Clash of the comedy titans: media and blogs react to the Stewart-Colbert-O’Brien feud

The blogosphere is abuzz with delight over last night’s three-way show showdown between Stewart, Colbert and O’Brien. I honestly couldn’t tell you my favorite moment, because the whole thing was brilliant – right down to the awful harmonizing between Stephen and Conan, or Jon’s repeated use of his asthma inhaler. And the impromptu dance-off had me rolling on the floor. Here’s a roundup of what some Interneters are saying:

  • TV Squad: The O’Brien vs. Stewart vs. Colbert three-show throwdown
    As most late night TV lovers know, Conan O’Brien, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have developed a feud over who is responsible for Mike Huckabee’s popularity in the presidential race. It’s been a long, involved story, with each guy claiming that they “made” Huckabee and bashing each other back on forth. Well, Monday night was truly spectacular, because the world got to see the feud reach its climax, in the form of a conflict that crossed over The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Late Night. With the three hosts appearing on each others’ shows all on one night, it was special appearances galore. It became a clash of the Titans, a battle of epic proportions, a heaping helping of Monday fanservice —

    Goodness, for a minute there, I lost myself. Should I be worried by how overjoyed I was (and kind of still am)?

    . . . It was one fight scene cliche after the other, from slow-mo punching to falling into cardboard boxes to rolling down a flight of stairs. Some dancing somehow made its way in there, but I’m not complaining.
  • Gothamist: Conan O’Brien’s Huckabee Fight with Colbert, Stewart
    The presidential race has been a goldmine for talk shows (well, when the Writers’ Guild strike isn’t happening) and nowhere is that more apparent than on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. On last night’s Colbert Report, on a riff about John McCain’s Super Tuesday chances and taking credit for Mike Huckabee’e campaign, Stephen Colbert was joined by Jon Stewart, his Comedy Central crony, and then Conan O’Brien!
  • A Sensitivity to Things: Conan O’Brien vs Stephen Colbert vs Jon Stewart
    Perhaps the following video clip is not implicitly inspiring. But it is explicitly funny. Though neither sophisticated nor sarcastic, I was laughing out loud as late night American television hosts Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Conan O’Brien staged a mock fight on the set of Late Night with Conan O’Brien last night—baseball bats, bricks, ice skates and a tumble down the stairs—and there was even a surprise appearance from Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee at the end of the blows.

    . . . What is really great about this clip, the in-joke that informs, underlines everything you see, is that these are three very famous people, working in exactly the same field, competing directly for television ratings and advertising dollars, who should supposedly have very large egos, making fun of all of that, and revealing—wait… is that irony, on American TV?—that they are probably very good friends, having a very good time.
  • Conan. Stewart & Colbert Throw Down
    Conan O’Brien has been “quarreling” with Stephen Colbert over who made Mike Huckabee’s campaign. Conan claims he brought Huckabee insides Americans’ homes. Colbert refutes the assertion; it was he who gets credit. And then there’s Jon Stewart, who claims he made Conan O’Brien, so it’s he who, ipso facto, should get the superlative.

    Last night on Conan’s show, they settled the matter. With a brawl, y’all!
  • The Huffington Post: Conan Shows Up To Confront Stewart And Colbert And “Kick Some Comedy Central A$$”
    Just when we thought the “Who made Huckabee” argument was over, Stephen Colbert and Conan O’Brien are at it again, bringing their drama to the set of “A Daily Show” Monday night. After Colbert played footage from “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” in which the gangly host commanded that Colbert never discuss the matter again, Conan was forced to show up at Jon Stewart’s show, where the trio came face to face to face for the first time. . . The dangerous triumvirate made their way to the set of “The Colbert Report”, where tensions rose. . . But things didn’t get really ugly until the threesome made an appearance on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”. . . At least no one got shot.

Editor’s note: good to see that HuffPo blogger Patrick got clued into the multiple parts to this feud.

  • Radar Online: Stewart, Conan, Colbert in Yuck-y Three-Way
    With writers in the final throes of their strike, talk show cronies are scraping the bottom of the bowl for comedy resin just to survive a bit longer. By combining forces, Conan, Stewart, and Colbert have each managed to eke out one more show’s worth of decent comedy—via a fake feud. For those who’ve given up on their once-favorite talk shows, here’s what the melding of the three funniest minds (sans writers) gets you.

    Sure as hell beats Leno’s Ark.
  • Colbert/O’Brien/Stewart Huckabee Fight Settled With Cross-Overs, Violence, & Arctic Monkeys
    Call it “O’Brienstorm” – after weeks of funny feuding over which one of them “made” presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, three of America’s best late night hosts made cross-over appearances on each others’ shows to finally settle the debate. Saving the big battle for network TV, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert dropped in on Conan O’Brien and showed that late night’s alright for fighting. Featuring Arctic Monkeys’ “Brianstorm” and a Huckabee cameo, check out the clip.
  • TV Envy: Late Night War Ends in Violence
    Well after American Gladiators finished for the evening, when most people were thinking about getting to bed, the battle of the late night hosts began to heat up…again. Let’s re-cap.

    Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert took exception to NBC host Conan O’Brien’s claim that O’Brien “made” Presidential contender Mike Huckabee. Conan responded on his show that he, O’Brien, actually made Colbert. Daily Show host Jon Stewart offered video evidence that in fact Stewart made O’Brien. Thus, the world was put to rights again.

    Until a certain redhead (O’Brien) presented a photo depicting himself delivering both Colbert and Stewart, thus proving that he in fact made them both – and by extension, Huckabee. For those who missed it, this battle all came to head last night. Conan threatened to “kick some Comedy Central ass” and so, Stewart and Colbert showed up to give him exactly this opportunity. . .

    . . . It’s all Colbert, all the time. If this were a fight between Stewart and O’Brien alone, it wouldn’t even be interesting.

On a slightly random note, the general consensus seems to be that it’s ‘Conan’ and ‘Stewart’ and ‘Colbert.’ Is this similar to calling Barack Obama by his last name, but Hillary Clinton by her first name? Or does it just roll off the tongue more easily?


  1. Kina – good s=job ;-P

    I also liked TV Envy’s reasoning
    ““This great nation made me,” Huckabee said, smiling and ending his short speech with a plea for votes. This nation would be America. But, as we all know, Colbert’s book is called “I Am America (And So Can You.” So, finally, Huckabee has settled it once and for all – Colbert…er, America, made him.

  2. I like the photo-editing in the TV Envy piece. LOL!!!!!!

  3. Thanks for the round-up—I for one can’t get enough of Truthiness. Btw, I reckon there’s a great pun waiting to found in Conan’s name—it just needs a word to rhyme with “Barbarian”…

  4. Here is a link to yet another article on last night’s episodes, which includes a joint statement from Jon and Stephen. I just love how they always release joint statements.

  5. @Rebnej – lol! I didn’t notice that the first time I saw the TV Envy piece. But how funny would it have been to put those black bars over the eyes instead?

    Would that be too twisted?

  6. @Jennie:

    Okay, I very nearly spit Diet Cherry Coke all over my desk when I read your suggestion. LOL!!!

    But, yah, that’s a little twisted (but I like it).

  7. Kinaesthesia says:

    @ Jennie: hee, thank you!

    @ John: you’re welcome! It’s nice to see the media attention this little feud has gotten.

  8. Huckabee should have claimed to somehow have made them…. he was kind of lame, otherwise the fight was hilarious. I gotta say my favorite part was the end where it broke down into dancing. Stephen’s dancing gets me rolling every time… and Conan and Jon busting their moves just amped it up. Anyway, here’s to hoping for more crossovers in the future!

  9. One of the Heroes says:

    I have watched the clips from all three shows, over and over. There is just so much funny there. The three of them played off each other so well and they were all great that night (and they obviously enjoyed themselves which I LOVE to see)! I’m glad they didn’t stop with a 3-4 minute segment on each show. The awkwardness and hilariousness of the hallway scenes reminded me of “The Office.”

    All of this press coverage is awesome. Those guys deserve it. They sure made me happy!

    On another note, did you all notice that one of Conan’s audience members was cheering specifically for Stephen? I always love to watch Stephen’s face when he gets audience applause, especially when he is on another late night show. He soaks it right up.

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