April 11, 2012 — Michelle Obama

The Colbert Report Episode GuideEPISODE NUMBER: 8084 (April 11, 2012)
GUESTS: Michelle Obama
SPECIAL GUEST: Sergeant Bryan Escobedo
SEGMENTS: Amped Up for Michelle Obama |The Word – Whuw How?|Stephen Runs Punditry Drills with a Marine
SUIT REPORT: Slate gray suit| White Shirt | Dark navy patterned tie
VIDEOS: Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I imagine it had to be surreal for Stephen to sitting across from the First Lady of the United States. Whatever side of the aisle you may stand on, Michelle Obama is an impressive figure- highly educated, accomplished, and very compassionate as well. This is clearly evidenced in her support of military members and their families, and her initiative with Jill Biden, Joining Forces. Let’s hope the Colbert Bump gives her project a boost.

The true star of the show seemed not to be Michelle Obama, but Bryan Escobedo, the returning Marine that Stephen had taken under his wing. Their whole exchange was hilarious, and Bryan was a good choice for the piece. Although the entire concept is misleading – could anyone ever take Stephen’s place? I certainly hope that Bryan puts his skills to a profession far better than punditry, but I think he’s got the moves like Colbert, if he decided to go in that direction. Best of luck to you, Bryan, and thank you for your service.

I really like when the episode is focused on one topic, as it was last night. It makes for a cohesive show.

What did you guys think? Sound off in the comments – like pundits, we are all experts here, no credentials required.

Amped Up for Michelle Obama

"Now naturally my studio is crawling with Secret Service. You can't see them, but they're there. Watch."

And now that [Joining Forces] is now the focus, it can only mean one thing: child obesity is solved. Kid’s go to town on that Oreo Pizza, it’s good for you.

The Word – Whuh How?

Of course, I support the troops whole-heartedly, whole-trooped-ly, and support famil-dly. But of course I want to do more, which leaves me with one question, and it’s tonight’s Word.

In my daily life, I don’t see that many members of the military- [Has breakfast with Cap ‘n Crunch.]

-because, the troops and their families make up only 1% of the U.S. population, and not the 1% that makes up my tennis club. [Thank you for your Serve.]

I have done my research on the troops -I saw The Hurt Locker– [Also played Minesweeper.]

…and you would not believe what U-Haul truck charges to drive a truck Bahrain. [Try U-Halal.]

There is very little in-country child care, unless the Pentagon develops and a camo Baby Bjorn ™.

I tell ya, that gets me right heeere- hold on, hold on! Ok, ok.

So how can we help? Well, we could all enlist so that there would be shared sacrifice and fewer deployments, but I have been diagnosed with a rare medical condition called Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder. [a.k.a Pussy Foot.]

No, it’s not, 3 AM is drunken weed-whacking time. [ 4 AM: Emergency Room Time ]

"So I believe the answer is clear: the families need to start wearing uniforms. We can make some new ranks - Wife First Class, Brigadier Husband, First Petty Tween, Bombadier Grandma, and Drill Sergeant Baby. Drop and give me a load in your pants! "

Because once we can see the military families, we won’t forget their sacrifice, anymore than we forget the sacrifice of our troops.

"I mean, I talk about the war in Afghanistan all the time-alright, alright, that's enough. You now what? That's The Word."

Stephen Runs Punditry Drills with a Marine

Because folks, I do support the troops in my own way. The number one problem facing our veterans is translating their military skills into civilian jobs. So I supported a vet, by retraining him to do the most crucial job in America: mine.

"Alright, we're locked here, does anyone have a key? Do you have another one? That one fell."

Stephen: Did you read my book?

Bryan Escobedo: Yes.

SC: Really?

BE: No.

(Stephen walks away.)

SC: I am looking at your resume, a few words come immediately to mind, selflessness, leadership, courage; unfortunately none of those words apply to punditry. How are you at nodding, silently, as if you were listening?

BE: I am married, so, pretty good.

SC: What do you think being a pundit’s all about?

BE: I think it’s about being a well-informed, intellectual person. No?

SC: No, no. It’s about being confident about what you are saying, ok? You don’t actually have to be well-informed. What are you an expert at in the Marines?

BE: Explosives.

SC: What are you an expert at as a pundit?

BE: Oh, explosives, and-

SC: No! You are an expert at everything. It doesn’t matter what the subject is, you have an opinion, and that opinion is the right one. Is that clear?

BE: Yes.

SC: Ok good, ask me anything you think I don’t know about.

BE: What’s the capital of Myanmar?

SC: Not in this economy!

BE: That didn’t make any sense.

SC: Or did it?

Stephen: "Now show me fear." Bryan: "I am incapable of showing fear." Stephen: "Nice."

Ok Brian, this is very important. Do not be afraid to make up statistics in your argument. Did you know that 53% of Americans think that the taxes on the top 1% are already too high?

BE: I am not sure that that is accurate.

SC: It’s not. It could be, I don’t know. I made it up. The important thing is, I didn’t go too high with my bullish**t. I stayed at 53%, that means I am winning, because the majority is on my side, but it’s not so high that someone’s going to google my ass.

Michelle Obama: "You are a true national treasure that can never be repaid." Stephen: "Well, thank you for noticing, ma'am." Michelle: "I'm not talking to you, Stephen. I am talking to Bryan."

SC: Anything you want to say to me?

Michelle Obama: Yeah, from this angle, your hair’s getting kind of thin. Have you thought of shaving your head?

SC: No! Is there anything else you want to say?

MO: I don’t know, Stephen, this is your imagination.

SC: Well then say I am a national treasure too!

MO: Oh, sorry, Stephen, the connection’s bad, I must be going though a tunnel. Gotta go!

SC: I gotta get a better imagination.


SC: (To Bryan, sitting at Stephen’s desk) You feel that power welling up through your buttocks?

The Finished Product


Photo courtesy of Comedy Central

SC: I apologize, they don’t usually cheer for me that long.

The first time you were on my show you were not the First Lady, now you are, that’s called the Colbert Bump.

Michelle Obama: Jill Biden and I started this initiative to make sure that this country, which is a grateful nation, that we do whatever we can to honor our troops, our veterans, and their families. And this is our one year anniversary…. we launched it one year ago today…so thank you for having us on our anniversary. So people are stepping up in some amazing ways: we have seen people are hiring our veterans, and finding some wonderful, flexible opportunities for spouses, because employment is a key issue for these families.

SC: Unemployment for vets was way above the national average. Where are we seeing it at now?

MO: We are seeing it decrease at some pretty significant rates. But until we get to zero, we still have a lot of work to do. Because this isn’t just about benefitting these men and women, these people are bringing in skills that actually improve the bottom line of companies, because these are some of the most highly trained, highly skilled, disciplined people that we have in our society, the best this country has to offer, so we all need to do our part.

SC: They’re team players. They’e team players. I have only criticism: it’s joining forces.gov, right?

MO: It’s .gov.

SC: It makes it sound, like, you know, “Big Government.” Is there any way we can help the troops in the private sector?

MO: Absolutely, our motto is “everyone can do something.” So this isn’t “Big Government.” Government has a role to play, but it can’t do everything, everyone has to step up, in ways big and small.

SC: You know what I think would be a great reason to hire someone who was in the military at your private business is that he, uh, with the stories he tells of his previous job, it can really make the inter-office complaining sound trivial. Raise moral in a significant way.

MO: (Nodding) It’s hard to be a whiner around a veteran.

SC: As someone who has appeared both on my show, and has also appeared on iCarly, which of us do you think has more gravitas, as a broadcaster?

MO: Well, that’s a tough one. iCarly is about 16, and she’s real deep.

SC: She is. Right. She is very deep. I should add some random dancing to my show.

MO: (Looking tempted) We could try it.

SC: Maybe later.

MO: Maybe later. But I’ll be able to judge when this is over.

Stephen almost gets Mrs. Obama to bust a move, but she (wisely) defers.

SC: We have to got to commercial. Would you be able to stay after the break and talk some more? Because if you don’t, I have no show.

SC: Welcome back. Once again, First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, is joined by the First Gentleman of the Colbert Nation, me.

Why did you take on this issue of American helping military families? First ladies can pick their own agendas….Nancy Reagon, was just-no saying. Why did this and childhood obesity appeal to you?

MO: You know when I was campaigning, I got to meet these military families, I was traveling around, mostly speaking to these military spouses, and, you know, I was awed but their sacrifice. I mean those folks are, you cited some of the statistics, moving more often than any average American does, their expected to,um, sometimes their children are changing schools 9, 10 times, over the course of their educational career, but the thing that struck me is that they do it with grace, they do it without complaint, and I was inspired. I said on the campaign trail that if I have the opportunity to serve in this role, that I would try to be their voice and tell their story, because I think that most Americans are like me and like you, we are not a part of the military community, so we don’t understand that sacrifice.

SC: I did serve in Iraq for almost a week. So I consider myself a veteran, which is why I hired myself for this show.

MO: And you did a good job. You made a great hire.

SC: Now, you are popular. Do you ever lord over the President the fact that you are more popular than he is? Do you ever say, like hey, watch it, or I might not campaign for you?

MO: I might try that when I get home.

SC: Have you endorsed [President Obama] yet, are you prepared to do that?

MO: I am prepared. I am endorsing my husband, Barack Obama, I think he will be a phenomenal President. He has done a phenomenal job – he’s my man.

SC: Good luck, good luck with the election.

"Since you're on the show tonight, I feel fairly confident that the President is watching this broadcast right now, in fact, we have a photo of him watching right now."

SC: He seems to be enjoying it. He seems to be be enjoying this interview very much.

MO: He’s concerned. He’s deeply concerned.

SC: That is a well expressed opinion, don’t get me wrong. But we have a resident expert pundit here on The Colbert Report, Bryan Escobedo. Bryan, what are your thoughts on this important issue?

Bryan Escobedo: Not in this economy.

  • Caroline

    Good episode! I liked the way it focused on one theme. Bryan Escobedo was excellent – very natural and not in awe of Stephen. And I have always loved the First Lady. Too bad she and Stephen didn’t get to do the random dance bit, though. She seemed willing and you know Stephen would have done it. I think the problem was she mentioned it just as a commercial break was coming up. Next time?

    • colbaby

      The POTUS still owes him a grit-off and now the FLOTUS owes him a dance off. I’m thinking they should both appear on the show together and kill two birds with one stone. It could be Obama’s ‘October surprise.’

    • lockhart43

      It made me laugh that Stephen knows what random dancing is, in reference to iCarly. Sounds like someone in the Colbert household is a fan of Carly, Sam, and Freddie (Yes. I have watched that show. A lot. It’s actually pretty clever. :)) – this of course, could mean anyone in a household of three adolescent children. Come to think of it, I could kind of see Stephen as a guest on that show, not as “Stephen” though. Get on it Nickelodeon!

  • Cosmo

    I think tonight’s guest changed to James Cameron. Both the TheColbertReport and StephenAHome Twitter accounts say that he’s the guest.

    • Erika

      He was just on Jimmy Fallon and they talked about Neil Degrass Tyson and his nerdy obsession with changing the stars in Titanic…..I wonder if Stephen will mention it too? I remember he got such a kick out of hearing that story from Neil when he interviewed him in Montclair.

      • Katt


        I am still not over the sky thing. I went and saw Titanic last night for the first time (don’t judge me I’ve seen the Celine Dion film clip it covers all the main plot points car sex, old people spooning and Jack drowning) and all I could think about was the sky and the heir to Downton Abbey drowning.

        • Mr. Arkadin

          …”old people spooning…”

          Katt, you’re one sick puppy. 😉

  • Katt

    Has anyone else noticed that Google Maps will literally direct you around the block, even if the place you are looking for is next door?