January 7th, 2011: The Taping ReporT!

Well, the weather outside was frightful,

But the show was so delightful…

Let ‘em dance, let ‘em dance, let ‘em dance!

Hello, everyone!

From the moment The New York Times announced that David Hallberg would appear on The Colbert Report, I was determined, somehow, to see the taping. Fortunately, after weeks of monitoring Twitter, missing tickets by minutes, and nearly falling into despair, just a day before the show was set to go, I finally snared my ticket.

To give some background on me and why it meant so much: the very first live performance I saw was the Royal Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet when I was just eight years old. My sister took me, and even though I was in the cheap seats of the huge opera house—up in heaven as we like to say—I was completely enchanted. From that point on, I was a fan and more: I parlayed that interest into an internship backstage with the Joffrey Ballet during high school and later into the subject of my dissertation in NYU’s Cinema Studies department. Dance of all kinds is a passion. So to have one of the finest dancers of our time meet the greatest comedian of the age was pretty unbelievable. Basically, it drew me with the magnetic power of a black star. And the fact that Hallberg had hinted that Colbert would somehow partner him in a dance was just—well, more than the proverbial icing on the cake, because I adore physical comedy, too. (Buster Keaton’s another of my heroes.) As most of you know, when No Fact Zone shut down, and we completists had to choose a favorite Stephen moment, I picked his dance-off with Rain.

Happily, the taping was everything I expected and more—and by the way, the clip is being tweeted by dance professionals of all stripes, who seem to have enjoyed it as much as I did. But now: to the details of the taping.

I arrived in some of the worst weather New York has suffered in a while: rainy, cold, and miserable, so even though it wasn’t that early, I somehow ended up first in line. Let’s just say the wait was not pleasant: puddles of water streamed down that little alleyway and seeped through my boots till my feet were frozen. The folks at the Report took pity on us, though, and let us in early. Thank you, Colbert Report Security people for your kindness!  (As always, the staff was great.) After watching an extra-long session of clips, I finally filed in and was shown to a second-row seat on the very far left—as far away from where Hallberg would dance as you could get. It turned out to have some advantages though, as you will hear. As I walked to my place, I noticed that yellow police tape surrounded the usual guest area, most likely to keep people from walking on the special floor laid down for Hallberg. A wise move, with everyone’s feet so wet from the rain. And-oh, by the way: the CBS Sunday News reporters, who are doing a profile on Hallberg, were there with a camera, so they might show a clip.

Everyone here has heard about the pre-taping routine already, from Pete Dominick warming up the audience to the question-and-answer period with Stephen that precedes his transformation into character. So I won’t spend much time on that, except to note that there was a very obnoxious person in the audience who got me a bit worried. He raised his hand during the warm-up to bellow a question about why all the foreigners got the front seats. (Dominick always asks who’s from out of town, and had had already traded jests with some Australians and Canadians.) As it happened, one of those foreigners, an Aussie seated in front of me, was in a wheelchair. Dominick pointed this out to Obnoxious Guy, but it didn’t stop OG from asking Stephen a stupid question later and even mentioning his faux pas. Not humbled at all.

When the time finally arrived for Stephen’s entrance, he rushed in to the usual cheers, high-fiving the front-row (I tried, but no one in the second got lucky)—and then went center stage and did a single pirouette! It was my first delicious taste of things to come. He also made a comment about tights under his suit, so I was actually waiting for him to rip the pants off before dancing, which did not happen.  That evening, Stephen answered an unusually large number of questions. I’ll do my best to repeat them, but I did miss some. These are not necessarily in the order they were asked, but in the order I remembered them as I jotted down notes later. Someone wondered if he had any pre-show rituals, and Stephen replied that he showered, shaved (but only below the neck!) and sung all of “I Want You to Want Me”—which always plays when he enters the studio—in front of the mirror.  Another person queried him about a coat that Stephen had either bought or that a designer had sent him—I didn’t quite catch it, but the questioner worked with the designer. Stephen said he wears it all the time—with nothing else on, in order to scare the staff.  There was the inevitable Lord of the Rings question: Star Wars or Lord of the Rings? All together now: LOTR! You knew that, didn’t you? Stephen pointed out that because of the books, the films had a stronger foundation. Then he asked the questioner which he preferred. The man agreed with Stephen, so Stephen told him “Good. You can stay.” In another probably standard question, someone asked whether he and Jon hung out. “We party all the time.” he responded. “Jon gets a lot of tail.”

Most interestingly—and this might actually have been the first question—he was asked if doing the show had affected his political views. He asserted that it had changed his view of politics, which is not the same thing at all. Doing the SuperPac, in particular, had altered his perception of how the system works. He called it a “horror show you can’t get out of your head.” Clearly, his recent experiences getting close to the sources of power have made him, if not jaded, a little too aware of the uglier aspects of political wheeling and dealing. He returned to that topic during the evening in a way I consider astonishing….but more on that later.

And the questions continue: he was asked if he ever brought the character home, and he told the story we heard last week during his talk in Montclair—but slightly differently. As he put it: it happened once, and when he walked in Evie realized it immediately and told him to “get the f&!k out of the house and come back as her husband.” (Yes, that’s how he said it.) Can I tell you how much I love that story? One reason I take such pleasure in Mr. Colbert is that I know there is a Grand Canyon-sized chasm separating the man and the role he plays four nights a week. I’m happy that his wife is nipping any “character creep” right in the bud. The kind of adulation he gets nearly daily could sweep a weaker man off his feet –and I don’t want any Face in the Crowd transformations. (For those who don’t get the reference, it’s an incredible classic Hollywood movie you should see and that I’d kill to see Stephen remake.)

Another question concerned whether he would ever wear a beard on the show. He said no, and went on to note that his beard now is all white. It used to be red, but all the hair that was red has gone white…ALL the hair.

Then the taping began, and I finally saw the good aspect of my seat: I had a great view of Stephen, especially when he looked to his right. Sometimes, I almost felt he was looking directly at me, because I was in his line of vision. (Another advantage: being within a foot of Paul Dinello as he exited after conferring with Stephen during the breaks. I am just going to say that the man is beyond any usual definition of gorgeous, a Renaissance painting come to life, and leave it at that.) Everything went very smoothly, with only the smallest glitches that didn’t even give Stephen pause or require a retake…until after the interview with Dick Harpootlian, the head of the South Carolina Democratic Party, had ended. Then something remarkable happened: a character break you didn’t see on the show, followed by Stephen talking to the audience for a few minutes. The interview had finished, the makeup people had fussed, the commercial was over, and the cameraman was about to start recording again—when suddenly Stephen just started laughing. Just broke up, unexpectedly. He then began to speak to us frankly about what had really happened with the South Carolina referendum and with the Republicans. Once again, the words “horror show” were used in relation to politicking. I don’t know how many of you have read the Huffington Post article the Hub tweeted about recently, but that subject is exactly what Stephen was addressing: his attempts to sponsor a Republican primary in South Carolina.   As he put it, he offered them massive amounts of money to hold a Republican primary if they would name it for him the way baseball stadiums are named for their donors—and from what I can gather, though I am presuming a bit here, they did not immediately refuse. He laughed (somewhere between bitterly and gleefully, I’d say) and stated that he had plenty of e-mails to back up what had happened in the negotiations. I shudder to think about what went on. I’m sure some people will think Stephen was wrong to try and do what he did—essentially take over a government function because he has the cash to influence it. They’d say he was undermining the integrity of the political process. To which I respond: WHAT integrity? I think Stephen’s plan was breathtaking political theater. If everything is bought and sold in politics, why not make it clear to the world at large by individually sponsoring a primary? The Republicans believe in total privatization anyway, so why not go all the way?  Why not shine a light at the outrageousness by taking it to the limit and see if the people become angry enough to do something? It all fits in with the piece on Huntsman’s “sugar daddy” buying his ads. Wealth buys opportunity, and the SuperPac means wealth. But he’s going to use it to illuminate. Genius, thy name is Stephen Colbert.

After this surprising diversion, the show resumed normally. On the break just before Hallberg’s appearance, he slipped in to sit at the guest’s chair and applause broke out from the people on that side who noticed him first. He smiled and waved, and he and Stephen made some playful, friendly gestures towards each other. I could tell, even in advance of the interview, that the feeling between them was very warm. I could also tell that I would barely be able to see most of the interview because the cameras were blocking me, which was a little disappointing. Fortunately, however, they shifted at some point before the comic pas de trois, opening up a clear space.

My perspective on the interview: I loved it, and once again, I think Stephen was doing some brilliant satire. The “cold war” stuff with which he confronted Hallberg sounds amusing and ridiculous, yet almost every newspaper has used the word “defect” not only to describe Hallberg’s move, but also the departure of former Bolshoi stars Osipova and Vasiliev to a new company. The lingo lingers on though the iron curtain has been opened and the wall pulled down. In the years—nearly 50!—since Rudolf Nureyev made his leap to the west at Le Bourget airport in France, dance has become increasingly international in nature. So perhaps the time has come for an American to return the favor and go to Russia. Certainly, Hallberg does have “American secrets” to teach the Bolshoi: dancers here are frequently speedier and more skilled in a variety of styles than the Russians, who have not always had access to truly contemporary choreography. And the Russians, in turn, have a long and illustrious classical tradition that has given the world many of its ballet standards, including Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker. They have stylistic and technical insight to give back to Hallberg.

I also felt Hallberg held his own very well responding to Stephen’s questions. He stayed relaxed and amused, and did exactly what Stephen has always said he asks his guests to do: assume his character is an idiot who needs to be disabused of his idiocy. The Black Swan question was therefore welcome. Although I did enjoy the film, and know from my own experience that there is a certain crazy dedication among dancers, the movie’s not real and there are more than a few people who need to hear it. (In London, people were apparently phoning the Royal Opera House asking when Natalie Portman would be appearing in Swan Lake.) And, besides all that, Hallberg’s last response to Stephen’s sex question was pretty hilarious and direct.

After the verbal half of Hallberg’s appearance, he began to warm up, and in order to give him ample time, Stephen took another question: had any of his guests contacted him after the show, upset about how their interviews had gone? Stephen said only two people had, because most of the guests understand that he’s in character. But one man who stayed antagonized was the congressman who believed that the Ten Commandments should be posted in all government buildings and schools—and then could only name three commandments when Stephen asked him what they were. (If the congressman had been smart and cool, he’d have said: “See? That’s what happens when you can’t post the Commandments anywhere!)

Just before the dance began, the staff handed out roses to everyone and Stephen told the audience that it was a Bolshoi tradition to toss roses at the dancers, and would be willing? Of course we were. (By the way, it’s also become an American tradition, especially when a dancer is making a big debut, has been promoted, or is retiring. I helped create showers of flowers several times in my life.)

Watching the dance was both fascinating and frustrating, because of the cameras. I actually could see way more than during the interview, but did not have a clear view of everything that went on. The more forward they moved, the better for me; the further into the depths the receded, the more difficult. In that restricted space, Hallberg obviously had to adjust the choreography, so we didn’t really get to see any of the huge, catlike, and space-eating grand jetés he does so incredibly and with seeming effortlessness. The piece he performed, the coda of climactic pas de deux of The Nutcracker, normally gives the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier a chance pull out all the stops. Here, Hallberg switched to more intricate footwork (he has such gorgeous feet) and tours en l’air (when he leapt straight up, feet together, and spun in the air, landing in place) that comfortably worked in the small area. I might add that such steps were easier for Stephen to play around with, too. And I’m proud of Mr. Colbert for his all-out effort, not to mention the inspired humor of a suit jacket over tights. It was pretty funny when he ran on; I’d been waiting for his appearance, and yet he managed to make it surprising even so. While of course the harder steps were beyond him, he really jumped into it totally. And Hallberg’s advice to him (see the link to the Times article below) really paid off in terms of the way Colbert held himself, his port de bras (arm movements), and even how he ran across the tiny stage. Applause to Hee Seo, too, for trusting Stephen with that final fish dive. We know that he has successfully lifted both Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello in their “acrobatic act,” but this was a little different. (And a bit rougher, I’m afraid, but I’m sure she’s no worse for wear!)

Of course, you’ll want to watch it again…and I wish I could be there again and see it all over one more time!

And if you’d like to read Hallberg’s description of his experience, here’s what he had to say about it in The New York Times. And please guys—don’t get upset about what he says about Stephen’s initial attempts to enter the stage dancing. Let me tell you: I have heard ballet masters be much tougher on professionals. It’s surprisingly hard to get on and off stage elegantly and it’s as learned as anything else. Trust me. (On the other hand, saying that Stephen did not quite “hold his own” in the performance is ridiculous. They were expecting he could turn into Baryshnikov in a lesson? He did indeed hold his own in creating highly successful comedy. Plus, I think he treated the art with absolute respect. So there. )



  • Mr. Arkadin

    Superb reporT, Karenatasha! Just marvelous! You answered all the questions I would have asked, without me having to ask them! I’m particularly thankful for the behind the scenes story of his off camera character break. I can just imagine Stephen “bitterly and gleefully” laughing at that.
    Sorry your seat wasn’t ideal though. But I’m glad you had such a memorable time & got to see it live in the first place. 😀

    For your sake, I won’t get upset at Hallberg after reading the NYT story. But “little weasel?!” Of all things to say! C’mon, Hallberg! *I won’t get upset. I won’t get upset.*

    • karenatasha

      Thanks, Mr. Arkadin. And also for not getting upset! 😉

      Honestly, the dance world is tough and no words are ever minced. Especially from Russian ballet masters. I remember how rough a choreographer (this one American) was on a dancer during rehearsal who performed superbly–except her exit from the stage. To him, the fact that she seemed to lose her onstage persona once her solo was done was totally offensive. Even if you’re just walking, you have to think about the audience watching every second. Probably Stephen wasn’t feeling secure in the movement so he wasn’t doing it full out; he may have slunk on the stage as if he didn’t own it. Though that’s hard to believe! Still doing tours jetes in front of a history-making Bolshoi dancer has got to be intimidating!

  • CN Helper

    Thanks for the great reporT karenatasha! You have been so spoiled with 2 Stephen appearances in a week or so. I also appreciate the background dance info, because I am utterly clueless about ballet. I took my daughter recently to see Giselle, and that was the first ballet I ever saw live, I believe, sorry to say.
    I do think Mr. Hallberg did a great job at the interview table as well. It was kind of hard to watch Stephen attempting to do ballet, but I always chalk it up to his penchant for yes-anding (which I admire greatly.)
    In any event, it was an episode tailor-made for you, so I am glad you could get in and be there (even if all the way to the left:)

    • karenatasha

      Thanks so much! Hope you enjoyed “Giselle.” It’s one of my favorites–and more out of the French tradition that Hallberg is trained in. Lots of good male dancing, and probably the best dramatic role for a ballerina, too.

  • susan209

    Karenatasha, I hereby throw roses at your feet! That was a great ReporT!
    I loved hearing all the details about what went on behind the scenes — and about all of Stephen’s asides to the audience. I read the NY Times online article — I wouldn’t get too upset about the weasel reference. I think it was meant mostly tongue in cheek. The funny thing is, Stephen’s character is usually the one to enter with his chest thrust out and his head held high. And one thing is for sure — catching a ballerina like that can be intimidating and he did it with comedic grace! This was all such a wonderful treat! But my very favorite part about this episode, and about your ReporT, is that you got to be there! Roses and more roses, Karenatasha! YAY!

    • susan209

      Oh, and Karenatasha, don’t you think that most of Stephen’s fans are a bit “left of center?” Makes sense to me!

      • karenatasha

        LOL! And I definitely am left of center” — that’s true! Thanks so much for your comments. I appreciate it.

        Now I would have loved it if Hee Seo had followed a more recent tradition (since Fonteyn and Nureyev): picking up the flowers, plucking one from the bouquet, and giving it to her partner(s)–who would then go on bended knee and kiss her hand!

  • lockhart43

    Thanks for the reporT, karenatasha! Other than the fact that Hallberg was there, I’m glad you were able to attend a taping with new developments on Colbert SuperPAC. I wholeheartedly agree with you about the idea of Colbert SuperPAC sponsoring a primary in South Carolina. The fact that they wouldn’t immediately refuse the offer is horrendous to me, and sadly, not the least bit surprising. I’m actually more surprised that they didn’t say yes. If it had been anyone other than Stephen offering, I’d be inclined to think they’d go for it. This is why I’ve been thrilled about Colbert SuperPAC since its inception: the idea behind it is absolutely brilliant, and it’s something no one else has done, ever. Take it as far as you can, until people tell you no, and when people tell you no, the audience will be on your side wondering why they told you no. And there’s still a year to go! Also, I’m pretty jealous of that massive character break you were a witness to. 😉 Thanks again!

    • karenatasha

      Thanks, Lockhart! I agree with you about taking it as far as it can go. I think he will.

  • Kris

    It sounds like you had a wonderful evening and gave a truly detailed report. Especially considering ypu had no way to take notes during the show! Stephen’s entrance was a bit awkward and having studied dance a little (not to your level at all just some college courses) I appreciate Hallberg’s critique. It definitely showed that he was respecting Stephen’s attempts and treating him as a contemporary, even though he is not (said with love). Hallberg did seem a bit nervous during the interview and after reading the article I think it is very respectable that he cares so much about people of our generation embracing his art. I’d thought it was just the fact that he was being interviewed by Stephen but it sounds like it was us he most wanted to impress. Very humble and admirable.

    Thank you so much for sharing the Super PAC info!

    I’ll admit to having been nervous about the PAC when it started and what it would change as far as The Report and even Stephen personally. It’s hard to jump into mud without getting dirty. To hear his thoughts and feelings on the matter is always relieving. He is keeping a sense of horrified humor and that will serve him and us well:) So happy you had such an amazing experience! Thanks again for an outstanding reporT!

    • karenatasha

      Thank you, Kris! I agree that Hallberg has a lot of respect for the show and understands its potential. And I look at it this way: Stephen got coached by one of the best! it’s ballet knowledge he can take with him in future choreographic endeavors.

  • llama

    I loved reading your reporT. I never heard in advance if you got tickets but I knew that there was a chance even on that day, that you could go, so I’m super jazzed that you got to go.
    Did you notice anyone walking out with their rose? I would’ve been so tempted to keep it, but in the end I probably would’ve been too afraid that they would see that I kept it and that would be disrespectful.
    I remember thinking that when Stephen entered it was kind of sudden and sort of like, “oh, there he is” so it’s okay if Hallberg was critical. Everyone needs to hear what they can improve upon or else how can they improve?
    I’m glad you were able to go Karen and thanks for the detailed report.

    • karenatasha

      Hi, llama! I thing everyone threw it, as far as I could tell. i wasn’t tempted not to throw, but as we were walking out and the stagehands were sweeping the flowers up, I really wanted to grab one then. I think someone did, but the sweepiing was pretty much done by the time I got down near the stage.

  • Caroline

    Thanks for the detailed report, Karen. I’m so glad you got to go.

    Very interesting info about the SC Republicans seriously considering taking SuperPAC money for “naming rights”. I’m sorry to say this doesn’t surprise me.

    Finally, I interpreted Hallberg’s comment on Stephen’s weak entrance to be referring to the rehearsal. As in, Stephen didn’t make a strong entrance at the rehearsal, so David gave him a few tips on that and it was better on the actual show. Anyone else think that’s what he meant?

    • karenatasha

      Thanks, Caroline. Yes, i interpreted Hallberg’s comments the way you did: that he coached Stephen in rehearsal on how to make a strong entrance and that it worked.

    • karenatasha

      You know, thinking more about Hallberg’s comment, I also realize he may not fully have been taking the TV taping situation into account. Yes, it might matter for the audience there in the taping, but how he enters the stage won’t necessarily on the recording, where editing will (or could) do part of the job.

  • sue

    I was at the taping too, and it was wonderful! You did a great job summarizing.

    I wanted to explain something about the “OG” that you wrote about.

    He’s my husband and though it might not have been apparent, he was “trying” to be funny. In his defense he didn’t see the guy was in a wheelchair and he when we were leaving he tried to find the Aussie fellow so that he could apologize.

    And when the comic pointed out about the wheelchair, and called my husband an asshole, hubby laughed as hard as everyone else. To belabor a point, my husband really is a very kind person (he even brought some warm clothing to the OWS folks in NYC). He’s just a lousy comedian!

    • karenatasha

      Hi, Sue–welcome. And first let me thank you so much for speaking so kindly of my report after I was so unkind about your husband. We all understand about humor gone wrong (life is easy, comedy is HARD), and I am sorry to have jumped to conclusions. And yes, it’s absolutely correct that your husband was not defensive at all.

      And props to him for his generosity on what will clearly be a cold winter. Great move on his part.

      So I do hope you will forgive me.

    • karenatasha

      And also, I will count this as a good lesson in being careful what you say as you blog–it’s so easy just to write anything, imagining the other person as invisible. Not a good thing to do. I will take that to heart.

      • sue

        karenatasha, you’re more than forgiven! You’ve given me a great story for Christmas dinner with DH’s family!

        I noticed something you didn’t mention–when they showed the fake Huntsman’s ad, I watched Stephen instead of the TV screen (figured I would see the ad when I watched the show at home). Anyway, Stephen sat back and watched it and appeared to be totally enjoying it. So neat to see him laughing just like the rest of us.

        PS that ad was great (“Karen, I’m talking”)

        • karenatasha

          Yes! I remembered that he leaned back and enjoyed something on the screen very much and then couldn’t think which piece it was!

          Also, do you remember the very last question he was asked before he walked off–the one he simply answered “pants!” to? And I realized I forgot to mention that he was rubbing his leg muscles and really appeared to feel the effects of that workout. It’s amazing how many things just keep occurring to me after the fact. It was such a loaded taping!

          Oh, I am not Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner conversation! As long as there’s laughter. That is always a good thing.

          • susan209

            After reading this exchange, all I can say is thank goodness I am not the only one whose husband acted a bit weird at a TCR taping! I wonder if there’s a ReporT out somewhere out there from 9/22/11 that says, “and then this poor woman’s husband did a strange impression of an SNL routine from like, 20 years ago…”
            So thank you, fellow “Susan,” for making me feel less alone.
            And yes, Karenatasha — we never know who’s out there! But let me vouch for your character by saying you are a kind and wonderful person!
            I’m glad you and Sue could laugh about all this!

            • sue

              Just a thought but maybe our husbands feel the need to “perform” to get our attention :). I myself have a huge crush on Stephen (I know, I know, I hardly alone).

              Re that last question–I’m blanking out. There was so much that was fun that I can’t remember it all.

              Re Christmas — don’t worry, hubby’s sibs will absolutely love the story. There will be much laughter!

              And a happy holiday to all.

            • Susan209

              Re: “I myself have a huge crush on Stephen”…

              Sue, I believe you have come to the right place.

              Happy holidays to you as well!

  • karenatasha

    I just remembered two more questions!

    One: A woman said that she’d seen Stephen in “Company,” and really liked it, and wondered if the DVD would be coming out. He replied that he was glad she’d enjoyed it, but he had no idea about the DVD–he didn’t have anything to do with that. I thought of calling out something, but chose not to. Too awkward.

    Second: Someone asked about his most difficult interview and he mentioned Tinariwen. After giving some background on the band (nomads, etc.), he said that they could not speak English, and he could not speak their language–and apparently neither could the translator, because all she could get from them was “yes.”

    • sue

      OK, you’ve hit the jackpot again–that woman was me!

      I only got to see Company at the movie house (live show was out of my price range) but I thought it was wonderful, esp considering how little time they had to rehearse. And it seemed that Sondheim agreed.

      I was gushing about how everyone needed to see his performance (as well as the rest of the cast) and Stephen thanked me and then joked–“Ladies and gentlemen, my mom!” Needless to say that truly made my night.

      Yes, it looks like I’ve found a home here.

      • Karenatasha

        Hey, Sue–

        Thank heavens I meant nothing insulting this time! It just so happens we’d recently discussed here the fact that there will be no video released. We don’t know why and we are disappointed. The question was good. I just wanted to shout out because I knew the answer. Anyway, welcome to your new home–or hub.

        And thanks for remembering the Mom joke! That was hysterical.

  • anais0509

    TERRIFIC reporT, Karen!! I loved reading every little bit of it, especially the Q&A part, and I’ve nothing else to add as everyone else above has said it all for me!

    • karenatasha

      Aw, thank you so much, Anais! I appreciate it.

      You know–I am still so high from this taping, I can’t believe it.

  • http://www.triangle-restaurants.com RonW

    Karenatasha, thanks for the deets! I’ve actually got tickets to the 12/31 taping and was wondering how long the taping lasted? Wasn’t sure what time you got out given it would be NYE for me…

    • karenatasha

      Hi, Ron! This taping lasted unusually long. (I’ve been to three.) They needed to allow extra-long warm-up time for Hallberg as well as to give out the roses, plus Stephen had that break.

      In the past, the taping as usually ended roughly around 8:00, 8:15 PM. Be prepared for that at least. If there’s any complex staging or Stephen needs a retake, that requires time.

      Even though they let you in early, you spend quite a bit of time in the “holding room” watching clips and getting prepped, then listening to the warm-up comic (and getting prepped), and then with the question-and-answer with Stephen. Funnily enough, the actual taping rarely takes much longer than the half-hour the show lasts. Enjoy your taping!

  • http://www.triangle-restaurants.com RonW

    Thanks for the quick response, karenatasha! Great that you’ve been able to snag tickets three times, I always fumble-finger the form in my excitement.

    Just realized the tickets are for January 31 so I’ve still got time to figure things out. Great reporting on the Colbert tapings, grazie!