post for that too (forgive me, Craigyferg), but you can see highlights from the show in this old post (with many broken links fixed in this 2014 update).


Also, as promised, here are non-Comedy Central versions for the all the CC videos in the Colbert post where possible, which should work internationally. No promises!

Non-Report stuff

Prince Charles scandal

2005

Early promos
No Truthiness video anywhere (I'm shocked), but here's a Wiki article and a transcript
Barney Frank dance

2006

The Word: Wikiality
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland vs. the Ten Commandments
Robert Wexler enjoys cocaine because...
Filliam H. Muffman
Tek Jansen!

2007

Jane Fonda cozies up to Stephen

2008

RAIIIINNN!
Late Night Fight!

2009

The General and the Haircut

2010

Thoughts on the BP oil spill
Even Stepvhens
Welcoming the troops home
Stephen takes O'Reilly to task on scripture

2011

Munchma Quchi
Tribute to Steve Jobs

2012

Wheat Thins (sounds unassuming, but it's one of the show's funniest pieces)
Bonus: The morning after Obama's re-election

2013

Boston marathon bombing
Remembering Lorna Colbert
Colbert's first Emmy

2014

President Obama takes the helm and sits for an interview
Interview with Smaug
posted by Rhaomi at 11:08 AM on December 19, 2014 [13 favorites]


Man, Franco doesn't know shit about Tolkien.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:10 AM on December 19, 2014




Has anyone run the numbers on the collapse in Bacon Numbers caused by that finale?!
posted by wenestvedt at 1:18 PM on December 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


I'm really disappointed that Better Know A District didn't get to all 435 congressional districts. You broke a promise Mr. Colbert!

He gave the segment a good send off, at least.
posted by Gary at 1:40 PM on December 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


Be careful: While the author of a lungful of dragon's link's heart might be in the right place, it has multiple autoplaying video clips on it.
posted by JHarris at 1:47 PM on December 19, 2014


.
posted by bigZLiLk at 3:15 PM on December 19, 2014


They didn't autoplay for me. Feel free to delete my comment.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 3:21 PM on December 19, 2014


OK, this is fantastic: discreet footage of the open mic feed of Colbert and Obama singing "We'll Meet Again" backstage after his appearance last week, for a clip that for some reason never made it into the final cut.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:51 PM on December 19, 2014 [10 favorites]


Captioned cameos at TPM
posted by maggieb at 5:15 PM on December 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


Ok, so Lil Buck and Yo-Yo Ma have collaborated together. Not recognizing either of them, I felt bad for the guy in the suit who kept getting hidden behind the dancer.
posted by Gary at 5:31 PM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Listening to Colbert and Obama sing "We'll Meet Again" I had this epiphany: that Colbert, not Kanye, should be the one to say "My life is dope and I do dope shit".
posted by dis_integration at 7:08 PM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


From the TPM link: "CNBC's Jim Cramer is hanging out behind Krugman's head."

That seems appropriate somehow...
posted by charred husk at 9:15 PM on December 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


I'm really disappointed that Better Know A District didn't get to all 435 congressional districts. You broke a promise Mr. Colbert!

He gave the segment a good send off, at least.


Hah! I just noticed, that video was posted by Jack Kingston, the last (and first) congressman known better.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:00 PM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


They didn't autoplay for me. Feel free to delete my comment.

No, I didn't mean to imply you shouldn't have posted it. Just that I loaded the page somewhere where it startled people at adjoining tables. Just a warning to people, not meant to attack you, sorry.

I'm also wondering, who the heck designs a page with multiple autoplaying videos? Or maybe it was just something about Comedy Central's embedding code. There's also a chance it was an interaction with an extension I have installed.
posted by JHarris at 4:27 AM on December 20, 2014


Anyway, I start to tear up again when I read the captioned We'll Meet Again list.

I particularly loved that the last thing Colbert's character did was toss back to Jon Stewart, as if his nine-year show was a really long location piece, a touch that appealed to the same part of my brain that freaked out over Newhart's ending.

Colbert: "...Jon?"

Jon Stewart, on the Daily Show set: "Thank you Stephen, for that report."

I'm actually crying over this. I can't even
posted by JHarris at 4:39 AM on December 20, 2014 [22 favorites]


I finally got to watch this a little while ago. I hadn't looked at the lists of who participated, so as I was watching I actually said, "Is that the U.N. ambassador?!" One thing I noticed is that in the group with Big Bird, how many of the others are looking at Big Bird's face. It's funny how people react to Muppets like that.

JHarris: Or maybe it was just something about Comedy Central's embedding code.
Yeah, it's Comedy Central that's the problem. It happens all the time on The Wonkette or Mediaite.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:40 AM on December 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


When I think I'm the only nerd having an emotional reaction to the end of something I loved and respected, I sometimes forget I'm not alone.

Thanks Metafilter, you're the heroes.
posted by abulafa at 7:14 AM on December 20, 2014


The Colbert Report is... was... more than just a show. A generation of young people has become politically aware because of it and Daily Show, and now Last Week Tonight. The right knows it, which is why they keep trying to come up with opposite-number equivalents. But they keep failing. That fact is some of the best proof we have that the two "sides" are not really just competing brands, there is something that Stewart, Colbert and Oliver say that the right has no response to.

Sorry. Stewart and Oliver. Man, it's going to take me a while to get used to that.
posted by JHarris at 7:21 AM on December 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


My feeling of emotional warmth was undone entirely by the shiver of horror that ran through me upon seeing Henry Kissinger. Still alive.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:32 AM on December 20, 2014 [3 favorites]


Dammit, two days later and that farewell number is still making me weepy.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 9:31 AM on December 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


I Can definitely see how Suey Park would feel like a rightly-bested villain, Officer_Fred. Afterall, the tongue-in-cheek racist stereotypes of Stephen Colbert's Ching Chong Ding Dong association showed the Washington Redskins the light and got them to change their name forever and ever.

If they were still running a team and a business as the Washington Redskins, it would be almost as if that bit was nothing more than a cheap laugh that threw Asian American viewers under the bus.

(I'm a Colbert fan but people are way too happy to demonize the people with the nerve/gall to criticize his tactics as an ally)
posted by elr at 9:52 AM on December 20, 2014 [4 favorites]


If they were still running a team and a business as the Washington Redskins, it would be almost as if that bit was nothing more than a cheap laugh that threw Asian American viewers under the bus.

Under what bus? Did a single viewer of the Colbert Report -- hell, did anyone anywhere -- somehow become more racist against Asian-Americans because of that bit? Did any Asian-American suffer because of it? Even Park seems to have got what she wanted out of the whole thing.

And if we're going to judge satire based on results, then we're down to approximately zero actual satirists ever, and you might as well use the Irish financial crisis of the last decade as evidence that Jonathan Swift really was a racist who was just looking for a cheap laugh.
posted by Etrigan at 10:00 AM on December 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


There is at least one word we're not supposed to use on MetaFilter even satirically. I can think of other racist or antisemitic slurs that I highly doubt Colbert would use because hearing them could be painful or triggering to someone.

I seem to recall some people commenting on MetaFilter that they felt somewhat hurt by that piece.

#CancelColbert
posted by Golden Eternity at 10:16 AM on December 20, 2014


the snark at suey park early in the thread was nasty and unnecessary, but do we have to redo the whole cancelcolbert thing? it seems pretty pointless.
posted by nadawi at 10:47 AM on December 20, 2014 [6 favorites]


Nadawi is ultimately right, but to address a question asked of me, hell, did anyone anywhere -- somehow become more racist against Asian-Americans because of that bit? Did any Asian-American suffer because of it?"

Yes. Many people who joined Suey in saying that they were personally offended by the bit, were treated to more personally-directed virulent, racist attacks, with a sprinkling of violence and rape threats as well.
posted by elr at 11:05 AM on December 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


Comedy Central won't be same without Colbert...
posted by growmypractice at 4:36 PM on December 21, 2014




My feeling of emotional warmth was undone entirely by the shiver of horror that ran through me upon seeing Henry Kissinger. Still alive.

His presence seemed fitting though, considering that "We'll Meet Again" was the song played during the final scene of Dr. Strangelove.
posted by homunculus at 5:49 PM on December 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


(It turns out Kissinger wasn't actually the inspiration for Strangelove, that was a popular misconception, but I had forgotten that and it was the first thing I thought of when I saw him there singing along.)
posted by homunculus at 5:54 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Andrew Sullivan writes about the finale.
So I arrived at the usual spot on 54th Street without knowing quite what to expect (and not for the first time). The clue – we were told to memorize the tune and lyrics of “We’ll Meet Again”
posted by readery at 7:22 PM on December 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


I wasn't expecting much from the link homunculus posted, but it was really good!
posted by meese at 5:53 AM on December 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Smarmies of the Night (Revisited) - "Much has changed, superficially, in our national entertainment state since that grim year, but you can rest assured that Stephen Colbert will mug onward, in his most challenging role yet: a flat, predictable act, pantomiming an edgy persona in a near-complete broadcast vacuum."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:12 AM on December 22, 2014


Rolling Stone: The 30 Best 'Colbert Report' Recurring Bits (with video)
posted by Rhaomi at 2:01 PM on December 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


First off, a special Colbert Report (post)... Shout-Out! HEY! Thanks to you, the MeFi Nation, this post was the most fantastick'd in December, which Kabanos commemorated with an equally fantastic poster! A Tip of the Hat to this talented patriot.

Also, I shouldn't let this post close without adding my own special Colbert story. Back in 2007, after I graduated high school, I took a train to New York to visit my dad and managed to catch tapings of the Daily Show and the Report in person while there. They are (or at least were) pretty laid back -- no pricey tickets or anything, just be willing to show up early enough and wait in line long enough and you're in. There are plenty of accounts of tapings all over the web (warm-up comedian, Stephen does a mini audience Q&A, etc.) and I've forgotten the fine details anyway, so I won't rehash that beyond mentioning we got to do a neat bit of audience participation for The Word.

The really cool part came after the show. I had heard that Colbert generally made time to greet folks when he left at the end of the day, so me and a gaggle of other fans hung out and chatted after the wrap. It took a while -- we even had time to grab a bite to eat around the corner -- but we were rewarded when not just Colbert but his old Strangers With Candy co-star Paul Dinello strolled out!

They were super nice and had no problem indulging our few requests, including autographing a copy of America: The Book and posing for a couple of photos, all lovingly documented in blurry 640x480 snapshots by my shitty mid-00s dumbphone. FUN FACT: whoever snapped the photo didn't actually save it. I was crushed when I realized. But so desperate was teenaged me to share proof of this awesome night with folks that I photoshopped myself into another picture lifted from a blog post I found from one of the fans who had been there and posted it to Facebook. The awful quality of the camera helped, and it's not quite as pathetic as if I'd made up the encounter whole cloth (I really did stand next to Stephen Colbert for five seconds, honest!), but it's still pretty cringeworthy to remember. It was a great experience though -- he's an incredibly genuine guy, and he should do great things with the Late Show come September.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:06 PM on January 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


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