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"The Colbert Report"

September 11, 2006 - by Allisa

I was lucky enough to get a standby ticket to last night's show and meet the man himself afterward.

I decided to try my chances at standby today for two reasons: 1) I have no cable/internet until Saturday (meaning no Colbert Report until next week), and 2) I’m a poor college student/Colbert Nation member with nothing better to do.

I headed over to TCR studios after my second class at 2:00 (one of the perks of going to school three blocks from the studio). I planned on staying there until 4:00 when Mark, the audience coordinator, came out to take my name. I was pleasantly surprised when he came out ten minutes after I got there and put me down for standby. He told me I was the first standby of the day and to return at 6:00.

I then hopped the subway up to my building and watched a few episodes of Strangers With Candy. By 6:00 I was back at the studio in hopes of a ticket to tonight’s show. After the general ticket holders were let in Mark announced that there was only one seat available for standby. And it was mine! Mwuahaha.

He gave me ticket number 88 and ushered me into the holding room. We waited there until 7:15 when we were instructed to line up by the numbers on our tickets. Being the highest number I wasn’t expecting to have the best seat. But after being led into the studio, I found out that the only available seat was in the front row, in front of the interview desk. In July I was lucky enough to have a front row seat, but in front of Stephen’s desk.

After Pete the warm-up guy did his thing, Stephen came out. He started running all over the studio, jumping in the air several times, clicking his heels together. Then he gave everyone in the front row high fives. It was amazing. He asked if anyone had any questions and I raised my hand immediately. He called on me first. My question (which I wasn’t sure if it was lame or funny) went like this:

Me: Barry Manilow...
Stephen: Barry Manilow. Wonderful guy.
Me: ...Great Emmy award-winning performer or greatest Emmy award-winning performer?
Stephen: He has to be the greatest. And you know why? Because he beat me.

I’m having a difficult time remembering the other questions. I do remember someone asked what Stephen’s favorite dinosaur is. He replied, “My favorite dinosaur? And how long have you been teaching preschool?” He then went on to explain that his favorite would have to be the brontosaur (that is how he pronounced it) because it was no longer classified as a dinosaur. Also, someone asked who he was wearing, to which he said, “Why? What are you offering?” He explained he was wearing Brooks Brothers, the only thing he wears on the Report. He asked us what other designer makes their clothing strictly in the US. A few people said American Apparel. Stephen said, “Yes, but they don’t make suits. Maybe if I were doing a porno shoot (!!) I could wear American Apparel, but for now I’ll stick with Brooks Brothers.” Another person asked if he had a chance to visit Stephen Jr. while in California. Stephen said he hadn’t because Stephen Jr. has been released. He compared it to picking up your child at summer camp and finding out they were given away to another family. Stephen said that there will be a piece on Stephen Jr. in tomorrow’s show. (I don't think I am supposed to give that away but whatever. The LJ fans deserve to know.) One other thing: Someone told Stephen that Pete spit all over the mic he was using. Stephen proceeded to french the microphone and then say, "Did he really?" Oh to be that microphone...

Somewhere between the Q&A and the start of the show Stephen asked one of his crew members how many shows they have taped to which he didn’t get a response. “You’re fired. You know, her only job is to know how many shows we’ve taped and she can’t even do that.”

The taping started shortly after. I had a fantastic seat; the only time I had trouble seeing was at the beginning of the first segment because the stage manager was in the way. Other than that, I was golden. During the commercial breaks Stephen would dance in his seat while his staff briefed him. Stephen almost broke character several times which was pretty much the best thing ever. When Martin Short came out the two of them kinda stared each other down. Stephen put his legs up on his desk and lowered his seat. He didn’t bother fixing his chair before going back on camera which is why he looks ridiculously short before his interview with Martin. The interview was hilarious. Singing!Stephen! and Gay!Stephen! are definitely my favorite Stephens. To see them both in one interview was pretty much amazing.

After the clapping lullaby thing at the end, Stephen stared into the camera for a good two minutes while the audience went wild and the other cameras panned across the stage. He kept a straight face until the cameras were off and then he laughed. He then asked the audience, “So how did you like doing a comedy show on a day like today? It was weird, right?” That was the only time he acknowledged the date off-camera. And that’s pretty much it.

After the taping I hung around hoping to get a real picture with Stephen. I was the only person who waited. Stephen came out around 9:00. Our conversation went as follows:

Me: Hi Stephen.
Stephen: Hey, sup? (this is where he gave me a high five)
Me: I was wondering if it would be okay to get a picture with you?
SC: Yeah, that’s not a problem at all. Follow me.
He took me to the parking garage where his car was parked. I told him that I was trying not to be a nuisance. He said I wasn’t. I also showed him the faux picture of the two of us on my phone.
SC: When was this taken?
Me: It’s a fake picture, actually.
SC: Oh wow. Let’s do this. We can take a picture against this wall so it looks nice.
He led me to the wall while inspecting the fake picture. He then coached me on how to take the picture myself.
Stephen Colbert, the camera whore: Extend your arm all the way out. As far as you can. Now, can you see our reflection in the mirror? Try to center it. There you go.
I took the picture but it came out rather blurry. Also, you can’t really see the “nice” brick background that Stephen loved so much. But whatevs. I finally got myself a real picture with Stephen Colbert:

Stephen Colbert and Allisa, his fangirl friend

Right after taking the picture, we had to move out of the way because the valet brought his car to the front. We moved to the cashier stand but apparently I was in the way of the sensor. Stephen actually grabbed my arm and pulled me more towards him so I could get out of the way. Heh.

I asked him if he would sign my copy of Wigfield. I handed him the book and a pen and he asked what my name was and I told him. As I spelled it out for him (damn my parents for trying to be original) he gave me this smile that made me melt. Ugh. He signed my book:

Stephen Colbert autographs Wigfield

(For those of you who don’t know, page 82 is a picture of Raven, an oddly gorgeous woman with a nice ass. AKA: Stephen in drag.)

He handed back my book and pen and I thanked him. We said goodnight and that ended my evening of Stephen Colbert.

Stephen is such a genuinely nice, down-to-earth man; the complete opposite of his character. Not to mention the fact that he is damn attractive. Ugh, love love love. I cannot believe my luck. I hope to never take it for granted. And it's going to be difficult but I promise to leave Stephen alone until November 16th (I just got an email confirmation with tickets to that show date today).

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