Episode 4020 (02/07/2008)

Section 1: The 3rd Annual Stephen Colbert’s Ethnic Minute; The 1st Annual Black Chinese History New Year Month Minute; Stephen and Mike Huckabee at the ‘Colbert Big Board’.

Section 2: Better Know A Lobbyist (part 1 of ∞) – Human Rights Campaign’s Fightin’ Gays, featuring Lobbyist Joe Solmonese – The dramatic conclusion: The Gay Agenda.

Section 3: Mark Moffett, author – ‘Face to Face With Frogs’

In closing: Good night, everybody. And once again, a hearty “Qapla’ Balth je!”

Guest Plug:


  • Let’s be honest, Folks – haven’t you done enough? Let me carry the load for the next half hour. I got this one.
  • Anyone who watches this show knows that I’m all about diversity. There’s nothing I enjoy more that celebrating the accomplishments and contributions to American society of ethnic minorities.
  • Now, you know where this one is going. Check your calendars. You know! It is time for the 3rd Annual Stephen Colbert’s Ethnic Minute.
  • Now, if you watch the show regularly you know that though this is the 3rd Annual Stephen Colbert’s Ethnic Minute, this is the first year we have actually done it. First year we were really going to do it – we had every intention but we ran out of time. I think we were covering golf tournament? They’re telling me I’m right. It was a golf tournament, we went a little bit long so we had to cut it.
  • The second year, we just plum forgot. But this year we are bound and determined to do it.
  • Of course, it is Black History Month. So it is natural to honor a prominent African-American today but – when I came in this morning someone mentioned to me that it is also Chinese New Year.
  • African-American’s have given us so much: they’ve given us great political philosophers, they’ve given us poets, they’ve given us great legal minds, and I might say I am particularly grateful for peanut butter.
  • Then again, the Chinese also a wonderful culture. They’ve given us philosophy, they’ve given us great architects, they’ve given us brilliant musicians and, little know fact, Chinese invented ice cream. I’m not sure who’s Chinese, Ben or Jerry.
  • Editor’s Note – OK, Stephen, did you forget Americone Dream? Or is it just for Lent?
  • There is no way to reconcile these two great cultures – or is there? [Tastes a spoonful of Jiff peanut butter and Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla ice cream] That works.
  • It is time to proudly present the 1st annual Black Chinese History New Year Month Minute.
  • One of the greatest challenges of Black Chinese History New Year Month Minute is who to honor. Which member of the vibrant Black Chinese American community to single out for this honor?
  • At first I thought I would honor the lead singer from Fine Young Cannibals. You know – the um, you know, [singing] She drives me crazy. Ooh, ooh-ooh. Only one problem – he is neither Black, Chinese, or American.
  • Second, obviously, I went to Grace Jones. Undeniably a Black woman – turns out she is not Chinese. She is merely exotic. It’s a fine line.
  • That left only one possible candidate to be the most honored Black Chinese American. Lady’s and Gentlemen – Lieutenant Worf of the USS Enterprise.
  • Before any of you get offended and send letters off to the FCC, or the NAACP, or the Asian Media Watch, or the Federation Council [c/o United Federation of Planets, San Francisco, USA] let me just say that I think a strong case can be made that Lieutenant Worf is a Black Chinese American.
  • He’s doing Tai Chi, for Pete’s sake. That tears it.
  • As for Black, listen to this line that Worf lays down: [Lt Worf – “It is among the Klingons that love poetry achieves its fullest flower”] And what is the fullest flower of love poetry? [Barry White singing “Can’t get enough of your love, baby”]
  • It is with a very confident heart that tonight, in honor of Black History New Year Month Minute, on behalf of the entire Colbert Nation, that I say “Qapla’ Balth je” [Honor and Success]
  • *Well done, Audience!*
  • Well, that minute took almost 4 minutes. I don’t have to do it again before 2012.
  • Getting back to middle aged white guys like me. That of course means the Republican party primaries.
  • It looks like, as much as I don’t want to admit it, that Senator John McCain will be the nominee for President of the Republican party. Bob’s your uncle, it is written in stone.
  • Mike Huckabee: Wait just a minute, Stephen. Wait just a minute. Why this ‘John McCain’?
  • I don’t have the same budget or the technology as the major news networks. I don’t have John King’s million dollar screen where you just touch a primary state and pull it out. I don’t even have Katie Couric’s desktop miniature United States that she powers with a monkey paw. That’s right – I am saying that Katie Couric has a monkey paw. I am breaking that right now.
  • I have the Colbert Big Board. This utilizes the latest air cushion technology. It allows – hold on, New Mexico, hold on. It allows you to manipulate the states, just like in real life.
  • *Huckabee is pretty good at air hockey*
  • You think you can score with Texas?
    • Stephen: You keep hitting it, but it won’t go in.
    • Huckabee: I think you cheated. I think Texas is bigger than the hole.
  • Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas – the new President of Texas!
    • Solmonese: I think the best way to illustrate that is to ask you when did you decide to be straight?
    • Stephen: Late ’82. Like November of ’82. I just wanted to let you know – I had options, and I said, ‘you know what? Being gay seems like a lot of effort.’ I’m essentially lazy so I went straight.
    • Solmonese: In 1982.
    • Stephen: In ’82 or ’83… it’s a little foggy.
  • The “We’re here. We’re queer.” part makes it really difficult to get used to it.
  • If you lobby too much, people are going to become insensitive to them. They’re not going to hear them anymore. They’ll build up a big… a big gay callous.
    • Stephen: You say “don’t ask, don’t tell” doesn’t work. Well, how can it work if people like you are running around telling everybody? No one asks, but you also gotta not tell. Don’t you see that this is kind of your fault?
    • Solmonese: Well, that’s kind of a two way street.
    • Stephen: And we’re doing our part by ignoring your needs.
    • Stephen: I don’t want to make this just about gay men. These uncomfortable feelings I have are for all of ya – gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered. I don’t want to single out gay men.
    • Solmonese: Which uncomfortable feelings?
    • Stephen: I mean, you know, the “What?”. You know, that feeling? You know what I’m talking about. Like when somebody doesn’t agree with how you think about how you should use your genitals? You go “What? What’s that about?” feeling. That’s the feeling that I’m talking about. And I don’t get it. Women are so attractive. Don’t you… I’m sorry, this is on a… just… they’re so soft! They smell great. You know, let me lobby you for a second.
    • Solmonese: Sure.
    • Stephen: Women… they have great things, you know. They’ve got great… parts. There’s so much more, you know? There are a lot of options. I’ll just put it that way. Let’s look at it practically. There are just way more options.
    • Solmonese: That’s it? That’s your lobbying effort?
    • Stephen: Uh… Oh, God. They’re soft, they smell good, they have vaginas…
    • Solmonese: [wrinkling his nose] O.K. I think that, well, there are lots of beautiful women, there are lots of good looking men…
    • Stephen: Oh, I grant you that. I grant you there are good looking men. Hey – Denzel Washington. Gun to may head. Of course. But I’m talking about like optimo-primo experience.
  • What makes you go schwing?
  • I’m no fan of amphibians. I say, “water or land. Pick a side. We’re at war.”
  • *OK, being a complete fan of science nerds (or is it geeks?), I adore this whole interview*
    • Stephen: What eats frogs? What are you going to study next? Snakes? French people?
    • Moffett: French people. Nigerians eat frogs and they say don’t eat the frog until it croaks. Because when they’re smaller they are poisonous; when they’re bigger they are tasty. But mostly what eats frogs…
    • Stephen: I thought they meant until they die, when they croak.
  • It’s a gorgeous book. I wish I was in it.
  • Their bald eagle is a frog?
  • You brought some pictures along with you. I just don’t understand why I should care about these things…. Oh my God! That is so beautiful!
    • Stephen: I would make *that* [the world’s most toxic frog] my national animal in Panama and then nobody would mess with you.
    • Moffett: It’s in Columbia, unfortunately.
    • Stephen: It’s in Columbia? It’s a dangerous place.
    • Moffett: It dances is kind of a John Travolta manner. Moving the legs back and forth like this…
    • Stephen: Like Michigan J. Frog.
    • Moffett: This is the world’s smallest frog…
    • Stephen: Or the world’s largest eyeball. You can go either way with that one.
  • Stephen: [picking up the large frog] Is this guy poisonous?
  • Moffett: He has fangs.
  • Stephen: [quickly returning the frog] Thank you very much.
  • Stephen: Thank you, Michigan.

Fangirl Suit Report: Charcoal gray pinstriped suit; Royal Oxford purple shirt with French cuffs and Ainsley collar; Lilac tie with lavender square dot pattern; Red wristSTRONG bracelet.

In light of the ongoing strike by the Writers Guild of America, we will not be posting links to Comedy Central videos until the issues regarding internet-based ad revenues are resolved.


  1. laughing at nothing says:

    As usual, great recap.

    The Huckabee saga continues. He certainly has the best sense of humor among all the candidates.

    Heh, Stephen Colbert’s innate heterosexual admiration of women sounded quite similar to someone else’s:

    “They smell good. They look pretty. I love women. I do.”
    –Tom Cruise in Reader’s Digest

    Of course, Stephen Colbert mentioned another attribute of women that Mr. Cruise avoided acknowledging, probably from fear of reflexively wrinkling his nose the way Solmonese did. ;P

    Schwing? We just were talking about Mike Myers and Dana Carvey earlier in the evening!

    I’m quite ignorant on the origin of cartoon characters, so I didn’t know who Michigan J. Frog was though I had to have seen him at some point in my life. Thanks very much Jennie for linking to information about him. As for the frog’s fangs, he’s the one defending the tadpoles. One needs some kind of defensive attribute to protect the children!

    Have a great weekend, all. Westminster KC at the Garden on Monday and Tuesday!

  2. Did anyone else think the “Honor & Success” shoutout was for the writer confab this weekend?

    He hasn’t been nodding to the writers at the end of the show, so maybe this was a subliminal one…

  3. “Stephen Colbert mentioned another attribute of women that Mr. Cruise avoided acknowledging, ”

    LOL! That was hilarious. I had no idea he was riffing on Cruise, nice catch.

  4. @ Tina,
    It might have been, though it might have also been for Star Trek fans too, considering you’d have to really know the show (and, apparently, the language as well) to know what he said. I hadn’t the foggiest until I read the Episode Recap (nice work, Jennie!), but it sounded Klingon-ish.

    And, a big Tip of the Hat to Huckabee for proving that just because you’re a serious politician doesn’t mean that you have to leave your sense of humor by the wayside during an election year. LOVED the air hockey bit!

  5. @laughing at nothing
    Thanks for the info about the Tom Cruise quote. Just makes it that much funnier. And how wonderful was Solmonese wrinkling his nose and trying to change the subject while Colbert was trying to lobby him. =)

    Great show and great recap!

  6. TheLakeEffect says:

    Enjoy the “Tai-Chi” link, folks.

    Your “part-Klingon” friend,

  7. Great link TLE, thanks! My inner geek rejoices.

    BTW: I noticed this…

    “I went to Grace Jones. Undeniably a Black woman – turns out she is not Chinese. She is merely exotic.”

    But I thought Stephen didn’t SEE race?!

  8. I loved the bit where he was trying to lobby Solmonese! I had no idea Tom Cruise had said something similar. Probably because I don’t like him. I laughed out loud when Solmonese wrinkled his nose and changed the subject when Stephen said “vagina”. Hilarious! I’m also a huge science geek and a veterinary technician so I really loved the interview with Mark Moffett. I may have to find that book now. And the air hockey was fun too.

  9. somuch2kno says:

    @Tina –
    “Honor & Success” – I thought of the writers, too! But then wasn’t sure if that wasn’t a bit of a reach. Maybe not.

    This was a great, entertaining show! The Huckabee segment was both so smooth AND silly. He just comes off as being so comfortable. I don’t think I want him for President (my apologies to Stephen’s political aspirations), but he can come by and hang out any time. And air hockey – Brilliant!

    Part II of BKAL was also great. I had to go back and watch it again, tho’, ’cause, as with Wednesday’s segment, I was too busy looking at Stephen looking like… himself (sort of)! Did he do his own hair? And I saw freckles! When he’s in full “Stephen” make-up, you usually can’t spot a freckle even in a close-up!

    Finally – the frog had me flashing back to the best days of Johnny Carson. Nothing says great TV like a monkey on a host’s head. Or a frog with fangs.

  10. @TLE – thanks for finding the “tai chi” link… I was anxious to get this up and, not having seen Star Trek since Kirk, Spock, and Scotty days, never would have found one as good for a good while.

    @somuch2kno – It was definitely a flash back to Carson for me as well… in fact my first thought when I saw him pick it up was “he’s channeling Carson”. That he handed it back so quickly only made it even more so.

  11. Oh, so THAT’s what tongue in cheek meant…

    Or is it? :)

  12. I haven’t seen the episode yet, but my inner Star Trek geek was flailing at the idea of Stephen speaking Klingon. And how sad is it that I knew it was Klingon even before I saw the mention of Worf?

    @somuch2kno: I’m with you about Huckabee. He has a great sense of humor and interacts with Stephen so well. But I’m also not voting for him. (Or actually, didn’t vote for him on Tuesday.) Can’t wait to see the air hockey segment now!

  13. looped linear says:

    yup, those options’ll get you every time…. I mean , you just can’t beat 4 on the floor, and a moon roof. :D ( i didn’t get the Tom Cruise ref either, so thanks for pointing that out…it makes the bit even funnier)

    And it’s so cool that he knew the Bugs Bunny frog’s name…i always loved that frog.

  14. One of the Heroes says:

    @somuch2kno & Jennie
    I was thinking of Carson too!

    I found a YouTube clip of Michigan J. Frog:

  15. Stephen Tordoff says:

    Anyone else notice that the air hockey table had “Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012” on the side?

    Huckabee/Colbert ticket for ’12?

  16. @St. Tordoff – HaHaHa! The writing on the side was a bit blurry when I watched it and I assumed it said 2008 – I had to look close this time to confirm it’s 2012.

    Here’s to thinking ahead!

  17. One of the Heroes says:

    Wow! I assumed it said 2008. Good catch.

    I had to laugh this morning. A local Sunday news program showed a video clip of the 3 pundit feud over Huckabee and then tried to take credit for Huckabee because he was on their show before he announced his candidacy… :-)

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