Best of 2011: The Colbert Report in Review

2011 has been an incredible ride for we chronic appreciators of TCR, and without question the successful establishment of Colbert SuperPAC has not only poised Stephen ever more closely to the gearbox of America’s political machine, but also created some of the most poignant satirical moments the show has ever achieved. And we’ve only just begun: undoubtedly, with the Republican primaries ramping up this January, the SuperPAC will only continue to influence events in ways yet to be seen.

Stephen rallies for the cause of his SuperPAC on his birthday, May 13, 2011.

However, there were a myriad of lighter and equally substantive moments. A collaboration with Jimmy Fallon netted $119,726 via Donor’s Choose, helping over 50,000 American schoolchildren and, more impressively, rendering a version of “Friday” that is actually listenable.

Having fun, fun, fun, fun with Jimmy Fallon in early April of this year.

Stephen took it upon himself to learn how to “achieve British” with Hugo Vickers in anticipation of the wedding of the universe between Kate Middleton and Prince William in “My Fair Colbert: Stephen Colbert’s Crown Jewels”, and was able to seriously illuminate the cause of the Occupy Wall Street protesters in “Stephen Colbert Occupies Occupy Wall Street,” which featured an intriguing female bodied person named Ketchup.

Stephen incognito at the Occupy protests, October 2011.

It has also been a great year for music. Of the many musical acts that appeared this year, “StePhest Colbchella ‘011″ featured a full week of shows of independent artists, including a three part segment, “2011: A Rock Odyssey Featuring Jack White,” devoted to his collaboration with the rock legend. This of course led to Stephen’s release of his hit single, “Charlene II (I’m Over You)” the first since his days with Stephen and the Colberts. Also, we had the first hour-long show devoted to my favorite band Radiohead, and the performance of their new release The King of Limbs, an appearance which was hailed by fans and critics.

Stephen and The Black Belles

We ended the year with hints at a possible “serious, classy” Republican debate on Nat Geo and/or Animal Planet. Seemingly boundless are the possibilities for The Colbert Report as we welcome in 2012.

Without further ado, Colbert News Hub presents what we think are the best moments of 2011:

Best Moment of 2011:

The Approval of the SuperPAC

“Mr. Colbert, you may form your PAC, and proceed as the Commission has advised in this opinion.”

Best Character Break:

Munchma Quchi

Best Field Segments:

My Fair Colbert (Featuring Hugo Vickers)

“I say…”

Stephen Colbert Occupies Occupy Wall Street

Best Interviews:

Dan Savage (with Manly Assist from Paul Dinello)

Go Packers!

Samuel L. Jackson

“Racism is so tempting because if I get to say, ‘Hey, here’s me and my group and we’re great and your group isn’t as good as my group.’ That’s a very se-duc-tive feeling, you know what I mean?”

Best Word(s):

They were all stellar, we are listing these top three. Which one would you pick?

Happy Endings

“Everything ends– the job you hate, the money you owe, tiny pork pie hats, planking, your second mortgage, the national debt, summer. [Unless Republicans Filibuster Autumn.]”

Head in the Cloud

“I may just be an empty flesh terminal reliant on technology for all of my ideas, memories, and relationships, but I am confidant that everything that still makes me a unique human being is still out there, somewhere, safe in a theoretical storage space owned by giant multi-national corporations.”

With Great Power Comes No Responsibility

“Because only when Congress has no accountability, can they lead this country back to personal responsibility.”

Best Tip/Wag:

Tip/Wag – Conservative John Lennon & Unfunny Germany

Featuring Hans Beinholtz, a great German comic, and the longest named German cheese imaginable.

“Am I right, ladies?”

Best Musical Guest:

Stephen Colbert and the Black Belles

Best Musical Event:

Radiohead Extravaganza

Best Late Night Host Collaboration:

Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert & the BFFSM/EFFSM-ship

Best Physical Comedy:

Paul Revere’s Famous Ride:

Because Stephen demonstrated you can totally reload a front-loading musket, ring a bell, and ride a horse at the same time:

Another great Sarah Palin related moment: Stephen’s Sound Advice for Mika Brzezinski’s “Palin Fatigue”:

Best Celebrity Cameo:

John Lithgow Performs Gingrich Press Release

Best Yes-Anding with a Small Town Media Outlet:

Stephen & WOI Des Moines Iowa’s News Leader

Most Scantily Clad Moment:

Iran Bans Necklaces and Shorts

Quickest Takedown of a Ridiculous Mascot Following a TCR Segment:

Anti-Frack Attack

Fracosaurus was axed mere days after this segment aired.

Best Use of Facial Hair:

Charleston to Bermuda Yacht Race:

Who could forget Stephen and crew’s epic voyage from Charleston to Bermuda, and their second place somewhat-photo finish.

Best Haiku:

Herman Cain Wants Small Bills

Blood in the urine
A tingling down the left arm
Walk it off, Grandma

Best Thunderdome Reference of the Year:

Stephen Rejects Keith Olbermann’s Power

Most Graceful Moment:

Dancing with David Hallberg and Hee Seo:

Honorable Mentions:

Release of the first SuperPAC ad:

Colbert Super PAC – Rick Parry with an “A” for America

“A” for Iowahhh….

Tater Tot Monologue:

Thought for Food – School Potato Guidelines & Fast Food Stamps

An impassioned cry for Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Tater Tots.

“No potatoes? Why, because they are Irish? What’s next, limiting the availability of Shamrock shakes to just St. Patrick’s day. You racists!”

Stephen’s Seriously Classy Rendering of Donald Trump:

Donald’s Trumptacular & Stephen’s South Carolina Serious, Classy Republican Debate

“You want to play kingmaker, Donald, ok that’s my turf. I close deals, ask my guests. The Black Keys wanted gluten-free crackers, I made it happen, boom, nobody else does that. I started a SuperPAC, unprecedented money, unprecedented influence, I can call the Pope, he answers, we talk soccer. You see this watch, 100% platinum, you see this watch, 100% gold. I wear them underwater, fish love them, they’re shiny. Every night I eat egg rolls for dinner, nobody stops me. Every bathroom in my house has 2 sinks and three toilets, I use all of them. The point is, forget Donald Trump, he is history, rolled in forget him, smothered in a yesterday sauce.”

And Hubsters what do you think were the best moments of 2011? Do share in the comments! On behalf of all of us at Colbert News Hub, Happy New Year!

  • Kris

    Beautifully done! What a great compilation of highlights. There were so many fantastic moments this year, Emmys I’m looking at you.

    • susan209

      Yes! My thoughts exactly! And yes, GREAT JOB CN Helper!

      • CN Helper

        Thank you Susan! And happy new year to you!

  • karenatasha

    Thumbs up, CN Helper, for a great year-end round-up! Fantastic job.

  • CN Helper

    @Kris and @karenatasha Thank you! I can only assume we have our work cut out for us this upcoming year, but in a good way, of course:)

    • Karenatasha

      Also, that screengrab of him smiling as he gets his SuperPac is just luscious.

      • llama

        LOOOOOVE that one cuz that was the show I went to!!!! It was so fun to watch him watching himself at the SuperPAC hearing. <3

        CN helper, what a fantastic job you did with this. I am especially glad that you chose the Happy endings "Word" as the best because it is, but a lot of people said it was so dark and depressing. It wasn't, it was illuminating and uplifting, I thought. Nice to know someone else agrees. :-)

        As a fangirl, I must choose the "Paul Revere ride" and the scantily clad Stephen in "shorts" moments as my favorites.

        • CN Helper

          Thanks llama! You did attend the taping of the year, me thinks. I also agree “Happy Endings” is about appreciating the present, which is a positive message. It was a pretty profound Word, though.
          I also like that he continued to interview Keith Olbermann in the short-shorts. “Someone has to wear pants,” quipped Keith.

      • susan209

        @Karenatasha, luscious is the perfect word! All I can do is to keep agreeing with what everyone has said.
        (And If there isn’t a certain award on the TCR mantle in 2012, I’m going to have a “WORD” with Ms. Emmy myself!)

    • Kris

      I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us. I hear you though, I think this year may be the craziest yet.

  • lockhart43

    What a massive list, CN Helper! I was only just now able to take a look at this post, and it’s so wonderful! I love that you included the most epic character break of all time; I got such joy watching him completely lose it the way he did. You also mentioned my favorite TCR moment of 2011, which was Stephen’s rant about “Palin Fatigue.” :)
    Other than what you already mentioned (Dinello! Fallon!), I’ll share some of my favorites:

    Favorite interviews: Daniel Craig, Michael Lewis
    Favorite Word: Bite The Hand That Feeds You
    A Few More Favorites: The Republican Ring of Power, Women’s Health Nazi-Plan, Summer’s Eve Ad Campaign, Sesame Street/Where Are Stephen’s Marshmallows?, and Walgreen’s & Jon Kyl

    • CN Helper

      Thanks lockhart! Yours include valuable additions, like “Summers Eve” and “The Republican Ring of Power.”
      The list could just go on and on, right?

      • lockhart43

        As I was picking my favorites and going through the clips from 2011, there were easily five more that I initially wanted to include, so yes, I definitely think the list could go on and on!

  • anais0509

    This is a great post!! I absolutely agree with the choice for Best Character Break, and will add that I also loved the Pury Art Gallery/Stephen Portrait Auction 4 DonorsChoose field segments, but other than that, like everyone else here has mentioned, I can’t pick an absolute favourite! The whole year was great! That said, I can’t wait for this year!! It’s gonna be epic, I’m certain!

    • CN Helper

      Thanks Anais. I think you’re right, this year is going to be epic!

    • anais0509

      Actually, I also want to add that I loved the Buddy Roemer episode, simply because that was the taping I attended (and my first one(!!), and hopefully not the last (!!!)), which includes the Republican Ring of Power segment! Other than that, I still can’t choose a favourite and agree with everyone else’s choices!!

      Also, to think that one year ago, as I was watching the TCR 2010 Year in Review clips, I was stumped on the number of segments/interviews that I didn’t know because I’d started watching very late, but with this year’s clips, I know everything that happened each month because I watched them all!! :)