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Ten Colbert clips you probably haven't seen - VIDEOS

by Annie Wu, posted May 22nd 2008 10:42AM
Young Colbert and CarellHardcore Stephen Colbert fans might take one look at this list and scoff. To them I say, "Hey, girls who live on the Colboards, chill out." This list is meant for the casual fan of The Colbert Report, who loves the show and, at most, knows Colbert's history through The Daily Show and maybe a little Strangers with Candy.

As someone who has been a fan of Colbert for about eight years, I'm here to educate, here to spread the good Word. It is the duty of a good fan -- especially one with too much time on her hands -- to change the minds of people that see Colbert just as the TV blowhard who happens to share his name.

Actually, because of this, I got into a small argument with a guard at DC's National Portrait Gallery when I visited Colbert's portrait. The guard told me that he didn't see the appeal of super-annoying Colbert and couldn't understand why his wife was so obsessed with the man. I tried to explain the awesomeness of his work and career, but didn't have the time or my Colbert-ism conversion materials to make it work. I think I ended with something very hippie-esque, like, "Hey, man. Just give Colbert a chance. He's good. He's real good." And then the guard made fun of the Batman pin on my jacket and I had to leave.

As some of you know, Stephen used to train in Chicago's Second City, honing his improv chops for the big time. Another former student recently came across these old tapes in his garage and uploaded them on YouTube. They are a variety of sketches written and performed by Stephen and some other recognizable comedy faces. If you watch closely in this sketch, you can see the beginnings of the trademark Colbert eyebrow.

During his time at Second City, Colbert worked as an understudy for some guy named Steve Carell. In fact, they worked together quite a bit before being co-correspondents on The Daily Show. Not only did they do improv training about the same time, but they worked on the short-lived Dana Carvey Show, where – fun fact – Robert Smigel's Ambiguously Gay Duo premiered, with Colbert and Carell voicing Ace and Gary. This is one of my favorite Colbert/Carell sketches from that time, mainly because they do fake-nausea very, very well. It's called "Waiters Who Are Nauseated By Food".

Man, Colbert and Paul Dinello sure like to write... interesting... material for each other. I don't think I have to say what that implies, as I can just let these clips (and their roles as Strangers with Candy lovers Chuck Noblet and Geoffrey Jellineck) do the talking. These videos come from the pair's first Comedy Central project, a sketch show called Exit 57, which also co-starred Candy co-creators Amy Sedaris and Mitch Rouse and some other lady that seems to have faded into obscurity. The first video may not seem that Colbert/Dinello slash-tastic, but the second one involves a lot of mouth-to-mouth action. When I have company over to watch a movie and we're waiting for the rest of the group to show up, I just loop this video on the projector until everyone arrives or someone yells at me. It's usually the latter.

Actually, the end part of these compilation of Exit 57 promos is, umm, pretty extreme too:

The foursome that would go on to produce Strangers with Candy also collaborated on this short film from 1994. This film is called "The Tree Surgeon", directed by Dinello's brother Dan and starring Colbert as... a tree surgeon. Despite the fact that it's taped with a shaky camera and there's occasional giggling in the background, the video is pretty funny to watch. Sedaris' "attractive" make-up alone is well worth it.

Colbert's work on Comedy Central continued with his contributions to The Daily Show. Back when he was still a correspondent, he made one appearance on ABC's Whose Line Is It Anyway? There was a lot of touching involved, especially when it came to working with Wayne Brady. The performances were okay, but it's still interesting to watch Colbert do improv and fake-ski.

And here's one that's probably a little more familiar to you folks. It's one of the first appearances of The Colbert Report. It originally started off as a gag on The Daily Show, with no intention of becoming a full-fledged program. I kind of miss the aggressiveness of some of it ("It's French, bitch!"), but I'm glad the show has retained its smarminess.

And this commercial is from Colbert's stint with GM Goodwrench from a few years back, which yielded some promotional cardboard cut-outs of him. I'm sure there's at least one person out there who sleeps next to it every night. That's what I like to convince myself, anyway, as it makes me feel better when I know there's someone weirder than me out there.

Okay, so that's ten. I hope you all have learned something (apart from "Wow, Annie's creepy"). To wrap up, here's a bonus eleventh clip. This is a fan video of Mr. Colbert showing off his best moves through various points in his career. After being on a show that closed episodes with weird numbers, almost winning a dance-off against a Korean pop star, and inexplicably strutting his stuff behind unsuspecting senators, Colbert has certainly done enough to warrant a couple of fan videos completely devoted to his dancing. Plus, this one has Scissor Sisters music. Enjoy.

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The nitpicker that I am, I must say that Dan Dinello, who directed the Tree Surgeon video is Paul Dinello's uncle, not brother. :) They did 4 other short movies (well that are viewable) that you can buy from his site shockproductions.com They're all weird and wonderful.

Also the other lady in Exit 57 is Jodi Lennon. She still does some comedy (I know she has made appearances at the UCB theatre in NYC) but I don't think she's been in any more well known work. I think she had to get a "real" job as a real estate agent like a lot of people in comedy do.

May 26 2008 at 6:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

that's a great list of clips--it's excellent for introducing people to all of Colbert's great works. I'm a girl who lives on the Colboards, and I give this my personal fangirl seal of approval!

May 25 2008 at 10:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

what, no clips of the genius that is harvey birdman, attorney at law?


ha HA! dangly parts...

May 23 2008 at 7:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

uhh annie you forgot-- http://www.comedycentral.com/colbertreport/videos.jhtml?videoId=163210

Fans are everywhere...

May 22 2008 at 5:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

God bless you, Annie. God bless you.

May 22 2008 at 3:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh MAN. That final video was the best of the lot. Annie, do you know which TDS episode had Jon, Stephen, and Steven topless and posing? Because I so missed THAT one.

May 22 2008 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Karen's comment
Annie W.

Yes! I love that one. It was a goofy segment about reality TV. From the 2001 archives:


And a sweet, shirtless Moment of Zen:


May 22 2008 at 3:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Annie, have you heard his interviews on Fresh Air with Terry Gross? They are really interesting. I believe it is rare for him to do a media appearance as Colbert the actor and not Colbert the pundit. One amazing revelation he tells is that he did not care about politics until he worked at the Daily Show and Jon Stewart encouraged him to take an interest.

By the way, Barney Frank is a congressman, not a senator.

May 22 2008 at 3:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Zachary's comment
Annie W.

Right, that would make sense, as he was in "Better Know A District"...

And yeah, I've heard the Terry Gross talk. Good stuff. It's because of interviews like this that I have developed a super-intense obsession with both Stephen Colbert and "Stephen Colbert."

PS. In case you haven't heard, the first episode of 'Venture Bros.' is called "Shadowman 9: In the Cradle of Destiny." GLEEEE.

May 22 2008 at 5:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You know there are two interviews, right?

oh my god, season 3 of VB is so close! I wish Stephen were still guest starring for them. I'm going to miss Professor Impossible. I already miss Reducto and Phil Ken Sebben.

May 22 2008 at 5:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm sure Carrell wanted to appear with Stephen but he's been extremely busy working on Evan Almighty, Get Smart, Dan In Real Life, and The Office. Albeit, Evan and Dan weren't great they still took in a lot of time. Now that these major projects are done, perhaps he can do some more stuff with Stewart, Colbert etc. Plus I'd love to see him in another Judd Apatow picture.

May 22 2008 at 1:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The funniest Colbert bits were the "Even Stephen"
segments with Steve Carrell. I've always wondered
why Carrell has never been on the Colbert Repor(t).

May 22 2008 at 11:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jay's comment

Good point, I've wondered the same. At least with that new dailyshow.com site we can watch all the old Even Stev/phens:

May 22 2008 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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