October 4, 2011 — John Lithgow

The Colbert Report Episode Guide EPISODE NUMBER: 8002 (October 4, 2011)
GUESTS: John Lithgow | Rick Davis
SEGMENTS: Chris Christie 2012 | Chris Christie 2012: Rick Davis | Bocephus’s Eternal Question | Sign Off: Stephen’s Formula 101 Spil
SUIT REPORT: Black Suit | White Shirt | Mustard and burgundy/navy horizontal striper tie
VIDEOS: Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tuesday’s episode was all about flights of fantasy, with fanciful metaphors describing Chris Christie’s pretend presidential ambitions, overwrought tributes to football traditions, and a rather dramatic conversation with professional liar esteemed actor John Lithgow.

Did you all get the Schroedinger metaphor? I was left scratching my head and running to the font of wisdom, Wikipedia. I did not realize being a Colbert viewer meant you must have some cursory understanding of quantum physics experiments. Well, Stephen has stated he prefers an informed audience, but this is something else altogether.

What a great get to have Rick Davis on the show; it’s intriguing that Stephen is getting these conservative players like Frank Luntz, etc. I wish the Dems weren’t so afraid of him!

The energy between John Lithgow and Stephen was palpable. I really enjoyed when Lithgow read New Gingrich’s press release not too long ago. While Ryan Gosling is off playing John Lithgow in the movie adaptation of his book, I think Lithgow needs to play Gingrich on an HBO move or something. Get on it, people!

Also, congratulations to Paul Dinello and Mrs. Dinello on their new baby boy! How exciting. Paul is going to be a great dad, no question. And Stephen is an uncle (for the millionth time probably.)

Well what did y’all think? Commenta.


These candidates are like the perfect appetizer sampler platter. You got pizza bites, crazy bread, boiled potato, texas toast, foie gras, imitation foie gras, uninspected squirrel jerky, all with a santorum dipping sauce.

Speaking of being totally satisfied with the Republican slate of candidates, Chris Christie 2012.

Spades, by the way, is not the name of Christie’s hunting camp.

Christie made a big announcement this afternoon, and I haven’t watched it yet, because I don’t want to know. I am going to pretend that he announced that he’s the new iPhone.

Did you see if he left the door open there? Because last time I checked, he’s not dead.

…which is kind of like saying you’re not on drugs, you’re licking wallpaper to test its happiness.

Uncertainty about Chris Christie has reached the theoretical quantum state first postulated by Heisenberg in 1927. Christie has become Schroedinger’s candidate, like the theoretical cat in a box that is simultaneously alive and dead, until the box is opened. As long as we don’t know if he’s running, Christie is a lock to win the Republican nomination. I just hope, I just pray this afternoon, he did not open that box.

So we have a dead cat. Then again, a dead cat may still be more appealing than Mitt Romney.

From the Rick Davis interview:

SC: Is he going to run?
RD: He is not going to run.
SC: He has said that before.
RD: He has, consistently.
SC: That’s what the voters want, someone who’s consistent. Doesn’t that just make him more appealing? He’s just playing hard to nominate.
RD: He might be more appealing, but he won’t be a candidate for president.

SC: [On supporting Romney] They say Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line. Do we just lay back, close our eyes and say, it’s for the good of the party, put your ballot in my box?
RD: …..Romney will get a look now, that he really hasn’t had.

SC: You were the campaign manager for Dole, campaign manager for McCain, any chance either of those 2 guys would jump in?
RD: Maybe a ticket!
SC: Dole/McCain. Time tested. Cured like beef.

RD: Romney has to show that he has the leadership chops, that he can take the Republican party, put it under his arms, and run to victory in November. He’s got to show that he can beat Barack Obama, who is going to be the driving influence of who you support in the Republican party.

From the Bocephus segment:

Even the Fox and Friends were taken aback, they aren’t used to hearing things like that from people who don’t work at the network.

I ran that past my researchers, and Doocy is correct, Obama and Biden, add up to 2, not 3, so lay off, people who say Fox News doesn’t do any fact checking.

And Nation, not hearing that song left me dangerously unprepared for some football. I am in living room innocently watching a Chevy Silverado ad, suddenly, a bunch of gigantic angry men in shiny tights start hitting each other, hurling and kicking a weird leather oblate spheroid. It was hours before I realized it was some football.

I’m sorry ESPN, you can disagree with a man’s politics, but you have no right to rob the American people proper procedures of football preparation. Bocephus is not just asking rhetorically, he is asking us all to embark on a journey of reflection, check our surroundings, is there anything around us suggesting unpreparedness for some football? Perhaps an empty snack bowl, beer that is unchilled, a phone shaped like a baseball….outstanding Rsvps from my rowdy friends. Might all of them not come over tonight?

Perhaps a Hitler Netanyahu golf game isn’t so bad; on the Wii it is adorable.

If you notice there, Hitler’s got a bit of a slice, that’s why he always went into Belgium.

Interview Quotables

I’m going to act like I read his book.

I did not know that actors needed education. Salinger [thought] that education could get in the way. Don’t you need to be empty up here and fill it with other people’s lives?

As far as I can tell, actors are really good liars.

John Lithgow: The essence of acting is pretending, and deceiving people into accepting an imitation of reality. The essence of it is, it’s experience both onstage and offstage, I think.

SC: Why didn’t you go into hedge funds, something that serves humanity?

JL: It’s funny you should mention that, clearly, you haven’t read the book.

SC: I wanted you to come here and act it at me. (CN’s note: Good save!)

JL: It is true I never intended to be an actor.
SC: What sucked you in?
JL: Applause.
SC: If that’s the criteria, then I’m an actor.

SC: When your book is made into a movie, who do you want to play you?
JL: Ryan Gosling.
SC:To try and capture your six pack abs?
JL: He looks just like me…as a young man.

Notable Moments

"So we have a dead cat. Then again, a dead cat may still be more appealing than Mitt Romney. "

"Perhaps a Hitler-Netanyahu golf game isn't so bad; on the Wii it is adorable."

From the sign off:

Regular viewers may have noticed a rash of new babies amongst members of my staff over the past couple months. I just want to quell rumors that this is due to a catastrophic spill of Stephen Colbert’s Formula 401 nine months ago. That was mopped up.

I would like to mention the newest member of the Colbert nation, Giancarlo Francis Dinello, who, judging by his name, was born in 14th century Venice. My congratulations to the entire Dinello family, and Riley Dinello, should you ever feel ignored these next few months, just pee on the carpet, like you do in my office.

  • lockhart43

    Did anyone else hear Stephen say “That’s music to my ear.” at the top of the show? I wish more people in the audience had gotten that.

    John Lithgow was fantastic! That man is a definite it-getter. Stephen always seems to have such a great rapport with the veteran stage/film actors like Lithgow and Kevin Kline. Those interviews are so fun to watch. You know what else was fun to watch? Stephen taking the “Are you ready for some football?” bit and running wild with it. His “that’s why he always went into Belgium” line was hilarious.

    And seriously Paul Dinello?! A giant congrats to Paul and his wife on the new baby! He must be smiling a lot lately, which is a good thing, cause the guy’s got a nice smile. And how nice of Stephen to dispel the myth about a Formula 401 spill. 😛

  • Ann G

    Did anyone else hear Stephen say “That’s music to my ear.” at the top of the show? I wish more people in the audience had gotten that.

    I caught that! Yeah, I think it went right over the heads of the audience. Too bad.

    First, I want to give a big “thank you” to Stephen and his writers for doing 5 minutes on Chris Christie without doing a single fat joke. That was great, because seriously, the fat jokes get old fast. Do some clever humor and I’ll pay attention. But if you just do fat jokes, I’ll tune you out in a hurry.

    I loved the interview! John Lithgow is so charming, and those two clearly hit it off. I would’ve loved for that interview to go on longer.

    Congratulations to Paul and his wife (and geez I wish I knew her name!) on the birth of their son!! I’m so happy for Paul, I really am. That pic was wonderful.

    • Katt

      Her name is Danielle St. Laurent, and she did the photography for “Simple Times”.

      • Ann G

        Of course, I would know that if I had read/bought/at least looked at “Simple Times.” Thanks, Katt.

  • Susan209

    Yes, I caught the “music to my ear” bit too and laughed out loud. I had a feeling I had company in my Hubster compatriots, even if the audience was a bit flat.

    I loved the interview with John Lithgow! I love watching Stephen get all fired up about things theatrical. When “Stephen” asks those rhetorical questions about why actors would need to study anything, etc., I know that the real Stephen is pointing out how much respect he has for actors precisely because they (the good ones) are so smart and do study their craft so hard. And I loved Lithgow’s compliment to (the real) Stephen, “Oh, you ARE an actor.” Stephen seemed off guard for a second, but then came back with a good line that “Stephen” might say (“Aren’t all men actors?”). Actually, it was a little too smart for “Stephen,” but it was still a good way to keep the interview “in character.” I am trying to think of what stage play these two wonderful actors could do together… I’m drawing a blank, but I’d love to see them together. As to Stephen, I have this recent fantasy of him on stage playing “Salieri” in Amadeus. (Please Stephen, a stage play, PLEEEEAAASE?)

    Great episode, great happiness, great babies. Betcha I know who the godparent is.

  • GabbyD

    lithgow’s interview was pretty cool. he was able to go toe to toe w stephen. 🙂

  • Katt

    It amazes me that between all the book writing and baby making they can still create such stellar shows!! A true testiment to their extraordinary talents!!

  • llama

    pretty fertile bunch of employees over there at the report.