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October 9, 2015

A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All

by Brad Trechak, posted Nov 24th 2008 8:52AM
A Colbert ChristmasWhen I first heard that Stephen Colbert was doing a Christmas special, I had my doubts. It didn't seem in character. You don't see Bill O'Reilly and his type doing Christmas specials. However, upon watching the show, I think that's the point. There's also the idea of holiday commercialism and making a buck that the character of Stephen Colbert definitely believes in.

Okay, brass tacks: the special was funny. It was a commercial holiday special that took the piss out of the commercialness of the holiday yet had a heart at its center. This could easily have seemed as corny as the 1970's shows that they were doing a pastiche of, but it came across as cute and fun.
Stephen Colbert is an excellent singer. It wouldn't surprise me if he ever hung up his tie to see him starring in a few Broadway shows. The writing of the special was particularly top notch. I absolutely loved the humorous Christmas songs and would consider buying the soundtrack if it were ever released (although some of the humor might have been lost without the visuals). Who else but the writers of the Daily Show or the Colbert Report could remember than pontiff rhymes with "good yontif"?

For the record, I called it that George Wendt was playing Santa before they mentioned it at the end. He has a very distinctive voice.

If I have any complaints about the show is that it was definitely too brief. There was a hyper-abundance of commercials to fill in the hour. It seemed like the special itself clocked at around thirty to thirty-five minutes. Hopefully there will be a little more content and some DVD extras for those who decide to splurge 20 bucks (or $12.99 at Amazon.com).

I'm trying to find my favorite part of the special. There were so many. I'm not sure if it was the mention of the Jonas Brothers falling tthrough the ice or Willie Nelson smoking a doobie with baby Jesus or the many costumes of Elvis Costello or Toby Keith's War on Christmas song or Jon Stewart singing a Hannukah song with Colbert (Stewart is obviously not a singer but he performed pretty well) or Santa Claus attacking the bear or Feist as the angel operator putting Colbert's prayers on hold or when Stephen actually kissed the bear under the mistletoe.

Actually, the whole special was pretty damn funny start to finish. I did like John Legend's nutmeg song, but not as much as the others (the humor of the bit was somewhat lost on me). However, that's a bit like saying that one ice cream isn't as good as another. Overall, ice cream is great stuff.

I do think the price of the DVD is a little steep for what you're getting, but if you're a die-hard Colbert fan (or even an Elvis Costello fan) then it's probably worth the purchase. If you can't spare the money in this difficult economy, then you can only hope that they will rerun it next year.

What was your favorite part of the special?
Stephen's opening song39 (9.4%)
The many costumes of Elvis Costello32 (7.7%)
Feist's angel operator song64 (15.4%)
Toby Keith's war on Christmas song47 (11.3%)
John Legend's nutmeg song69 (16.6%)
Jon Stewart's Hannukah song143 (34.5%)
Santa vs. the bear21 (5.1%)

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Danny Smith

It said on the special that 20 extra minutes were being added to the video release.

November 24 2008 at 9:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Danny Smith's comment

If you want to hear "Another Christmas Song" check out the Colbert Christmas widget. It's pretty awesome!


November 25 2008 at 12:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Too bad you didn't include the wise man Willie Nelson song on the poll as that was my favorite part. But, really the whole show was hilarious and exceeded my expectations.

I really liked the duet with Elvis Costello at the end with its great message in the lyrics for those who feel disenfranchised with Christmas.

November 24 2008 at 5:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The best part of the show was the opening song.

Did anyone else have trouble making out the lyrics over the music and audience? I think I missed a lot of jokes because I couldn't hear them.

I liked the tiny On Notice Board magnet on the refrigerator that was only visible for about 2 seconds.

November 24 2008 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You can preordrer the soundtrack on iTunes now and it will be released tomorrow

November 24 2008 at 11:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tv junkie

Feist was hilarious, actually the whole special was pretty funny, but she's the only woman there, so, she shines.

November 24 2008 at 10:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Feist was GORGEOUS in her angel getup.
Also, this was the funniest anything ever.

November 24 2008 at 10:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The special clocked in at 43 minutes sans commercials. I loved it. No mention of Prescott Pharmaceuticals, though :-(

November 24 2008 at 9:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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