The Colbert Report
The big indicator to me that there's a bit of an ebb is that lately the producers have been booking two guests on a single show; one gets interviewed during the first segment and the other gets interviewed during the usual third segment. Last night, Colbert spoke to Madeleine Albright, and in previous weeks, first-segment guests have included Al Sharpton, Ben and Jerry, and District of Columbia's congressional delegate Elanor Holmes Norton. While I'd imagine these segments do entail some writing, as Stephen tries to figure out the direction of his questioning, much of the comedy in these interviews depends heavily on his impressive improvisation skills.
Right, so now, about a week later, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has turned around and sued Viacom, claiming that one of the videos in question was actually a parody of The Colbert Report, and protected under fair use. The video, produced by MoveOn parodies both Stephen Colbert's schtick, and MoveOn's strategy of using online petitions to effect social change.
I'd embed the video, but as I've pointed out, it's no longer up on YouTube. You can, however, still check it out at Falsiness.org.
Well, I've had a bit and, with great sadness, I am here to report that... I'm actually a little disappointed. Actually, I think this is the first time I haven't felt an overwhelming urge to polish off an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's in one sitting.
Just reading the description of The Stephen Colbert, a pork chop from Trio's Restaurant in Little Rock, Arkansas has me salivating like Pavlov's dog:
If you love freedom, and we know you do, you'll love this porkchop: a porterhouse cut pork chop marinated in an apple marinade, grilled, and covered with a South Carolina peach & ginger barbeque sauce served with Sweet Home black-eyed peas, chipotle-white cheddar mashed potatoes and sautéed Swiss chard.
Here, you can find a Google Map of various locations that carry the flavor. The map is always growing because it is based on user-submitted finds. Track down a pint, or help out the rest of us by putting your local AmeriCone Dream store on the map!
Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream. Vanilla Ice Cream with Fudge Covered Vanilla Cone Pieces and a Caramel Swirl. Ben and Jerry's will neither confirm nor deny the partnership. However, they did tell Salon that "...there's been a lot of experimentation with red, white and blue."
So truthy, it's giving me brain freeze just thinking about it.
1. Be a man - preferably a Catholic or a Jew. (More guilt = More funny)
2. Go to Harvard. (Legacy, class privilege, whatever it takes to get you there.)
3. Write for the Lampoon.
That's it. Within a year or two of graduation, you should be writing for Conan, The Daily Show, SNL, The Office or The Simpsons. Guaranteed. Or, is it? Certain Yalies are looking to challenge Harvard's stranglehold on the writer's room. The Yale Daily News paints a picture of Yale's growing influence on comedy or, at least, Comedy Central. The article name-checks Yalies Lewis Black, Demetri Martin, John Hodgman, Daily Show writer Steve Bodow and Colbert Report head writer Allison Silervman. Hodgman offered, "By accident, maybe there is the beginning of a similar - extremely feeble - Yale network of professionals that may give the aspiring comedy writer on Cross Campus a glimmer of hope." And, so the elitist pissing contest commences.
For those of you who want to pursue a career in comedy and can't afford the Ivy route, you will be happy to know that Jon Stewart attended the College of William and Mary, Tina Fey is a woman and Bob Odenkirk is an atheist.
Last week, you may have heard Stephen Colbert play a statement by John Gray, the mayor of Oshawa. Gray stated that if his city's Ontario League hockey team, the Generals, lost to the Saginaw (Michigan) Spirit -- home of team mascot Steagle Colbeagle the Eagle -- that he would declare a day in the near future "Stephen Colbert Day."
The reason for the challenge? Colbert's rips on various teams in the OHL, including saying that the Oshawa team's annual teddy bear toss was "an obvious attempt to taunt me." (He hates bears, you know.) The Spirit came through, winning the game 5-4; Colbert is requesting that his day be celebrated on March 20, which is Gray's birthday. If the Generals won, by the way, Colbert would have had to wear the team's jersey throughout one an episode of The Colbert Report.
It all starts at 8 pm when Colbert goes to the
Stephen Colbert often refers to Bill O'Reilly as 'papa bear' and obviously emulates him and other conservative talk show hosts for his show. O'Reilly will no doubt be able to hold his own with Colbert, but can Colbert handle O'Reilly? I say yes. If Colbert can do 20 minutes in front of a not-very-amused President Bush, I think he can handle O'Reilly. It'll be a hoot to see those two throwing fake facts back and forth.
The two fellas are on each other's shows on January 18th. Mark your calendars. Set your TiVos.
I'm not angry, just disappointed: Project Runway, Scrubs. God, Project Runway was just plain painful this season. Not only did we have to put up with Vincent and Angela for an ungodly long time, they were brought back for an additional challenge! Then, Jeffrey, the designer with the worst collection of all (well, in my personal opinion), won the whole competition. Livid, I was. I definitely expected better taste from what I've long considered the classiest reality program on television. And as for Scrubs, I think it's lost its charm... JD does that stupid nasal voice all the time (it's at its worst when he does that damn "zoom zoom zoom"), his pregnant girlfriend is an awful character, and Dr. Cox's hair looks like something ripped off a 70s model home floor. I used to think Scrubs was hysterical, but it's really missing something now and I've almost lost complete motivation to watch. If the upcoming musical episode doesn't restore my faith, I doubt anything will.
So, let's start with the Good Stuff, and then do the Bad Stuff:
Say what you want about Bill O'Reilly (and I know you will), but the man has no qualms about stepping into the ring with those who disagree with him. He's appeared on both The Daily Show and Late Show with David Letterman, so why would he be shy about appearing on The Colbert Report, a show that, in many ways, owes its existence, or at the very least, its aesthetic, to The O'Reilly Factor? I've said here before I actually liked O'Reilly before his ego outgrew him, but I still love to watch his appearances on Letterman. As annoyed as Dave seems when O'Reilly is on, you know deep down he revels in those confrontational moments.
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