December 1, 2011 — Richard Branson

The Colbert Report Episode Guide EPISODE NUMBER: 8028 (December 1, 2011)
GUESTS: Richard Branson | Danny Goldberg | Jonathan Zittrain
SEGMENTS: In Herman Cain’s Defense | Stop Online Piracy Act | Stop Online Piracy Act – Danny Goldberg & Jonathan Zittrain | Mitt Romney Gets Testy
SUIT REPORT: Black pinstriped suit | Pale blue shirt | Purple and light blue striped tie
VIDEOS: Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tonight’s episode was a lot more than a water fight, but yet another epic battle between Sir Richard Branson and our Stephen Colbert.


A lot more than Poland Springs flying this ep.

As the Herman Cain Train slows to a stop, then veers of the Cliff of Reason into the Abyss of Abandoned Campaign Metaphors, we find ourselves focusing on the man who is likely to be the Republican nominee for president, Mitt Romney. Although plagued by criticism that he lacks charisma or genuineness, I am sure he was betting that Bret Baier would respect his safe laugh and allow him to skate through yet another media appearance. Thanks to team TCR for breaking down that interview for us (along with the GWB lovefest interview for comparison), I would never even have noticed his Phil Ken Sebben-like laugh.

I also enjoyed the interview with Mr. Goldberg and Mr. Zittrain. I don’t quite understand why the “adversaries” have to be so far spaced out at the desk, but it is funny to watch Stephen bounce back and forth while trying to discern this truly horrible new law being proposed, the “Stop Online Piracy Act.” There are many efforts to stamp out free speech on the internet, and regulate the internet like most mainstream outlets, and I fear that this bill is one of those attempts. There must be a better way to protect intellectual property and copyrighted content, without rooting out all the groups of seventh grade girls jamming to “Single Ladies” and such. I hope “SOPA” stays just a Bill on Capitol Hill, and something much more laser targeted against true piracy criminals is drafted.

Finally, the epic brawl. It seems that Mr. Branson and Stephen have significantly warmed towards one another since Branson’s last visit, although Sir Richard was certainly willing to up the ante on this go-around. Stephen was equally prepared for him, but also surprised to be fire-extinguishered.

I guess one of the perks of being Colbert-platinum is that Stephen will let you spray him with a fire extinguisher, and even hug you afterwards. A little food for thought for shadowy patron Friend of the Show Mark Cuban.

Ha ha! Comments. Please do comment away.


You know folks, I was tempted to fight against your love of me, but I know I would lose.

Now folks I know you have a lot of choices in late night, and we at the Report value your business. Thank you for joining us.

I am sad to say that my man, Herman Cain, is still deep in campaign reconsideration mode.

I don’t know why he would want drop out now, he hasn’t had a scandal in 36 hours.

He was probably just advising her on her stock portfolio at 4 in the morning, and he wanted to give her a “hot tip.” The “hot tip,” of course, is the most sensitive part of the portfolio.

From Arizona senator and Talbot’s cashier, Lori Klein….

This proves once and for all that Cain is not Sir Crotchfordstrokengrope.

“I think the real scandal is that Herman Cain is probably gay. I mean that would finally explain why twice he cancelled his appearances on my show, because let’s face it there is no way he could handle himself around all this goodness.”

I don’t want to brag, folks, but I am not unhandsome. I can barely concentrate when I shave in the morning. I mean, gun to my head, you bet.

That is a shocking number, especially when you consider that the FBI admits it has “no record of source data or methodology for generating the estimate, and that it can note be corroborated.”

That’s what happens when the FBI buys bootleg reports from a card table in Chinatown.

Sadly, piracy is just one of those crimes that everyone commits, like jaywalking or setting your ex-girlfriend’s couch on fire.

You know where you’re not going to be a single lady? In jail, with your cellmate, Denise, who’s locked up for bludgeoning a mailman to death with a bag of potted soil.

From Piracy Interview, Danny Goldberg, Jonathan Zittrain

Can we get some internet policeman, like those guys from Tron?

Why do you want artists to starve?

Jonathan Zittrain: I want artists to thrive. The internet allows artists to find their audience. when Justin Bieber started just singing his favorite songs on Youtube, he got discovered, thanks to the internet, and the odd thing is, under this law, could make him a felon, in jail for 3 years.

(To audience) Excuse me, excuse me. Clap after I nail him.

Are you saying that you do not want to see Justin Bieber in jail?

JZ: Not for this. No one wants to put Justin Bieber in jail.

No, some people do.

JZ: This law takes a page out of the play books of China and Iran for internet regulation.

Well I don’t know about Iran, but China is kicking our ass in business right now.

Won’t this be good for business, because if we shut down parts of the internet, won’t people actually do the work they were hired for?

JZ: The problem is they’re just going to play solitaire, so they are always going to find a way…

We have to come up with a law shutting down solitaire.

Danny Goldberg: iPods and iTunes are doing great, and everyone gets paid.

What if there were some even tradeoff for theft and retribution: like the artist was actually able to get something from the company that was stealing from them, an eye for an iPod.

Danny Goldberg: Well, it’s a good line, but…

It’s an excellent line, and if anyone steals it, that is a copy written line, and if you steal it, I will sue.

From Mitt Romney gets Testy

Brett Baier is a good friend, we wrestle together on weekends. C’mon Bret, did you not read the tape, I bet you just watched the tape it, you got to read it, man.

I was going to read the hell out of that thing.

You stop grilling Romney after he gives you the laugh. That’s his safe word.

“Bubbly Parts. Ha ha.” Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law plug.

Yes, testy. As in, with those questions, you, Bret Baier, you kicked him the teste.

“Where was that Brett Baier? There were parts of that interview where your bodies actually made a heart. But now all of a sudden your Admiral Toughquestions. “

Remember you work for Fox news, and he is a Republican candidate. A year from now, he may be your co-worker.

Interview Quotables

My guest tonight is a British entrepreneur and a billionaire. Yeah, but that’s in metric.

When you are just going to just name a book “Double Entendre for f*****”?

Richard Branson: If you haven’t patented that, I might try doing that.

Why try to shake up the game you are already winning?

Richard Branson: Business can be a force for good, basically.

For good? Business is a force for profit.

(Branson tauts the clean jet fuel technology he is developing.)

What about my plane?

RB: Your plane runs on dirty fuel.

That’s good, ‘cuz my lady likes it dirty.

RB: Capitalism is the only system that works, it brings extreme wealth, but also, extreme responsibility.

But why do you want to save the world? You have a space ship, you can leave at any time.

So the next book should be “Screw the World, I’m Outta Here.”


Nice interview, but BAM!

The Prompter in the Mist…

A trashed set (and suit), but all in good fun.

  • lockhart43

    Here’s my train of thought during the Richard Branson interview: “I don’t really want to watch this interview…oh, that’s dumb, Branson brought a fire extinguisher as a gimmick…okay, so he’s not so much of a jerk as he is arrogant…you’re making some fine points, get that hand away from your face!…Stephen’s so quick-witted, it’s ridiculous…okay, what’s going on now…THROWDOWN!”

    Seriously, in what other profession can you come home and say to your wife, “Today I got into a fire extinguisher/water sprayer fight with Richard Branson. And my face is still cold.”

    Also, loved the Phil Ken Sebben shout-out!

    • colbaby

      “I don’t really want to watch this interview…oh, that’s dumb, Branson brought a fire extinguisher as a gimmick…okay, so he’s not so much of a jerk as he is arrogant…you’re making some fine points, get that hand away from your face!…Stephen’s so quick-witted, it’s ridiculous…okay, what’s going on now…THROWDOWN!”

      It’s like you’re inside my brain!

      • lockhart43

        Best friends think alike!

  • Hess

    What “last show”?

  • Elisa

    Did Stephen say thiis was his last show???

  • njm

    Why did Stephen say “thanks for watching our last show” at the end of tonight’s episode with Richard Branson?

  • colbaby

    Haha, calm down everyone. He has a full line up for next week.

    I nearly spat out my coffee several times watching this episode. First at “all this goodness,” then at Phil Ken Sebben (Cookies on dowels!!), then during the feud with billionaire nemesis Richard Branson. Looking forward to our resident Hubster’s taping reporT!

    • Karenastasha

      Well, not a full lineup yet! Tuesday is still TBD.

      I think Stephen was probably joking when he said that–meaning that after that fight, it might be his last day! Or he just misspoke.

    • jiim

      OK, so he has a full line up, what did he mean.

      • Mariana312

        I think he was just joking that after such a silly bit, the show would surely be cancelled.

        • CN Helper

          I kind of would hate to see the interview table side of the set (and the cameras) after that fight, none of which is fire-retardant retardant. That was probably what he was referring to. But man it was funny to see Stephen in that situation. I particularly liked him trying to get back at Branson while trying valiantly to spare his glasses 🙂

  • Katt

    The interview brought back memories of high school. Blasting each other with fire extinguishers was a favourite past time of ours while we were waiting for our teacher to come to class.

    It is a testiment to the talent of Stephen hair stylist. It emerged from a Branson attack resonably unscathed. As for the rest of the interview, I’d rather forget it ever happened. I seriously loathe Sir Dick and all he does.

    • CN Helper

      That sounds like a fun high school. I think if I did that in my Catholic school I’d be sitting in detention until graduation day.

  • Katt

    To reiterate my total dislike of Sir Dick, this little ‘Taping ReporT’ tidbit just landed in my inbox:

    According to Stephen, the props department gave him a CO2 fire extinguisher to use and Branson switched it with a chemical one, and Stephen said his lungs now hurt.

    • lockhart43

      Doesn’t Branson know that Stephen needs those lungs to breathe? He should know that. Goats have lungs, too.

    • Mr. Arkadin

      That’s awful! I think calling him “Sir Dick” is too nice! I’m thinking something like, “Egg-sucking, chicken-stealing, gutter-trash!” *Shakes head* What a [email protected]!

      It makes sense now why Stephen said this would be the last show. He probably didn’t feel like ever doing another show again after that!

    • susan209

      I was at the interview when Stephen explained how the fire extinguisher was switched by Sir Dick from a CO2 extinguisher to a chemical extinguisher — and he did in fact say that he was still feeling the after-effects of breathing in all those chemicals. My personal opinion is the next time anyone thinks of booking Sir Dick on the show, they should switch him for a real guest, and extinguish him from the show once and for all.

  • Bo Bot Z

    Wow, I hope Stephen is feeling okay over the weekend, I hope he’ll be up to doing his

    show next week, why would Richard Branson change fire extinguishers from a co2 to a chemical one

    wow that just sounds creepy I hope it didn’t damage his lungs in any way.

  • ed

    Maybe he said this was the “last show” because the thought he would “die” from the fire extinguisher fumes.

  • lockhart43

    I just wanted to say hello to all the new Hubsters in this post, welcome to the site!