Stephen Colbert has joined the growing chorus of famous voices for the It Gets Better project, letting kids and teens know that there is life after being bullied. I was the shortest kid in my grade throughout elementary school, so I know a little something myself about bullies. It does get better.
But let Colbert tell you about the power of words, and reclaiming power for yourself. Roll it.
Argue all you want over whether Jon Stewart is a politician, but Stephen Colbert most definitely is. Or should I say, "Stephen Colbert," the character Colbert portrays on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report.
This morning in Washington, D.C., the Federal Elections Commission officially voted to grant his request to form a Super Political Action Committee (or Super PAC). Here's the raw video, provided by the Associated Press, as the FEC approves Colbert and then Colbert hands in his paperwork.
Need background on this?
On last night's episode of The Colbert Report, Colbert explains what he planned to do with his Super PAC, after the U.S. Supreme Court gave the OK for Super PACs to produce independent political advertising...
Plenty of great comedians have delivered graduation speeches to the college graduates of the class of 2011, and Stephen Colbert was no exception to the exceptional this week. Although Colbert, unlike say, Amy Poehler or Conan O'Brien, was talking to seniors at a college he had attended himself -- Northwestern University -- 25 years after he had graduated. Well, sort of.
Colbert explains his own unique graduation moment, shows off his theater student abilities, finds a way to use the terms "brothel," "prostitute" and "pimp" multiple times for the students, and reminds both himself and them how different things are for these kids today than when he was a college student.
Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon got together four weeks ago and sang about their shared elitist status as people with their own Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavors. Their duet ended with an arrangement to become Best Friends For Six Months.
Since then, Colbert raised money by auctioning off one of his paintings, and then jokingly roped Fallon into charitably giving, too -- except Fallon then countered by daring Colbert to sing a cover of Rebecca Black's "Friday" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tonight.
Before this happens on TV, though, Colbert and Fallon got on the phone with Arianna Huffington to explain what it's like to be TV BFFSMs.
Where does this leave Craig Ferguson, though?
Ferguson and Fallon seemingly had their own TV BFF relationship going on to contrast themselves with the "late-night wars."
Remember all the way back to yesterday, when I pointed out the fact that Ben & Jerry's had created similar special ice cream flavors for both Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert? Yeah. Colbert noticed that, too. And Colbert decided to start a food fight with Fallon over it. In his own special way.
First comes war. Includes jokes at the expense of Fallon, Colbert, Stewart, Chelsea Handler and Jay Leno.
Then comes peace. With a bonus hallucination of Ben and Jerry.
As part of Jimmy Fallon's second anniversary as host of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, the Ben and Jerry of Ben & Jerry's presented Fallon, his crew and the audience with a brand-new flavor inspired by Fallon and The Roots: "Late Night Snack."
It's vanilla bean ice cream with salty caramel swirl and fudge-covered potato chip clusters.
Almost four years ago to the day, Ben & Jerry released a limited-edition flavor for Stephen Colbert called "AmeriCone Dream," which was made with vanilla ice cream, a caramel swirl and fudge-covered waffle cone pieces.
So. Salt or no salt? Potato chips or waffle cones? Who ya got?
Either way, it says something special about the connection Fallon and Colbert have made with their audiences that they've gotten their own ice-cream flavors. How is there no Team Coco flavor? What would it be (other than an orange sherbet base, obvs)? What would Letterman ice cream be? Kimmel? Leno? Ferguson? Stewart? Handler? So many possibilities...
Stephen Colbert has gotten portraits of himself into galleries, restaurants and museums. How about in your home?
Portrait 5, Stephen (s), the fifth in the series, could be yours for a price. Colbert and Comedy Central announced today that it'd be auctioned off on March 8 by The Phillips de Pury & Company to benefit DonorsChoose.org, an online charity connecting donors to classrooms in need. You can see the painting beforehand from Friday, Feb. 25 through Monday, March 7 at 450 West 15th St., in New York City. The auction itself will be taped for future broadcast on The Colbert Report.
What makes this one special is its enhancements. Shepard Fairey spray-painted his iconic "OBEY" on it, followed by a horns-and-mustache Sharpie treatment from Andres Serrano, a glance askew by Frank Stella, and an autographed signature from Colbert himself.
Colbert said: “Turns out I’m an artist. That finally explains why I cut off my ear. Many thanks to Phillips de Pury for including this portrait in their auction. I am honored to be sold in the prestigious manner usually reserved for foreclosed homes and champion hogs.”
You can see how art became life became TV became life became art, in this clip from December in which Colbert showed off the piece and made it special for his guest Steve Martin.
Related: The Stephen Colbert Portrait Gallery.
Updated: The painting netted $32,500 in the auction.
On last night's edition of The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert had comic legend Steve Martin on as his guest, and Colbert made darned sure he wasn't going to have to offer a refund to his viewers afterward. Watching his show is free with a cable/internet subscription. But that aside, Colbert poked fun at the 92Y situation at the top of the program.
And then later, Colbert put Martin's art expertise to the real test, first with a real pop quiz about art. Guess how he fared! No, really. Guess!
And finally, Colbert showcased art in a way that managed to include hoity-toity artists such as Frank Stella, Shepard Fairey and Andres Serrano, but also make it all about Colbert. Which is how it should be. You can watch this whole segment unedited -- read: bonus time -- now:
By the way, did you know that Steve Martin has a new book out that revolves around art? He does, he does!
Also, if you really want to see what an hourlong conversation with Steve Martin about art and his book would look and sound like, the fine folks at CBS did just that on Sunday. On the Internet! Enjoy it after the jump...
I don't know if you can ever have too many stars on a benefit show, but Comedy Central certainly tries every two years on behalf of autism research with its Night of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Concert for Autism Education, which airs again tonight.
Much of the event taped earlier this month in NYC, although when it airs this evening, host Jon Stewart and a slew of celebrities will appear live in LA to answer the phones when you call in to make a donation. Viewers also will be able to vote, via texting, on celebrity stunts during the live portion of the broadcast. Comedians appearing and manning the phone bank include Jason Alexander, Mike Birbiglia, Julie Bowen, Drew Carey, Cedric the Entertainer, George Clooney, Bryan Cranston, Larry David, Will Forte, Jeff Garlin, Lauren Graham, Tom Hanks, John Hodgman, Rob Huebel, Penn Jillette, Chris Kattan, Jimmy Kimmel, B.J. Novak, Conan O’Brien, Jim Parsons, Andy Richter, Maya Rudolph, Paul Scheer, Adam Scott, Bill Simmons, David Spade, Eric Stonestreet, Betty White, Larry Wilmore and Weird Al Yankovic.
As for the show itself, I saw it, so I can tell you what you may see, unless they decide to edit it out.
You may or may not see Tina Fey joke about wanting to say hi to her family, then realizing the show is airing on Thursday night, when 30 Rock is on, adding: "Who am I kidding, they're watching Shit My Dad Says on the DVR." Here she is with Stewart showing off her 2011 Tina Fey Swimsuit Calendar:
You may or may not see Ricky Gervais make the audience gasp with a DUI joke that also includes a rape! Here is joking about his history of charitable giving, including the time he was given the gift of a goat. An African goat. Roll it.
You may or may not see Tracy Morgan awkwardly work with Stewart through a sketch about how big his pockets were.
You may or may not see Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell sing a novelty song that's only about 19 months too late, including the re-appearance of Tay Zonday. If you were around 19 months ago, that name might make more sense. But probably not.
You may or may not see Jim Gaffigan kill with his new material about McDonald's.
Jon Stewart has announced the location for the Oct. 30 "Rally to Restore Sanity" in Washington, D.C.
As he explained on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, it's not going to be in front of the Lincoln Memorial, nor will it be on the steps of the Capitol, nor even in front of the Washington Monument.
Nope. Go east to the other end of the National Mall.
Just look at this map.
And as Stewart said on his program, please donate to the Trust for the National Mall. I have a funny feeling this also will be the location for Stephen Colbert's "March to Keep Fear Alive," also happening Oct. 30 in D.C.
Here's the video so Stewart can explain it all in detail for you:
Certainly more than a few people scratched their heads or worse today when they turned on the TV and saw that not only was Stephen Colbert testifying before Congress, but that he was doing so in character. Who's idea was this, anyway? Lots of online kerfuffling over this one, because it didn't make sense to make a mockery out of a serious situation. Or did it?
Roll the clip of Colbert's opening statement to the Congressional subcommittee on immigration:
Turns out Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren invited Colbert. Which makes a lot more sense when you realize that two nights ago, Colbert aired an interview with Lofgren about the subject of migrant farm workers.
And last night, Colbert aired the piece that included him working with the workers, in which he teased his Congressional appearance, and later referenced in front of them. Roll it!
Appearing before the subcommittee certainly made an impact. I'm not sure it was the right one, however, as opponents of reform likely will focus more on Colbert's sarcasm than on the actual issues facing workers and immigrants. Notice on that clip from today how the biggest laugh from inside the room came when Colbert suggested that Republicans and Democrats would work together to do the correct thing, because that's what they always do.
I also hope this does not undercut the planned rallies by Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart on Oct. 30 in D.C.
After a series of teasing pre-announcements, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert announced last night on Comedy Central that they would, in fact, host actual rallies on the National Mall in Washington D.C. on Oct. 30, 2010. As Stewart pointed out, this coincides with the end of a week full of episodes The Daily Show with Jon Stewart will be broadcasting from the nation's capital.
So does this mean New York magazine meant this was the beginning of the Jon Stewart Decade? Because if you read the article, it sounded like they meant it was the end of it. Either way, great way to cap it off. I know where I'll be spending my Cabbage Night. Stewart will lead the Rally to Restore Sanity. Colbert will lead the March to Keep Fear Alive.
As you may recall, FOX News guy Glenn Beck recently held a big rally in D.C. and invited Sarah Palin to spread their own messages to the masses. Here's a quote from the NY Mag cover piece on Stewart that is about his visit to CNN's Crossfire several years ago, but applies here, too:
“What’s been misconstrued is the idea that I’m saying I’m ‘just a comedian.’ I’m not saying I’m just a comedian. I think comedy is harder than what they do. We have to process things in a manner that’s more thoughtful.”
OK. Here's the video of Stewart announcing his rally.
And then, after President Bill Clinton gave a lengthy interview to Stewart, Colbert followed with his own program and his own announcement.
On the eve of the annual Emmy nominations, Steve Carell made his first appearance on The Colbert Report since Carell and Colbert both were colleagues on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The reunion did not disappoint!
Carell opened the show by taking over the show, insisting instead, in a grey suit that closely matched Colbert's own, that we would be watching The Carell Corral.
That may have been Colbert's dream, but comedy fans weren't dreaming when they saw Colbert drop his "Stephen Colbert" arch-conservative character to engage in a witty repartee with Carell about the movie he was plugging, Despicable Me, and their mutual careers post-Daily Show in a re-enactment of their old "Even Stephen" segments. And all of that posturing prompted a cameo, albeit on a screen behind the duo, of Stewart himself to ask how he can move on and take his career to the next level after The Daily Show. Is that a question he really needs to be asking in real life? Let's not think about whether he'll take over Late Show when David Letterman retires, and just for these next six-plus minutes, enjoy the reunion for what it was. Roll the clip!
In case you weren't at Radio City Music Hall last night, or are planning on going tonight, here is something that Conan O'Brien clearly didn't do at any previous stop on his Team Coco theater tour of North America: A fake feud and dance-off with Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart.
Team Coco and Conan himself have linked to this audience YouTube video for you to see for yourself. Enjoy!
Before you can say May Day, May Day, you have to remember that there's still this last day in April, and it got started with not one but two tributes to OK Go's Rube Goldberg machine that made their music video for "This Too Shall Pass" watchable again and again and again.
Stephen Colbert had the band on his The Colbert Report last night, and to kick off the show, he got Syyn Labs to create a customized Rube Goldberg machine to start the credits rolling. Short but sweet. Roll it!
But he wasn't the only one with Rubes and Goldbergs and OKs and Gos on the brains. The Station went retro and reworked the lyrics to make you nostaglic for the game Mousetrap. Did you own that game? Did you enjoy owning that game? Roll the clip and find out.
And because you need a third one to complete the rule of threes, here's an oldie but goodie from the fellas at Mythbusters. Roll it!
I saw an ad for NBC's new show, Who Do You Think You Are?, and I felt like I had seen it before, when I realized I had seen it the other night on subway advertising for a new PBS series, Faces of America. They both sit down celebrities and trace back their family trees. Same exact show. You often see TV networks premiere dueling doctor shows or dueling cop shows, but with distinct plots or locations or whatnots. These two new shows both take celebrities and find out who their ancestors were, which is something we all can relate to on some level. I know I want to know more about where my family came from -- did you know that I'm allegedly the direct descendant of a very very famous king of Ireland? I'll give you a hint. If you think I'm full of blarney, well, I very well may be.
Anyhow. Enough about me, as they say.
The PBS version which kicks off Wednesday is hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., so it has the gravitas of a man who prompted the President of the United States to host a beer summit. And Gates sits down with people like Malcolm Gladwell, so I look forward to the part when Gates explains that Gladwell's grandmother drank past her "tipping point" and decided to have sex with his grandfather in the "blink" of an eye, except that will never happen on a show produced for PBS. He did sit down with Stephen Colbert, however, and the clips from the second week's episode online reveal that Colbert is downright sincere in talking about his family tree, down to pronouncing the "T" in Colbert. Here Colbert talks about why we all want to know where our families came from:
This other clip appealed to the Irish part of my being:
Among the others getting profiled by PBS is director Mike Nichols.
As for NBC, its series starts March 5, and Lisa Kudrow is not only an executive producer, but also a participant in the program. Here's an extended clip showing the various celebs -- Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields, Matthew Broderick, Susan Sarandon, Spike Lee, Emmitt Smith, and Kudrow herself:
Stephen Colbert won the Grammy Award on Sunday night for best comedy album for his collection of all-star duets on "A Colbert Christmas."
When you have talent like Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson, John Legend, Toby Keith and Feist helping you out, Colbert's disc certainly had a much richer musical experience for Grammy voters (compared to say, the vocal stylings of fellow comedy nominee Kathy Griffin). I'm OK with this win a lot more than I was trying to figure out how The Lonely Island's parody of rap, "I'm On A Boat," ended up outside of the comedy category and competing with actual rap/sung collaborations. But Colbert himself would scold me for getting off of the topic, which was how much Colbert owned the Grammys. They had him deliver the opening monologue; gave him one of the first Apple iPads to mock Jay-Z with from the stage; gave his daughter, Madeline, a chance to shine on national television (calm down, fellas); and with all of that, Colbert even managed last night on his own Comedy Central show to find a way to play into the humor of his caricature. Amazing. Let's relive this all through the use of videos, shall we? Brilliant.
Colbert and his daughter, Madeline, work the red carpet, with an interview from TV Guide's correspondents, Carrie Ann Inaba and Chris Harrison. Nice way to work in a Justin Bieber reference! Who are you wearing?
Colbert delivers the opening monologue for the Grammys, says hi to the talent, mocks the talent, and gets his daughter some face time:
Colbert wins a Grammy and gives a sincere acceptance speech, then talks backstage to the press...
Because David Letterman tapes his Friday shows early, he didn't have a chance to weigh in on NBC's late-night TV reshuffling -- or as Bill Carter of The New York Times thinks of it, his new book that'll someday make a miniseries sequel of The Late Shift -- until Monday. Don't worry. Letterman wasn't going to keep quiet. And he didn't. In fact, if he didn't already have guests lined up, you almost think he might have spent the full hour taking jabs at the Peacock Network and Jay Leno. From his opening line, when Letterman deadpanned that once again, he had been passed up for The Tonight Show, through the monologue, then to the desk for a full history lesson on NBC's late-night history, it seemed, to his advice suggesting that Jay and Conan share hosting duties so Jay can "tell his little jokes" and still have time to tinker on his old truck or whatever. And of course, Letterman's staff also put together a special Top 10 List There's Signs of Trouble at NBC.
You could tell that Letterman has fondness for Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Fallon, the two guys who have followed him on NBC's Late Night franchise at 12:30 a.m., but no such good will for Leno even after all these years. Here are three segments just from last night's Late Show with David Letterman. Roll 'em! First up, Letterman's monologue:
Letterman reminds us all what happened in previous years at NBC, and offers a couple of suggestions for what to do in 2010 and wicked impersonations of Leno as a guy who just wants to tell his little jokes and tinker on his old truck, or something:
And here's the Top Ten:
Letterman will continue to get great laughs out of this situation in the short-term. But what about the longer term? What will the late-night talk-show landscape look like for the NBC lineup after the Winter Olympics conclude in March?
Let's start with the easiest guy: Jimmy Fallon. Well, actually, Carson Daly's fate is even easier to describe -- the affiliates own the 2 a.m. hour, so he cannot air then, and even if his show did stick around, it has been an odd duck ever since he ditched the semi-live studio audience format (though that was an oddity, too), and Daly always has seemed out of place whenever he strays from being the Dick Clark of our time (even if Ryan Seacrest wants to take that title from Daly). NBC still can have Daly host New Year's Eve specials and let him focus on his strength as a music guy.