Stephen Colbert fans are a sad, shiftless lot these days. With our fearless host away and gearing up for his new show, there is not much to do but eat Americone Dream and watch old TCR clips – if you can stand the heartache of it all. While suffering through this awkward in-between-networks phase, a fan becomes reflective. Changing shows is a big deal. How can those uniquely special aspects we loved about Stephen’s work on The Colbert Report transition to the new show? Is that even possible? Maybe. After the jump you’ll find my top five suggestions for a very “Colbert” style new Late Show.
In case you were wondering how The Colbert Report appeared to live on in a recent episode of House of Cards months after TCR’s finale, show creator (an apparent Colbert Report fanboy) Beau Willimon explained how he got the two shows together:
‘House of Cards’ Creator Beau Willimon Dishes on Season 3’s Scandals and Surprises
By Marlow Stern
How did you swing The Colbert Report appearance in the premiere?
We simply asked! I’d had the pleasure of being on The Colbert Report and I think that Stephen is among the most talented people on the planet. We wanted to have an interesting way to get a sense of where the Underwood presidency was that wasn’t as obvious as simply a news anchor telling us, and we thought that would be more engaging, dramatic, and entertaining. I asked Stephen and thanked my lucky stars when he said yes. One of the things that we delighted in when we talked about it was that our fictional Colbert Report would exist beyond the real-life one. The Colbert Report never fully dies.
Full Interview: The Daily Beast.
If you are Catholic like me (or even not Catholic at all), you will be excited to check out the full interview below with a Colbearded Stephen and Colbert Nation Chaplain Fr. Jim Martin.
Stephen mulls over what he might give up for Lent, talks about mentally gearing himself up as he walks into his offices at CBS (ahh!! so exciting to hear him say those words), and reveals the scripture reading he used at his wedding. He talks about how his confirmation name “Simon” is a secret homage to his brother Peter – clever, Stephen, clever! – and goes on to talk about overcoming fear, even managing to throw in a reference to the science fiction novel Dune. The conversation basically breaks down into a Catholic geek-out, with Stephen treating us once again to his “King of Glory” dance. Fr. Jim helps remind Stephen of the lyrics to the second verse, which showcases Catholic liturgical music’s interesting rhyming patterns.
If you are need of some nice beardless Fan Art during these bland wintry months, check out this colorful illustration by graphic artist Enrico Varrasso:
Enrico explains, “I created it using Adobe Illustrator after I manipulated a few images…I wanted to create the image because I’ve always been a huge fan… I consider him and his Colbert character an act of pure genius.”
The fine folks at Second City have decided to help soothe us from Colbert withdrawal by releasing footage of Stephen’s last night at the theatre on May 22, 1994. Introduced by Steve Carell, who effusively praised Stephen’s work and said “I think he’s put up some of the best scenes done here…he’s an exceptional improvisor with an exceptional reference level.” (“And he has funny ears!” yelled Amy Sedaris, helpfully, from off-stage.) Stephen, joined by Paul Dinello on guitar, and other notable troupe members such as Mitch Rouse and David Razowksy were on hand to perform songs from various revues during Stephen’s tenure.
I really want to hear the whole “Fish Tank” song. They put a lot of feeling into that one. After the jump there is another great SC video for us to “look back” on.
One of the most poignant memories I have of my time at TCR was the company culture. Ridiculous artwork of Stephen hung on all the walls, and props rested on all the shelves like historic artifacts. Staff and crew ate together in communal spaces and went out for drinks nearly every Thursday night. There was mutual respect among everyone, a feature that began at the top with Stephen himself who would know the name of every employee and intern that worked on the show. The result was that we were united in our obsession with the product being great.
At one point, a script supervisor told me very seriously “This is the greatest place in the world to work, it never gets better than this.” The intense love the team had for working at the show, where people were cool and the product was great, is one of the main reasons the show succeeded.
Stephen Colbert is a genius, without a doubt in my mind. But he didn’t let that get in the way of hiring people who were smarter, and perhaps even funnier, than he is. Some of his writers were truly prodigal in their ability to write jokes, and Colbert would encourage them relentlessly. During every “commercial break,” he’d have a stable of writers and showrunners go up to his desk to give him notes and Stephen would listen to everything they said before continuing the show.
One time during a taping when a pre-filmed segment was airing, I watched Stephen talk to one of the showrunners and ask about who wrote that bit. He was utterly impressed and a few months later, that writer was promoted to head writer.
Full article: Qork
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.
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