November 27, 2012 — Dolly Parton

The Colbert Report Episode GuideEPISODE NUMBER: 9028 (November 27, 2012)
GUESTS: Dolly Parton | Reihan Salam
SEGMENTS: Canada’s Grinch | The Fiscal Cliff Compromise | The Fiscal Cliff Compromise – Reihan Salam | Sign Off – Country Chords
SUIT REPORT: Gray suit | Navy tie | White Shirt | Country Garb (Sparkly cactus suit jacket)
VIDEOS:Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I had a dream where Stephen was playing the guitar so beautifully and singing with Dolly Parton…or was that real? Read on.

As you continue watching the Report a couple things become evident: Stephen is physically incapable of being boring, and never fails to surprise you with some new talent you hadn’t seen before. We always hope he will sing with the iconic musical guests when they stop by, but for him to choose to accompany and sing is really, really brave, do trust me. So a humungous “Bravo!” to you sir, and kudos also to Dolly Parton, who so sweetly pointed out Stephen’s terror and helped him with the duet.

We also had a pretty thorough take on the whole “Fiscal Cliff” debacle (coming to a news cycle near you!), with Reihan Salam once again appearing to lend his conservative POV. I think Salam is getting better and better the more he is on the show, and he certainly is unflappable in the face of Stephen, no mean feat.

It’s very strange to find the architects of the modern conservative movement on the ropes right now, isn’t it? Rove, Norquist all are being publicly derided. The media is feeling it too -FOX news are anchors looking perplexed and sullen on the air, of course when they are not cutting people off mid-interview. I guess it’s just the ever changing tides of politics – which party is up or down that dictates current perceptions. Right now, the Dems are on top, raising taxes on the rich is popular, and “No Tax Pledges” seem as binding as the wind.

Let us know your thoughts. We’ll have more pretty pictures and quotes in a bit.

Canada’s Grinch

Nation this story sickens me. This Canadian Grinch just let the cat out of the bag. Or as they say in Canada, the beaver out of the beaver pelt satchel. They’ve got a lot of beavers up there. It’s actually something of a problem.

“But what can I say? There is denying it anymore. There is no Santa Claus….in Canada.”

  • Down here he’s real, and brings toys to all the good girls and boys, just not in Canada. Sometimes he flies over Canada on his way to America from the North Pole, and occasionally he’ll stop at a Tim Hornton’s so his reindeer can use the bathroom.
  • I mean, think about it. A flying, bearded man delivering toys all over the world in a single night? He only has time to do it in one country. Obviously he only has time to do it in one country. So obviously he’s going with America.

Why do you think people come from all over the world to live here? Our healthcare? No. We have Santa.

  • But don’t worry Canadian kids, you still have a Santa, it’s just a Canadian Santa. Every year I believe it rotates to a different Canadian celebrity. Last year it was Nelly Furtado-Klaus, this year it’s Rush.

The Fiscal Cliff Compromise

  • Yes, the Fiscal Cliff- the unavoidable plunge to the razor sharp financial rocks below.
  • …something they called the “Super Congress,” which couldn’t fail because it was “super.” Unfortunately it was also “Congress,” so it failed.

[The Fiscal Cliff] is kind of a like a Mexican standoff, without any Mexicans.

Grover Norquist, the two most terrifying words a Republican can hear, next to “Buenos Dias.”

  • But now some Republicans are abandoning the Anti-Tax pledge as fast as they abandoning, oh, what is his name (shows Romney.) Don’t tell me, uh, “Rip Flambe.” No, that’s my personal trainer.
  • [An anti-tax pledge] is like a pact with the Devil or a gym membership…you’ll get your money, Rip Flambe!!
  • All of these Republicans, these peach Crayolas down here (points at screen), all of them have the balls to say that they are not bound to the no-tax increase pledge.

The Fiscal Cliff Compromise – Reihan Salam

  • Stephen: Is there a new political environment where these Congressmen, these Senators want to appear responsible and responsive?
  • Reihan Salam: It’s more than just appearing that way…you might be aware that Republicans like a guy called Ronald Reagan…[he] agreed to tax reform that led to lower tax rates, but also higher tax revenues from rich folks because it got rid of loopholes and deductions….You can get revenue gains from making it cleaner and fairer and more transparent-
  • Stephen: Closing loopholes, isn’t that raising taxes?


  • Stephen: What happens next? Do we go over the Cliff?
  • Reihan: If go over the cliff, then suddenly Grover Norquist’s pledge becomes inoperative.
  • Stephen: Oh! So he’s powerless. It’s like someone guessed his name and he got sent back to the forest.
  • Reihan: (speechless)


Stephen is finally beaten in a Numerous-Siblings-Enumeration Off.

(on the topic of their mutual large families) Dolly: “You’re probably Catholic, right?” Stephen: “And I’m guessing you’re not.”

Dolly Parton: If it’s good or bad, this book talks about dreaming more and being able to get out there and put wings and legs and arms on your dreams. In other words — get out and make them come true.

Stephen: Wings on your legs, arms on your dreams. That sounded like a hideous dream monster.

“Love is Like a Butterfly”

Sign Off – Country Chords

  • karenatasha

    It wasn’t a dream, not it wasn’t! It was reality! Thank you, Stephen and Dolly, for giving us what we’d hoped for. I felt it would happen, and I’m very happy.

    Kudos to Jon tonight, too, because he did a great show. Nice hard-hitting stuff against Walmart, and a fun final interview.

  • Erika

    I’m so glad they kept the mistakes in, and if I’d have to guess, I would think one of the reasons was because Stephen wanted to show how incredibly sweet Dolly was to him. You could tell he was absolutely smitten of her from the get go, and it probably only got stronger as she helped him through his fear in such a giving way. The whole thing was beautiful (and adorable).

  • applepies

    Oh, Dolly rendering Stephen speechless, even for a moment… priceless!

  • Katt

    A little ear candy to brighten your day [Link]

  • Sophie

    oh my god
    i’m gonna have to re watch that duet again, I’m sure I missed something since I was too busy squeeing over the adorableness that is ‘flustered Stephen’ to pay attention properly
    so cute sooo cute and my goodness he looked so handsome <3

  • Caroline

    I like Dolly Parton even more after watching that.

  • CN Helper

    @Katt Thanks Katt.

  • Mrc

    @Katt Thanks for uploading the song.
    I loved the whole part with Dolly Parton, Stephen was so adorable :).

  • juice

    The only thing that would be even sweeter would be a taping reporT of this episode. Please?

  • whatsername

    I love any opportunity to hear Stephen’s southern accent!

  • karenatasha


    Ah, Juice, we’re at the mercy of someone having been there! It would be wonderful to have a taping report every night….

  • SJ
  • Katt


    Thanks for the link SJ!!

    Did they air all the takes of the duet?

    At least on the east coast, they started with a “blooper reel”, kind of. You would not believe how many takes we had to do of the duet. Stephen was fairly nervous, and had trouble finding the first note. They were able to get two full takes, but they ended up trashing the first one.

    Dolly was really nice to him though. I genuinely believe that Stephen had to learn the guitar part yesterday, because Dolly’s nails were too long to play.

  • Greg

    Late to this comment party, I am most certainly at risk of running these descriptors to their death. Please forgive my mindless regurgitation as I second and third and fourth the earlier sentiments and share that my family and I found it so completely and unutterably charming and sweet for all of the same dynamics listed above. And, as above, I jumped on here tonight hoping one of the many talented folks who’ve offered up taping reports had attended this night or the next with Frank Oz, where both of these guests connected with Stephen in just that slightly extra special way.

    I found your site, I think, a couple months ago and I have ended up peeking back in, almost every night. Without question, my visits are driven by the excellent content as well as the dedication and passion of all of your contributors. And I feel there’s so much more I’ve yet to discover. Love you fangirls! Thanks and cheers to all!

  • CN Helper

    @Greg Thanks Greg! We appreciate your kind words. We are working hard to make our little slice of the web a happy and Stephen-centric place, but we love doing it all the same. And feel to comment whenever you like!

  • llama

    I just discovered this mini taping report and found it interesting to know that there were six attempts at that song. Maybe it was because Stephen was nervous about singing with Dolly, but he was also trying to play the guitar at the same time and sing a song that has challenging lyrics and was a little high for him to sing. Can’t say as I’m all that surprised that there were so many takes.