Morgan Lawrence from Blast Magazine was lucky enough to attend the November 6th, 2012 live taping of The Colbert Report Presents “Election 2012: A Nation Votes, Ohio Decides; The Re-Presidenting of America: Who Will Replace Obama? ‘012!”.
That Q&A was a particularly good one, too, as it happened. The faux-pundit emphasized that the fate of the very real money in the Colbert Super PAC was “None of your god damn business,”; that spending a week on the set of “The Hobbit” (the Tolkien super-fan is rumored to have a guest spot in the upcoming film) was the “best week of my life,”; and induced many an “Aaaawwww” from the crowd with his enthusiastic retelling of how he met his wife. (Spoiler alert on that last one: he borrowed Alan Ginsberg’s pen to write down his phone number.)
All the while the show’s crew was monitoring the progress of “The Daily Show”, with Stephen frequently, almost anxiously, checking in on Jon Stewart’s progress. The reason for that would soon become clear: we were, at long last, getting a “toss”, Stewart and Colbert bantering back and forth as one show ended and another began. Both hosts tried to quash their laughter as Stephen dramatically plugged his ears, refusing to hear any election updates (or “spoilers”, as he put it), vowing to go into the show totally uninformed in true Colbert-character style. This is, after all, the man who coined “truthiness”.
While his uber-Conservative character whined and resigned himself to defeat for the rest of the segment, the moment we went to commercial the “real” Colbert came alive. As the in-studio music went up, he popped up from his desk, a mile-wide grin on his face, with arms raised in victory. He spontaneously bounded across the front row of the audience once again, doling out another round of high-fives. Maybe there would be no parties in the streets that night, but relief and excitement were palpable here, and even someone as skilled as Colbert couldn’t contain himself for very long.
That was exemplified, too, when taping ended. After sign-off and the final round of applause, Stephen again came around to the other side of his desk. He sat heavily, as if suddenly unburdened, on the raised onstage platform, and said “Wow, what a crazy two years, huh? What a crazy two years.”
He paused as if to consider all of us, and it was then that the studio’s set-up became all the more noticeable. Suspended above the desk was a white net, half-full of balloons in various shades of white and tan. The stage, on the audience’s left, was set up like a coffeehouse (complete with a checkerboard-topped table for two and shelves adorned with varieties of java) with a chalkboard dubbing it the “Colblogger Café”. Despite the fact that Colbert’s guest was, in fact, a Conservative blogger, both of these props had apparently gone unused.
Fittingly for the show, however, there wasn’t much time for analysis. Soon the host was on his feet again, seemingly re-energized. “Do we have time for one more quick question?”
A woman in the first row shot up almost as soon as the words left his mouth. “Were you nervous?” she asked.
“Yes,” he said, a relieved smile breaking across his face to match. And that was that.
Full Taping Report: Blast Magazine.