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October 8, 2015

The Best of the Colbert Report - DVD review

by Annie Wu, posted Oct 28th 2007 12:04PM
Stephen ColbertThe whole DVD is extremely straightforward. I mean, really straightforward. It is the Best of The Colbert Report and only the best of the Colbert Report. No special features, no commentary. As soon as the one DVD is popped in, after some Comedy Central ads, a list of clips comes up, and that's it. Even the Daily Show Indecision 2004 DVD had a wonderfully weird intro with Stephen Colbert and some fun, albeit slightly frustrating, interactive menus. I think this DVD could have benefited from some extra pizazz, perhaps in the form of a little Colbert-licious pretentiousness. I should be so blinded by patriotism and bears that I have to struggle to navigate. Or something like that.

The very first clip is from the opening moments of the series, "The Word: Truthiness". It's strange to look back and see Colbert looking so nervous in this first clip. His character's cockiness and smarminess has blown up over the past two years. Even the clip immediately following, "The Word: Wikiality", shows a much more confident Colbert (and a much better font for the the Word jokes). Other clips include "Better Know a District" with Florida's Wexler ("I enjoy cocaine because it's a fun thing to do") and DC's super-sassy Holmes Norton, the Colbert/Fonda/Steinem ice cream threeway, the greenscreen challenge and resulting lightsaber duel with George Lucas, and Colbert's post-Emmy duet with Barry Manilow.

Judging by the clip selection, it seems like the goal of the DVD is to not really present the "best of" the show, but the moments and stunts that got the most coverage in the blogosphere and media. There's absolutely no Esteban, whom I truly adore, 80s Stephen in eyeliner singing "Charlene", or "Formidable Opponent". I mean, those are my personal favorites that I find absolutely hilarious, so perhaps I'm just bitter, but the whole "Meta-Free-Phor-All" really wasn't all that spectacular and was only included because Sean Penn popped his head in. There are so many classic moments that don't feature celebrity guests and I believe they deserved a spot on the DVD.

Maybe the nature of the Report's hilarity cannot be organized in DVD format, and that's where it fails. Sometimes it feels like the best jokes run over several days or weeks or even months. For example, the greenscreen challenge only seems epic because it spanned a very long time. Watching just the finale is cool (come on, it's George Lucas stabbing Colbert in the balls... with a light saber), but doesn't create the same excitement and sense of anticipation generated while everyone followed the developments in real time. Is watching Colbert sing with Manilow on the DVD as good as seeing it during the original airing, after weeks of Colbert's tortured fist-shaking over his Emmy loss to Manilow? I can't help but lean to the negative. Sorry, Colbert babe, I still love you.

Sure, this DVD is a testament to the power of The Colbert Report in modern pop culture, but it's not that pressing to own. I'm not even sure if a hardcore fan like myself needs to own this. To be honest, I'm more excited about Colbert's book.

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I was a bit disappointed with what was left out, as well as what was included. While many of the featured clips were noticed by the media, most certainly were not the funniest bits that could have been included. I hoped that the "Tek Jensen" shorts would be included, as well as a couple "Formidable Opponent" clips, as well as some of the infamous Colbert bloopers. I would have gladly paid double the price for an extra disc containing material like that. C'est la vie...

November 15 2007 at 10:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bryan Dunn

Papa Bear Bill O'Reilly's guest appearance!!!

November 07 2007 at 4:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree. Colbert is hilarious. I would love to just watch this entire DVD and laugh.

November 05 2007 at 10:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Stephen Colbert is one of the funniest people on TV. Way better than Jon Stewart. I would love to have this set.

November 05 2007 at 10:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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