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"The Colbert Report"

July 25, 2006 - by Allisa

I went to New York yesterday for the sole purpose of registering for classes at my college. But seeing as I was finished with that uber early I figured I'd walk the five blocks to the Colbert Report studio to try my luck at standby.

I arrived there at 2:30 (yeah, that early) and the only other people there were a girl and her mom from Alabama. The girl's name was Christine (or was it Christina?) and she said she was on LJ but I don't remember her username. They were ticket holders who happened to have an extra ticket and gave it to me. I couldn't believe my luck. I went from no ticket to number 3 in line. The first person for standby came around 3:15 and the next group of people with tickets didn't get there until around 4. (Does anyone know if any standby tickets were given away?)

At 6pm they handed out numbered card ticket things and we all moved into the waiting area. After everyone was situated inside the room a woman came out to tell us that since TDS had to reshoot a segment and were running late we would be able to watch the throw between Jon and Stephen. Yay!!

At 6:45 we were seated in the studio (which is extremely small). I was in the front row, directly in front of Stephen's desk. I couldn't have been happier. I think I spotted Stephen's wife talking to someone in the row behind me. I'm almost positive it was her. Then the warm-up guy, Pete, came out and I thought he was pretty funny. He refered to Stephen as "annoyingly handsome." Stephen came out just a few minutes later to do the throw. (Actually, he came out once and TDS wasn't quite ready so he said, "The Daily Show is on its way out." Then he left and came back 2 minutes later.) It was really cute to watch him read over his script. Jon came on and him and Stephen talked for a minute or so to make sure the satellite connection was okay. Their conversation was hilarious. First Jon introduced his audience to Stephen and they all cheered. And then Stephen signaled for us to cheer so we did.

Jon: Oh, your audience is already there? I'm sorry for holding you up.
Stephen: This is better because I can go right into the show from here. I prefer it when you fail.
Jon: Actually, I didn't fail. A diabetic boy went into a coma.
Stephen: Something about how that is still failing. I don't remember his exact words
Jon: Luckily I had an Almond Joy (I think he said Almond Joy) and we held it up to his lip and he came to. After he woke he gave the heimlich maneuver to a choking woman. Unfortunately, I have the bird flu and I gave it to him. I think he may have died.

Then they did the throw which was amusing. From where I was sitting I could see Stephen's prompter so it was pretty neat to be able to read along. After that was finished we could see Jon say, "Here it is, your moment of zen" and then it cut away. Stephen was like, "I never know what his moment of zen is and it's really frustrating."

Then Stephen left for ten minutes or so while Pete entertained us. Stephen came back and did a Q&A with the audience. He was extremely charismatic and charming and funny. I'm having a hard time remembering what was asked. I know he explained what coprophagia was and talked about that for a while. He was suprisingly knowledgable on the subject, explaining it is extremely contagious. He said it's like the pink eye of the body. Christine/a asked what the show has against Tucker Carlson. Stephen was like, "This show has nothing against Tucker Carlson. We celebrate Tucker Carlson!" Somebody else asked what Bush said after his White House Correspondents speech. He basically said that all Bush did was shake his hand and say "good job." Although, Stephen did explain that when the skit with Helen Thomas started he looked over at Bush to see his reactions but Bush was already watching Stephen so there was like a 2 second awkward moment.

So then the show started and Stephen almost forgot to put his water bottle under the desk. It was funny to watch him sneak it under there with two seconds before being on screen. During the opening segment it was neat to watch Stephen while they showed the GMA/Today Show clips of Wexler. He didn't really react, he was mostly making a weird face that looked like he was stretching his mouth while it was closed. And he raised his eyebrows a lot.

During the first commercial break Stephen changed from a red tie to a light blue tie and he walked over to the green screen. While they were setting up the cameras, Stephen went over his script and then he started dancing(!!). Also, he was teasing random people and he did this booty-shaking dance thing to one of his crew members. Lucky woman.

They then did the Formidable Opponent segment in front of the green screen. Stephen's new tie changed colors with the different backgrounds. They also mirrored his image between the backgrounds. That's how that worked.

After that segment was finished Stephen went back to his desk and put his regular tie on and prepared for the interview segment. William Donohue took his seat and Stephen did this cute little wave to him. Then the interview happened. I was absolutely disgusted by Donohue but Stephen was a good sport about it. After the interview finished the two of them talked for maybe 10 more seconds. When Donohue got up to leave Stephen was like, "William Donohue everybody!" and we clapped.

Finally, the closing segment was taped. After Stephen said his lines, he walked over to the bookshelf and picked up what looked like a tiny brown football and started examining it while being filmed. (I don't remember seeing that part on TV last night.) After 20 seconds of fondling the football Stephen looked up at the camera and gave this "can I stop doing this now?" face. It was adorable.

After the taping, Stephen came over to the audience and told us we were fantastic. Then he walked backstage and it was over.

I was suprised by how skinny of a man Stephen is. I mean, I knew he was skinny, but he was smaller than I imagined. He's not really short but he's not tall either. Also, he's extremely attractive (duh). The camera does not do him justice. And I noticed he has gray hairs on the side of his head. So cute. When he first came out he had a pen between his teeth and he was smiling and I just about died. Yeah.

That's about it for my recap. Hopefully somebody else who was there will write up a better review. Also, there was a photographer there from New York Magazine (the best magazine ever) who Stephen said was "documenting my life." Be on the look out for a spread in NY Mag in the coming months.

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