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"The Colbert Report"

August 3, 2006 - by Jess

I found out who the guest was going to be about a week before the show and was instantly excited. I remembered the ‘TDS’ segment featuring him and knew it would be a great interview.

I was staying with friends who live about an hour and a half from NYC, so we all headed out around 2:30 the day of the show. Of course we took a wrong turn and got off track a bit, so I was worried we would get there too late and not get in with the overbooking. We got off the train at 8th and 50th around 5 and I walked as fast as my legs could carry my horrendously out of shape body to the studio.

We ended up being around 70th out of 100 in line, and waiting in line wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. They have this nice little canopy over a little alleyway to shield the audience from the elements. Plus, I had bought us all those little handheld fans and some Skittles, so that made waiting much easier.

We only had to wait in the little holding area inside for about 20 minutes before they told us we’d be going into the studio and see the toss between Jon and Stephen.
The studio is so cute and cozy.
We ended up sitting on the side in front of the interview area in the back row.

The warm up guy was pretty forgettable. All I can really remember of him now is he kept saying ‘That’s a beautiful thing, beautiful thing,’ to just about everything anyone in the audience said.

Then Stephen ran out to do the toss. He and Jon talked for a minute and he made the Peace Corps. joke, we all laughed and then he asked, ‘You’ll remember to laugh at that later, right? As soon as I said that I thought ‘SHIT!’‘ So if you thought there was a weak response to that joke, that’s why.

Then more of the warm up guy before Stephen came out to take some questions.

My favorite was a guy asked if he knew that the eagle cry in the credits wasn’t really a bald eagle. He did and thanked the guy for exposing them (it’s a red-tailed hawk) and asked the fellow if he was an amateur or professional ornithologist. The guy answered he had just graduated from college to which Stephen responded, ‘Congratulations! And now the money just roooollllllss in.’

So the show begins, and I’m just so giddy. Just being there, sitting in that little studio watching Mr. Colbert do his thing was entirely too much fun.
And then it gets better.

From where we were sitting, one of the cameras was blocking Joe Leiberman’s chair and Cocoa Puffs. Stephen starts to do an intro and I’m thinking, ‘Who’s coming?’ when my friend starts fiercely hitting me and pointing. The camera moves to reveal David Cross sitting there eating the bowl of cereal. We’re all huge ‘Arrested Development’ fans, and fans of David Cross in general, so that was a thrill. He got a huge round of applause leaving the stage, taking his wig off.
Any disappointment I may have had for there being no Word was made up for by this.

I kept catching myself reading the teleprompter, even though I knew jokes weren’t as funny when you see them coming. Still, it’s neat to see the words first and then see what Stephen and David would do with them.

During the ‘Meet an Ally’ segment, Stephen watched it on a monitor and when things would get ridiculous, causing the audience to laugh, he would make faces and nod as if saying, ‘I know, I can’t believe it either.’

I loved the interview. I nearly peed myself when Truman was mentioned and Stephen mimed a mushroom cloud.

Then the fireside chat.
Stephen got the whole way through until he started talking about the eternal flame being copyrighted and said ‘eternal frame.’ He cracked a smile as we all laughed. ‘Flame.....well, flame OR frame, either one, actually.’ As soon as the segment ended he just mouthed ‘FUCK!’
‘How are we on time? Are we running long?’
So he started to do it again and first flubbed with ‘flan the flames’ and then, ‘Some might say that makes me a war mongeringerrMOTHERFUCKER! ONE MORE TIME!.......Don’t worry, jokes are much funnier the third time. They’re fresher.’
And the third take is what all you fine people saw.

Overall, it was a blast. I’ve been a fan of Mr. Colbert for so long and it was a thrill just being there. Seeing him go from all smiles to the ‘Stephen Colbert’ character, seeing him sing along to The Hives between segments, and him calling us ‘heroes’ were just little extras I wasn’t anticipating.

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