March 26, 2012 — Dr. David Page

The Colbert Report Episode GuideEPISODE NUMBER: 8074 (March 26, 2012)
GUESTS: Dr. David Page
SEGMENTS: Stephen’s Spring Break | The Word – Dressed to Kill | Indecision 2012 – Mitt Romney-Etch A Sketch Comparison
EXCLUSIVE: David Page Extended Interview
SUIT REPORT: Dark suit | White shirt | Light grey tie
VIDEOS: Monday, March 26, 2012


What a great return to shows! We even got The Word topic we wanted Stephen to cover, and it was brilliant, picking a unique angle of the heavily media-blanketed story, and illustrating and satirizing it in a way that left it that much more profound.

I loved Dr. Page, and really had to laugh when the Colbert Nation guys piped up for the “XY chromosomal pair shout out.” Ah, only on TCR. Stephen managed to allow Dr. Page go into some scientific detail while keeping the comedy flowing, which I am sure was very challenging.

I really enjoy all the super-scientist guests; they make for such a wonderful pairing with this show for some reason. Apparently, satire and science aren’t that far apart.

What did you think of this episode? Do share in the comments.

Quotables (& Screencap-ables)

Intro

Tonight, Florida’s gun laws come under scrutiny: Great! Now how will I cut in line at Space Mountain?  Then, the Romney campaign hits a speed bump, uh oh, somebody make sure that dog is still on the roof.  And my guest, Dr. Dave Page has new insights on the future of DNA.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, DNA… do we get flying cars or not!?!

A Canadian court has legalized brothels but by the time all those layers of wool come off, the hour’s up.

Stephen’s Spring Break

Now spring has sprung a little early this year. So I’m gonna say what everyone’s thinking: Punxsutawney Phil is a liar! Really? Six more weeks of winter? Oh, really! You’ll have to speak up Phil; I can’t hear you over the cherry blossoms. I believed you!

Folks, I gotta say a day without you chanting is like a day without sunshine.  Speaking of which last week I took a little break from the winter deep freeze down in the islands.  I was sipping daiquiris on the beach enjoying 84 degrees, while you suckers where stuck here shivering your balls off in 82 degrees.

I put all my investments in parkas, Swiss Miss, and road salt.  I am ruined!  Folks, I believe we have all been punx’d.

Anyway folks, now, now that spring is here I am going to put whatever little money I have left into nest twigs and flower nectar.  I’m not gonna tell you where I got that tip.  Let’s just say a little bird told me.   

The Word: Dressed to Kill

Folks, it is never easy to talk about tragedy but the death of a young man in Florida has dominated the news for the last week…

Now, at first I naively thought the President was expressing a moving sentiment to a troubled country but then I learned better…

Yes, it’s nonsense and Newt knows nonsense.  May I remind you, he’s still running for president?  Stay strong Newt.

But luckily there is a way to heal the nation’s racial divide and it brings us to tonight’s word: Dressed to kill.  

Now, people are upset because the shooter was not arrested, thanks to Florida’s stand your ground law, which gives legal immunity to people who use deadly force as long as they believe their safety was in danger.  [Shoot first, ask questions never]

Now one wrinkle with that law is that, without witnesses, you have to take the shooter’s word for it.  [Case of he said, he dead]

Now it would be very easy to blame the shooter or blame the law that let him off.  Or blame easy access to guns.  Or blame our nation’s borderline pathological distrust of young black men.  

Yes, it was the hoodies fault.  A hooded sweatshirt can make an innocent teen look like a criminal.  Just like a suit and glasses can make Geraldo Rivera look like a journalist. 

I believe, I believe this is urgent!  Congress must pass strict hoodie control legislation.  It is terrifying to live in a country where you can walk into any Wal-Mart and buy a hoodie right off the rack.  No background check, no seven day waiting period. [No drawstrings attached]

Many parents keep their hoodies in an unlocked drawer where their kids can get at them.  That’s why my hoodies are hidden in the back of my gun closet.  
Plenty of room in there because I keep my guns in my pockets in case anyone comes for my hoodies.  [Gun also says “juicy” across the butt]

And folks, FOX News, the good people over at FOX News aren’t just talking the talk; they’re also hiding the talk by hastily yanking the FOX News hoodie from its online store.  Thank goodness they did that because their viewers could have bought those hoodies and then formed a motorcycle gang.  (Technically “jazzy” gang)

But folks, restrictive hoodie laws may not be enough.  I have closely studied black people.  Everything from their family reunions to their Christmases to their mad black dairies and I have learned that African American’s wear other things besides hoodies. (Not Colbert Report T-Shirts)

Saying this might offend some people but I believe black people are naturally stylish.  That’s not racist, that’s a fact.  That’s why Andre 3000 can look so good in a sweater vest and why at least one black person can relate to Rick Santorum. 

And folks, it’s not just sweater vests and hoodies.  There’s also shirts and pants.  And some African-Americans even wear doctor jackets and fireman’s hats or judge’s robes. Which outfit am I supposed to be afraid of? [What was George Zimmerman wearing?!]

So I say, for their own safety, for their own safety!  I am calling on the African American community to come together and choose a single, threatening wardrobe so we can all agree who to be afraid of.  Then, don’t wear it because if you do, you have no one to blame but your outfit. [Fashion accessory to the crime]

I mean, what’s important is that we get the powerful Hoodie Lobby out of politics, so Americans of all races can have a frank and open discussion of clothing control before it’s too late. Because if we ever stop talking about these hoodies, we might start talking about guns.

Indecision 2012: Etch A Mitt

Of course, the only way to read what's written on Rick Santorum's heart is with a transvaginal ultrasound. Find a way in there. Where there's a will there's a way.


 
A lot has happened in the GOP race while I was gone.  Rick Santorum won the primary in Louisiana.  Mitt Romney won the primary in Illinois but Romney did not get to enjoy it for long because of controversial comments made by Romney communications director Eric Fehrnstrom. 

Yes, Romney is like an Etch A Sketch, in that, they are both square and colorless. You see, people think that was a metaphor for Romney being inconsistent but the Etch A Sketch is very consistent.  You can shake it all you want and all you’re ever going to be able to draw is stairs.  That was my attempt at a bird.

But somehow, Eric Ferhnstrom’s comments ignited a media Ferhn-storm.

Of course, the only way to read what’s written on Rick Santorum’s heart is with a transvaginal ultrasound.  Find a way in there. Where there’s a will there’s a way. 

But folks, I don’t see what’s wrong with being compared to a classic toy.  The entire campaign is full of them!  We got Mr. Potato Head, the magical treasure troll, and the Ken doll. Totally smooth down there and yes, Erin Feffinhorn’s Etch A Sketch comment may reinforce the narrative created by Romney’s enemy that he is willing to say anything to get elected but that is so cynical.  Real political players know what this is really about.  

Exactly!  Why are people trying to turn these comments into something craven?  He’s just saying that a candidate will say anything to get the nomination.  Then, say anything to get elected. Then, say anything to get a second term.  Then, stand on principle for six months until he’s a lame duck.  You know?  Courage!

But folks, I believe this is proof that Romney is the right man because Mitt promised that he would boost business and bring back the economy.  And this Etch A Sketch kerfuffle is already doing it. 

Yes, the economy needs more of this.  I say we must get out there and compare Romney to more products that reinforce his supposed weaknesses.  Here we go:  Mitt Romney is like Silly Putty on a newspaper, you press him onto your political beliefs and he becomes and exact copy.  Plus, okay, uh, Mitt is like Lincoln Logs both stiff and wooden.  And Mitt Romney is like a Lego man, he’s only got one facial expression and his hair snaps on.  Economy saved, you’re welcome.   

Interview — Dr. David Page

My guest tonight is an MIT professor and the director of the Whitehead Institute for Bio-Medical research. I’m going to ask him to make me a manimal.

My guest tonight is an MIT professor and the director of the Whitehead Institute for Bio-Medical research.  I’m going to ask him to make me a manimal.

Dr. Page:  I’m here, Stephen, tonight to defend the honor of the Y chromosome, in the face of innumerable challenges and insults to its character and its future prospects.

Stephen:  What’s a Y chromosome?  I should warn you ahead of time that I do not believe in the science of chromosomes.  ‘Cause that is evolution, that is evolutionary science. I-I prefer to replace the word “science” with God.  And the word “chromosome” with Jesus.  And the word “of” with, uh, Holy Spirit.  So, tell me about the God Holy Spirit Jesus.   

DP:  Thank you.  So, let’s talk about chromosomes.  So chromosomes, you got in every one of your cells Stephen, you have twenty three pairs of chromosomes. 

Stephen:  Okay.

DP:  And twenty two of those twenty three pairs are absolutely identical and shared between males and females but it’s the-

Stephen:  But twenty two of the twenty three parts that make me up, like my design, is lady parts?

DP:  Uh, they’re the same in males and females.

Stephen:  So you’re saying 22/23rds of me is lady parts?  Alright…

DP:  I’ll take that.

Stephen:  Definitely, definitely my hips but go ahead.  Okay, okay.  So I’m mostly lady, go ahead.

DP:  It’s actually that these twenty two pairs are the same males and females.

Stephen:  Right.

DP:  It’s the twenty third pair that makes the difference.  So, the twenty third pair in females is two, perfectly matched, X chromosomes but in you, Stephen, and in all the other males here in Colbert Nation, the twenty third pair is a mismatched X and a Y chromosome.  So, if I may?

Stephen:  I’m not sure if you may.  Let me ask you something first.  I-I heard, as long as you’re mentioning the Y, something that worried me.  I heard for years that this Y chromosome that makes us the man, man, was going away.  I heard, like, people out there arguing that soon men would be obsolete and we would just be an all lady planet.  A lesbian planet.  But no men around to watch.

DP:  This is the ultimate insult that’s been thrown in the face of the Y chromosome. That it’s gonna disappear and the claim has been made specifically, that it’s gonna disappear in ten million year’s time.  Let me tell you where this story began.

Stephen:  Okay.

DP:  Now, I’m gonna grab these. (picks up tri-colored collapsible tubes)

Stephen:  Go for it.

DP:  So, um, so it turns out-

Stephen:  Now, this is a family show before you-

DP:  This is a family show.

Stephen: I’m not sure where this is going.  ‘Cause chromosome, you’re talking sex talk, right, you’re talking chromosomes?

DP:  We’re gonna talk about sex chromosomes.

Stephen:  Let’s move some magazines.  You wrote about this in the magazine Nature, right?

DP:  Nature, yep, yep.  So, um, three hundred million years ago, when we were reptiles, we actually existed as males and females but we didn’t actually have any sex chromosomes.

Stephen:  Did we have, you know, (whistles) woohoo.

DP:   Yeah, we did.  We did.  So let me tell you what began to happen, three hundred million years ago.

Stephen:  That’s a scrunchy.

DP:  This is, this is, this is right.  This is a scrunchy. So, three hundred million years ago one member of a perfectly ordinary, unsuspecting pair of chromosomes-

Stephen: Yes.

DP:  Gotta mutation.  Okay, so we’re going to have to put this on here.

Stephen: Yeah.

DP: And, like that.

Stephen: Yes, this is the dirty part.   We just might have to blur that out Jimmy.

DP:  Right… So, this, this, uh, acquired a sex determining gene.  This one is becoming the Y chromosome.  This one’s gonna become the X chromosome.  But it turns out that after it acquired this sex determining gene, the Y chromosome assumed some sort of funny behaviors.  It stopped sharing information with its previously identical partner, the X chromosome. 

Stephen: It needed some “me” time. 

DP:  It, it, yeah but it turns out that these isolationist behaviors on the part of the Y chromosome, uh, led its economy to fail.

Stephen:   Led its economy to fail?  Is all of America a Y chromosome?

DP:  Yeah, but let me tell you the full story.  So, the Y chromosome started to deteriorate and a lot of stuff came off and, uh, and then to make it worse, the X chromosome is, at the same time, at the expense of the Y chromosome, the X chromosome began to expand.  Right, so now-

Stephen:   Well, obviously, obviously this one just got out of the pool.  I hate, I hate to cut to the chase but, uh, we have to get on with the pledge drive, uh. 

DP:  Yeah, yeah.  Right, right.

Stephen: Are there going to continue to be men?

DP:  Yeah, so basically some of my scientific colleges took this and took this scenario to extrapolate it and said, “in the future the Y chromosome is going to just disappear altogether”.  Now, miraculously, according to this theory, women were not going to go extinct at the same time.  Uh, here I’ll give you the X chromosome if you’d like, yeah.  So it turns out, we had to settle this question about what was going to happen with the Y chromosome.  So my colleges and I recently found by comparing your Y chromosome.

Stephen:   Without my permission.

DP:  Yes.  With the Y chromosome of the rhesus monkey and what we found.

Stephen:  Yes?

DP:  Was that, your Y chromosome and the rhesus Y chromosome carried, essentially, the same genes.

Stephen:  It was dark; we were locked in the same cage…  What do you want?  You go ahead, yes?

DP:  It turns out that, that suggests that nothing much has happened to the Y chromosome in the last twenty five million years.  So the Y chromosome was in a steep, uh-

Stephen:  Decline.

DP:  Nose dive.

Stephen: Yes.

DP:  But it basically leveled out.

Stephen:  Yes.

DP:  And it has been flying, it’s been flying.

Stephen:  Thank you very much.  So, we’re gonna be okay!?!

Dr. Page:  We’re gonna be okay.
 

We’re going to be ok, Stephen. Just take it easy on the poor chromosomes!

  • lockhart43

    “And it’s not just sweater vests and hoodies; there’s also shirts and pants. Some African-Americans even wear doctor’s jackets and fireman’s hats or judge’s robes. Which outfit am I supposed to be afraid of?…What’s important is that we all get the powerful Hoodie Lobby out of politics, so Americans of all races can have a frank and open discussion of clothing control before it’s too late. Because if we ever stop talking about these hoodies, we might start talking about guns.”

    In the name of all that is good and great, may the powers at be please continue to give this show an Outstanding Writing Emmy. And give this show an Outstanding Variety/Comedy Series Emmy. You know what? Give this show ALL the Emmys.

    Bless Stephen’s improving skills and clever mind, and bless Dr. Page’s willingness to go along with Stephen’s jokes and still explaining things in a way that’s understandable. I loved that interview and watching Stephen constantly fight back his giggles while still allowing Dr. Page to make his point. I loved this entire episode. Stephen is back on the air and all is right with the world again.

    • karenatasha

      And the other great line of the evening? “A hooded sweatshirt can make an innocent teen look like a criminal. Just like a suit and glasses can make Geraldo Rivera look like a journalist!”

  • karenatasha

    I cannot even come close to explaining how brilliant and satisfying that WORD was. It’s what I wanted, what I dreamed he would do. Searing, respectful, angry…and hilarious, with just that gasp at the end.

    Thank you, Geraldo Rivera, for you idiocy and your gift to comedians everywhere. It’s hard for comedians to handle a tragedy, but it’s easy for them to handle you. You gave them a way in.

    Cheers for the interview too.

  • colbaby

    Fantastic Word as always. Fantastic show all around really. My god, was that the John Kerry of biologists? I’ve only seen the extended interview so I’ve no idea what aired, but my heart went out to the editing team.

  • Caroline

    We called it, Hubsters – Stephen covered the Trayvon Martin case on his first day back. The Word was absolutely brilliant! I clapped multiple times during it. Yes, Karenatasha, great dig at Rivera.

    I also enjoyed the interview and am about to look at the extended version. I love that the real Stephen is such a sparkly-eyed science geek

  • Erika

    Anybody else notice that Stephen would often say “chromosone” instead of “chromosome”? Is that a southern thing?

    I loved The Word, as usual, it was just wonderful, but I almost thing it would have been even better without the bullet stuff this time, although then it wouldn’t really be a “Word”….I just thought it was a bit distracting somehow and that the things he was saying were good enough. Maybe I was just so caught up in it.

    I loved the “Etch-a-Sketch” part as well. It looked like Stephen was having a lot of fun with that one!!

    • lockhart43

      Anybody else notice that Stephen would often say “chromosone” instead of “chromosome”? Is that a southern thing?

      I noticed that too, but forgot to mention it! It kept making me laugh because I loved that he said it like that. And I’ve heard people here say it like that before, so I think it’s just the way it rolls off the tongue.

  • Mr. Arkadin

    I agree with what everyone has already said about the “Word.” And I can’t think of anything to add. One question though. What was the line “Gun also says “Juicy across the butt” a reference to? Is that on a pair of tight pants or shorts that you ladies wear on planet Lesbian, where I can’t watch?
    No, I’m serious. What was the reference too?

    And a cookie for colbaby’s accurate description of Dr. Page as the “John Kerry of biologists.” Wow. That extended interview was something else. But it was funny to see Stephen’s affectionate desperation with Page and trying to get him to shut up and wrap up the interview.

    And major kudos to TDS for the Oliver-Cenac segment. Wyatt in a propeller beanie with a giant sucker nearly cost me my spleen! Just great.

    • Karenatasha

      Mr. Arkadin, there is a company called JUICY COUTURE that has their name on all their apparel–mostly high-end sweats. Including sweatshirts and–probably–hoodies. They’re actually how the fashion-conscious celebrity went out in her lounge clothes not that long ago. Now, they’re a little less popular, but actually well-made.

      • Mr. Arkadin

        Ah. Okay. Thank you very much, Karenatasha!

    • Karenatasha

      And…OH yes, I totally agree: a big, big thumbs up and a carton of cookies to John Oliver and Wyatt Cenac! I was dying. A propeller beanie! A very, very white Englishman! And definitely the most biting segment last night.

  • Kris

    If only more guests brought props that made Stephen look like a kid in candy store. People are so intimidated to interview with him but Dr. Page was like a boy scout. Prepared! Anyone who can get Stephen to talk about his lady hips deserves a cookie in my book^_^

  • karenatasha

    By the way, CN Helper, did I say how much I like those photo montages of Stephen with the prop? It’s a great way to let us get a sense of the action!

    • lockhart43

      Seconded! I think I told TV Stephen, “you’re adorable” about five times during that interview. That last picture of him smiling is so great.

    • CN Helper

      Kris provided all the screen caps for this guide; and she is particularly adept with the sequential montages, so she deserves all the props. The Page interview was just awesome, and these pics really capture it.

  • anais0509

    I couldn’t stop laughing all through the interview, both edited and extended. Watching Dr. Page nonchalantly going through his demonstration and explanation while Stephen wavered between being geekily riveted by what Page was saying to half-exasperatedly trying to get the interview to move along a little faster to wanting/getting to play with the colourful toys like a little boy was too much for me.

    And, oh yes, that WORD…what a thing of beauty. Exactly what we’d hoped for and more.