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Colbert, Clinton, Obama and Edwards take on Philadelphia - VIDEOS

by Annie Wu, posted Apr 18th 2008 10:05AM
What in the hell happened last night on The Colbert Report? Or perhaps I'm really wondering why I attended Monday's taping of TCR in Philadelphia and not the final and certainly most epic one.

In true Colbert fashion, TCR ended its four-night run in the City of Brotherly Love with a big ol' Democratic bang. Thanks to Chris Matthews' big mouth, the nation expected Hillary Clinton's "surprise" appearance, but little did we know both Barack Obama and John Edwards would be appearing as well... On the same night! Despite the fact that this was all a blatantly desperate attempt to get a little Colbert Bump action (Edwards knows it's too late, right? I mean, what with him dropping out of the race and all), there really is no better way to seem hip to that all-important youth vote.

First up was Hillary Clinton. Everyone already knew she was coming because A) Comedy Central advertised the hell out of it and B) Chris Matthews spoiled the surprise by blurting it out in his Monday interview. However, I thought she was going to be doing a sit-down interview, which is why I was super-excited. Is Stephen going to totally nail her campaign? What is she going to do to fight back? Instead, it was a light comedy bit, which is about the same as an in-depth satirical whipping, I guess. In the middle of a segment involving the big screen behind Stephen, the image flickered and disappeared. Desperate for someone to fix it, Stephen called for help and, lo and behold, Hillary Clinton emerged to uproarious applause and offered to play technician. It was the same choppy delivery as as her Saturday Night Live appearance, but she did well enough to give the crowd a rush of giddiness. After "fixing" the screen, she told Stephen that he could call her any time, even at 3 a.m. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Then... Surprise! Smiley John Edwards came out of nowhere and the audience damn near ripped up the seats. I hope they're aware he's not in the running anymore. Taking on a Colbert Report favorite, Edwards delivered his own version of The Word ("EdWORDs") and did marvelously. He talked about the importance of his male white vote and how desperately he wanted a jet-ski and the chance to be a spy. Strangely enough, this was my favorite bit of the night. I wonder if Edwards felt better about cutting loose and being goofy because he didn't have an election to lose. Also, I heard someone online compare John Edwards to Kenneth the Page from 30 Rock and now I can't think of one without imagining the other. I hope I have forever ruined your image of both as well.

Just as the show was about to end and it looked like Stephen was about to say his good nights, Barack Obama's face popped up on the big screen behind him. Hillary Clinton must have been happy she fixed that thing. Lucky Obama took on another TCR favorite, putting "distractions" and irrelevant debate points On-Notice. Even though he didn't appear in person, Obama totally won the crowd over by calling grizzly bears the #1 threat to America. He didn't seem as awkward as Clinton, but he couldn't top Edwards.

All in all, it looked like a fantastic night. I'm incredibly envious of the crowd from that night, even though online taping reports stressed the difficulties they had throughout this particular taping. Also, why was Clinton the only one that didn't do a TCR segment? She could have pulled a Formidable Opponent or danced with Esteban or even gone for a quick Threatdown. Isn't the whole point to make your Colbert Bump as bumpy as possible?

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Edwards was brilliant. I sent that clip to everyone I knew the next morning.

But I don't see the Kenneth the Page similarity. To me, Edwards has always been Ken Berry:

April 19 2008 at 9:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Clinton looked like a dope while Obama was bringing the dry humor and Edwards looked like a TV pro. I figured since Clinton came on that Obama would rescind his position and appear eventually but that it happened during the same show as Clinton came as a surprise.

Edwards, though, was a shock. It felt as if they were setting him up but I had the feeling that they were just setting the stage for someone else or something else to happen.

April 18 2008 at 8:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Justin's comment

What was with Obama's "position" (and Clinton apparently from a mention at the start of the week) of not coming on the show anyway?

Before the writers strike Obama was supposed to go a "grit-off" with Stephen but wouldn't cross the picket line during the strike... I'd been waiting for him to show up ever since.

April 19 2008 at 11:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

clinton B-
edwards A+
obama B+

it would've been nice to have stephen actually talk with them about the campaign, but it might've been too risky for the candidates if they got NAILED by the mighty SC...i suppose the skits were the safe way to do it for everybody. the edWords was BRILLIANT and perfectly delivered. and it's good to see barack realizes what the REAL threat to America has always been - bears, not saddam! i know where the wmds are - in a bear cave in montana!!

April 18 2008 at 5:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You're right, Kenneth and John Edwards could be brothers. I cracked up through his entire bit. Hillary was way too stiff and Obama had some nice lines. Loved this episode!!

April 18 2008 at 1:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

John Edwards was amazing. He should host SNL.

April 18 2008 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Best Show Ever!

April 18 2008 at 11:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

John Edwards not running? Can you say Vice President?

April 18 2008 at 11:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Vince's comment

Actually it's believed he wants a cabinet post and doesn't want to deal with the VP BS again.

But EdWords was right on!

April 18 2008 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was at the show too! It was so amazing, and Colbert was spot on the entire time. I have to say that John "Edwords" Edwards stole the show, though.

April 18 2008 at 10:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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