The Colbert Report
I remember. It was the evening of April 29th, and I had opted out of attending a major social event to watch, of all things, C-SPAN. Honestly, it felt a little pathetic. Well, not "a little". It felt really pathetic. Little did I know that I, sitting in front of the television with my laptop resting on my tacky pajama bottoms, would soon be witnessing something remarkable.
When I look back at the 2006 television landscape, a few key characters come to mind. This year, I discovered some new characters that have my adoration and I've stuck close to the ones I loved from 2005. Here's my list of the Best Characters of 2006:
5. Michael Scott, The Office While it's no secret that I adore a certain member of the supporting cast, the best character on The Office is definitely Michael. He sucks the fun out of any situation by making everybody uncomfortable, but at least you know what his true colors are. He tries, and does a poor job of covering up his non-P.C. thoughts such as, "How queer! (sees camera) Queer Eye for the Straight Guy-- that's a great show!" He just tries so hard to get people to like him and to be a buddy rather than a boss that you can't help but love/pity the guy. And Jim's right, Michael is the most loyal guy at Dunder Mifflin.
This year didn't really provide any classic one-liners that have become a part of everyday conversation. There's no "Hell to the no!" or "Let's hug it out, bitch" or "Obey kaybee". So, I grabbed a few favorite quotes from our lists and from our commenters... and I threw in a few quotes from major moments in 2006 television.
- "Deal or no deal?", Howie Mandel's tagline for his new game show on NBC.
- "Live every week... like it's shark week," a bit of wisdom from Tracy Jordan on 30 Rock.
- "You taste like fish biscuits." Kate, after Sawyer kissed her on Lost.
- "Scroll over him with your mouse cursor and... right click!" Cartman, instructing his friends to attack during a game of World of Warcraft on South Park.
- "Do you mean Rain Man retarded or Paris Hilton retarded?" Lou, on Rescue Me.
- "Well, I know it's the worst kept secret in America... but I'm going to be working on CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes," Katie Couric, announcing her resignation from Today.
- "This administration is not sinking. This administration is soaring. If anything, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg." Stephen Colbert, going balls-out at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner on C-SPAN.
- "Mommy, when am I going to get my fur?" Rosie O'Donnell, quoting her daughter, during her first day hosting The View.
Mr. Stephen Colbert had a great run in 2005, when The Colbert Report debuted and took off like a mighty eagle... with a disturbingly dedicated fanbase. This past year somehow managed to top all that, making Colbert and his show absolute pop culture giants and easily one of the biggest hits of 2006. I've been a fan ever since I first saw the man many years ago on The Daily Show and Strangers With Candy, so I feel like I've seen his career positively explode before my very eyes. Ohh, my boy's all grown up.
Now now, let's move on to my list before I get even more sappy and awkwardly maternal (the fact that Colbert's over twenty years older than me does not help the strangeness). Here are the top nine Colbert Report moments of 2006!
Now it looks like Meadows has come back, but stealthily so. He's been all over TV over the last year or so, but in small supporting or guest roles. For instance, last year, he was in a great episode of The Office, playing a client that Michael Scott schmoozes over drinks at the local Chili's. He's also has been a few episodes of Help Me Help You, playing a character named Petey. He also made a reality push this past summer, as a contestant on Gameshow Marathon and a judge during the early rounds of Last Comic Standing.
The clips that are appearing on iFilm are primarily from The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. They're uploaded in about three-minute segments, but there are numerous segments so practically the entire show is on iFilm. And the good news is that they appear the morning after a new episode of either show airs. Other Viacom clips include sketches from Chappelle's Show, Reno 911!, The Real World, and Wonder Showzen. There are also clips from The State, as well as other MTV and LOGO programming.
According to Karlin, who along with Stewart spoke to Jacques Steinberg of The New York Times, burnout was one factor; helming both shows was an all-consuming job. But his departure came more from a desire to work on other projects, such as a book of essays he's editing called Things I've Learned From Women Who've Dumped Me.
Colbert called the band out in an episode last week, accusing The Decemberists of riding on his coat-tails. He then instructed the Colbert Nation to enter The Decemberists' contest, but work in his green screen footage from the first Challenge to tear down the band. Oh snap! But wait. There's a second, unexpected snap...
If he leaves, head writer David Javerbaum is set to take his place. Rachel Sklar over at Huffington Post's Eat The Press reports that Javerbaum himself was set to leave the show to pursue a career writing lyrics for Broadway musicals. No word from either source on a) why Karlin is leaving and b) who will replace Javerbaum as head writer. ETP does go on to mention that TDS has hired some new producers, including Daniel Sterling, a former writer and producer for Kitchen Confidential and King of the Hill.
(By the way, on the rare occasion I write something over at Huffington, Rachel edits my stuff. Just wanted to give you full disclosure.)
Ever the philanthropist, Stephen Colbert is extending a helping hand to the residents of Tuscumbia in Colbert County, Alabama by opening the only museum in the nation dedicated exclusively to celebrating, well, Stephen Colbert (he thinks the county was named after him). Starting November 27 and running throughout the week, The Colbert Report will show behind-the-scenes footage of the struggle to open the Stephen Colbert Museum and Gift Shop, and to thwart the efforts of people who want Colbert County to be remembered for Ivy Green, the birthplace of Helen Keller. Frankly, I'd love to see Colbert play Helen Keller in a production of The Miracle Worker, but that's probably just me.
As long as I'm on the subject of The Colbert Report, does anyone else think that Stephen's show is better than The Daily Show? I still love the Daily Show, and perhaps I'm just becoming too familiar with it, but I find myself more and more preferring Stephen's role playing as an idiot pundit over Jon Stewart's dry wit and occasional self-deprecation. Perhaps it's because Stephen never breaks the fourth wall that is constantly smashed to bits on The Daily Show. I still think there's room for both, but I find myself leaning more and more toward the Colbert Nation.
Ex-CBS newsman will be the guest tonight on Comedy Central's live Indecision 2006 special at 11pm. The show will be co-hosted by Daily Show host Jon Stewart and Colbert Report host Stephen Colbert. A quote from Rather, from the article linked above:
"J. Stewart and company offered the chance, and I've taken it...I don't do comedy, I do politics, which sometimes is one in the same."
J. Stewart? That seems like an odd way to say his name. Was this an e-mail interview? Even if it was, does it really take longer to write three characters (Jon) than two (J.)? But I digress...
I've always found the guest interview segments of The Colbert Report to be the oddest part of the show. Because it's not like a separate segment, where Colbert comes out of his character for a serious chat with the guest, he stays in character throughout the entire interview, and it's up to the guest to make his point, plug his book, or just completely play along with the "sketch" and have some fun with it. Some of the best moments of the show is when the guest catches Colbert offguard and Colbert laughs and slips out of character for just a moment.
So what should you do if you're a guest on the show? Troy Patterson over at Slate has some tips. Basically, it comes down to 1.) Act your age, 2.) Laugh Uproariously, 3.) Embrace The Theater, and 4.) Go on the offensive.
Sounds like good advice to me.
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