A Look Back at “The Colbert Report’s” great satirical moments reveals how the show will live on in the public consciousness, long after its finale.
Rebellious and somehow still reverent, “The Colbert Report” was an equal-opportunity Truthiness Revealer in its treatment of hot-button sociopolitical issues.
Stephen Colbert is King of the Internet. He has been regularly memed, tumblerized, quoted, cited, blogged about, tweeted about, celebrated and possibly inflated by the media, cruelly deflated by the media, and so on, throughout his long nine-year run hosting The Colbert Report. In whatever light he is cast, Stephen Colbert and his team’s brand of satire on The Colbert Report will continue to ripple out for a long, long time. The invocation of his name on every piece of the internet-o-sphere is no accident, but rather a reflection of his influence and appeal. However, this phenomenon took years to develop, and required that the show adapt and grow. Increasingly, the show ventured off the set and took its improvisational games out into the real world in order to reach its satirical goals. In this post, I will explore some of the pivotal events that resulted. Its malleable nature notwithstanding, the program’s core concept of exposing “truthiness” has remained intact, and has not only become popularized, but immortalized; therefore, its message will linger in public consciousness for years to come.
A recent article by Splitsider extols the virtue of Stephen’s religious faith and examines its impact on the Report. At the end, the author Devin Klos reveals a personal interaction with Stephen that is quite touching.
The Colbert Report’s chief mission, much like The Daily Show’s, is to expose truths within our society’s machinations (and make us laugh, obviously). Each night, they attempt to pull the curtain back to reveal that the all powerful Oz is just a man with special effects and a megaphone. Whereas most comedians go with the easy joke that religion is BS, that God is another version of this Oz to control the masses, Colbert wants us to look harder and realize that it’s the message and not the megaphone that matters.
Many years ago, I worked as an intern at The Daily Show. It was among the happiest achievements of my young life to that point. I was more than a bit star-struck to be in a space among so many people I respected and admit to being tongue-tied and feeling unworthy in such company. One afternoon, Stephen Colbert came in to the office. His show was about to premiere so he hadn’t spent much time in our studio. As he walked past me at my cubicle, he stopped and said, “You’re a new face, what’s your name?” I didn’t know what to really say, so I replied, “Oh, I’m just an intern.”
Colbert looked at me a moment and then said: “Just an intern? Hey, look, everybody starts somewhere. I was just an understudy at one point, but that’s just a point in time. It’s not about where you are now, or even where you hope to go, it’s who you are that matters. I’m Stephen, who are you?” I introduced myself and we shook hands. “Don’t let your place in the world dictate who you are to anyone. We all have the same merit.” Then he was gone, but his words lingered.
Full article: Splitsider
“Are people going to watch one guy talk for 22 minutes? As it turns out, if it’s Stephen Colbert, of course they are.”
Former Colbert Report writer Eric Drysdale shared this insight and other gems with former veteran Daily Show scribe J.R. Havlan for his podcast “Writers’ Bloc.” After teasing each other mercilessly for several minutes at the top, Eric discusses his early childhood fascination with comedy, inspired in part by listening to his Dad’s old 45s.
Eric is a familiar face to the Colbert Nation, having famously played Bobby the Stage Manager for several years. Previously, he was a writer on The Daily Show – you can check him out appearing in a few bits here and there early on. He is distinguished in having left the Daily Show to join Stephen on the then novel Colbert Report, and with the exception of a brief leave from April 2008 – October 2009, has been on the Colbert Report from start to finish. His departure was marked by Stephen eating Bobby the Stage Manager, even polishing off his ghost ribs for good measure.
One of the lighter moments of The Colbert Report’s Finale was Katie Couric, who was seen dancing with David Hallberg and who seemed to have a lot of fun. In a blog post for Yahoo News, she describes how 100 handpicked finale guests did their best to quickly learn “We’ll Meet Again.” She also shares a picture of the guest list, so go check it out.
image courtesy Katie Couric
“It was a surreal night. I walked into the studio for Stephen Colbert’s final show as the bombastic, charmingly buffoonish character that so many have loved for the past 9 years, and felt like it was the most bizarre cross section of humanity assembled in one place.
There’s Francis Collins of the NIH, the guy who mapped the human genome. Karim Abdul-Jabbar is sitting across from Toby Keith. Oh, hey Saul, I mean Mandy Patinkin. I hope I’ll see you again on Sunday night. How do I love thee, former poet laureate Robert Pinsky? Jeff Daniels. Yo-Yo Ma. Andy Cohen. Doris Kearns Goodwin. Yo Dr. Kissinger.”
Full Post: Yahoo News
Hello Hubsters! As we gear up for the final episode, we thought it behoovy to get introspective about our own personal experiences with The Colbert Report. One of the great joys for those of us on the Hub staff is hearing from our community, because without you all we could not celebrate the wonderfulness of the soon-to-expiring Joy Machine.
So this week, we are asking you to send in taping reporTs from any tapings you may have attended over the past nine years. Or, comment here and leave your thoughts about your favorite moments, why you become a fan, or what makes The Colbert Report special to you.
Taping reporTs should be sent to email@example.com. Thanks for participating!
EPISODE NUMBER: 11038 (December 16, 2014)
GUESTS: Kendrick Lamar | Jason Bordoff
SEGMENTS: Jeb Bush’s Presidential Ambitions | Oil War – Jason Bordoff | Colbert Platinum – Holiday Gift Edition | Kendrick Lamar | Kendrick Lamar – “Untitled”
SUIT REPORT: Black suit | Blue shirt | Black tie w/ purple stripes
VIDEOS: Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Stephen hands the naming rights of his show to Dewars scotch, in a final act of sponsor-related shenanigans.
Check out my personal accounting of my last visit to the TCR studio on December 11, 2014. This is the post-post Colbocalypse edition.
EPISODE NUMBER: 11035 (December 10, 2014)
GUESTS: Sarah Koenig | Tom Blanton
SEGMENTS: CIA Torture Report | CIA Torture Report – Pundits Defend America | CIA Torture Report – Tom Blanton | Sarah Koenig | Sign Off – Headphones
SUIT REPORT: Navy Suit | Pale Blue Striped Shirt | Purple and Light Blue Striped Tie
VIDEOS: Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Listening to the roar of the Nation: “That’s what this country needs more of. That is the sound of freedom. That is the sound of America.”