Episode 4041 (4/1/2008)

“I never proofread my scripts so I have more time to bring you the turth. This is The Colbert Report!

Body Politics: “Tonight, I take a look at the future of health care. I really hope it’s sexy robot nurses.”

  • Stephen is declared a National Treasure! His portrait will be moved to the Smithsonian for two weeks.
  • The Atonement Phone with Smithsonian director Brent Glass

Interest Rage: “Then, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson unveils the new plan for the economy. Everyone puts their money under one giant mattress.”

  • The Wørd: Pick Sicks
  • Stephen Colbert’s Bears and Balls

Collared Greens: “And my guest Van Jones promotes earth-friendly jobs. But if you hug a tree for money, doesn’t that make you a green-collar prostitute?”

  • Van Jones, environmentalist and co-creator of ‘Green for All’

In closing: Well, that’s it for the show. Check out my portrait. It will be at the National Treasures of American History Exhibit at the Air & Space Museum until April 13th. Good night, everybody.

GreenForAll.org – a national organization dedicated to building an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty


  • *The toss: April Fools Day jokes all around!*
  • Arrr, welcome to me show, welcome, arrr! Oh, sit ye down! I’ll make you walk the plank! I’ll keelhaul you, you scurvy dogs! Sit down or I’ll cut out your guts! Because I’m a pirate, arr! Ha ha, April Fools. I’m not actually a pirate. I’m a talk show host. It’s me, Stephen Colbert. How many of you did I fool? Be honest. A couple of ya? Okay, that was fun. Try to forget, ’cause I want to do this again next year. That was a good one – that was my kids’ idea.
  • Six weeks ago, I gave my portrait – I tried to give my portrait, at least – to the Smithsonian’s National Treasures Exhibit. But it was rejected by the director Brent Glass. *audience boos*
  • But it was then accepted by the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. where it has hung for the past six weeks.
  • It’s coming down. This is the greatest tragedy to hit Washington since the Capitol Police started using Segways.
  • I was hung in the highest – highest place of honor. Between the restrooms and above the water fountain.
  • Let me tell you, folks – I was drawing at least as many visitors as the other portraits on that wall.
  • I personally, I think the museum was pressured by someone else with a portrait in the gallery who was jealous that I was getting all the attention. Somebody petty like Lance Armstrong. He was probably mad cause I said he didn’t belong there. But really, where would we be if we let in everybody that won seven Tour de Frances and came back from testicular cancer? We gotta have standards.
  • *The Atonement Phone!*
    • Stephen: Shalom!
    • Glass: Stephen, this is Brent Glass.
    • Stephen: Brent Glass, director of the Smithsonian’s National Treasures of American History Exhibit?
    • Glass: Yes, yes.
    • Stephen: Well Brent, I assume you called to gloat because the National Portrait Gallery took down my picture.
    • Glass: No, actually I’m calling to say that we here at the National Treasures Exhibit have changed our minds.
    • Stephen: Wh-what? What are you saying?
    • Glass: We, we have thought it over; we would like to feature your portrait at the collection in the National Treasures Exhibit for two weeks.
    • Stephen: Well, Mr. Glass, that’s nice, but I’m sorry, my portrait and I have other plans. We haven’t seen each other much lately, so I’ve rented a cabin in the woods, and we’re gonna go up there. It’s just gonna be the two of me.
    • Glass: Well, well – if you’re not interested –
    • Stephen: No no wait a minute, I’m in, I’m in. Okay, but first – first you gotta say it.
    • Glass: Say what?
    • Stephen: You know, I mean . . . if I’m gonna be hanging in your exhibit, that means . . .
    • Glass: Okay. Stephen Colbert, you are a National Treasure.
    • Stephen: YES! YES! Take that, Lincoln’s stupid hat! Thank you, thank you sir!
  • Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have made health care the single most boring issue in their campaigns. Now, if you’ve watched the debates, you know the major difference between their two health plans is that Hillary mandates insurance for all Americans while Barack has an angry black preacher.
  • As for John McCain, he has his own health plan. It’s called ‘sleeping.’
  • The fact is, millions of Americans need health insurance, especially now that Airborne doesn’t work. Now, we don’t have to make coverage universal, but we do have to make it fair. And the State of Oregon has a plan that does just that. And it’s the subject of tonight’s Wørd. [Pick Sicks]
  • Now, normally, I wouldn’t be excited about any idea from Oregon. [“Let’s Get High And Kayak”]
  • But, this is such a good idea I’m thinking of promoting them from California’s Canada to California’s coonskin cap. You see, Oregon’s state health plan has a budget to insure just 24,000 of the 130,000 residents who qualify for it. So, how will they figure out who gets the coverage? [A High Kayaking Contest?] Simple. A lottery.
  • Gambling for health insurance is a fantastic concept. Health is a gamble anyway. [Stephen Swallows Random Pills]
  • In fact, a health care lottery would be perfect for the whole country. It puts control back into the hands of the people. They get to pick their own lucky numbers. [Use Birthday, Cholesterol Count]
  • I say, if you want to increase your odds, you can join in with your coworkers to get a bunch of tickets. Then if you win, you can all split the liver transplant. And once the health lottery catches on, we can expand the coverage.
  • Need a prescription? You can have any medication you can grab with the mechanical claw. [Image of a claw machine] You know what, I might play right now. *Pulls out a scratch ticket* I am way overdue for a prostate exam. It’s like squatting on a melon. All right, here we go, prostate, prostate! Awwww! Mammogram.
  • Look, I think we don’t have to limit to procedures. We can use the lottery to get diagnoses too. [Lotto balls – 34 lbs overweight, 5-inch growth, 22 months left to live]
  • The lottery is the fastest, most cost-effective way to provide Americans with the basic right of health care. [Next To Actually Providing It]
  • Folks, it will work just as well with our other basic rights. *Another scratch ticket* C’mon, keep and bear arms, keep and bear arms… Aw, freedom of the press. I’d like to shoot those guys.
  • Welcome back, folks, unless you have been living under a rock, you know the American financial sector is in crisis. And if you are living under a rock, I’m sorry, we’re going to have to repossess it.
  • Yes, in tough times, Americans must join together and follow the advice of a big red button! [Panic!] This is Stephen Colbert’s Bears and Balls!
  • First of all, if they’re losing their houses, they’re no longer homeowners. Problem solved.
  • But for those who still hold a mortgage, the solution is simple. [Sell your children.] No, no. [Rent your organs.] Not yet! [Buy a bigger house.] Exactly!
  • Asking the government to care about your six-figure mortgage is like praying to Jesus to get rid of your love handles. They’ve got bigger problems.
  • But sink ten billion dollars into that home and suddenly that roomful of solid-gold toilets is a linchpin of the economy. Bingo! You get a bailout. By the way, about those toilets? You’re going to need a roll of gold leaf.
  • Oh, you can just feel your debt melting away. Of course not everyone can understand the economic jargon in this report, like Princeton economist and stupidhead Paul Krugman.
  • Everyone knows the biggest threat to capitalism is – [Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos.] Oh, no. No. Those are delicious, and quite profitable.
  • [Regulation.] Exactly! Consider this! FDR passed the first child labor law in 1938 and the very next year, Hitler invaded Poland. Coincidence? Yes.
  • Finally, it wouldn’t be Bears and Balls without a hot investment tip! [Rats!] Almost! [Rakes!] Not quite! [Rat Rakes! ] Yes!
  • Think of how useful that will be. Rats with the ability to do yardwork. That is why tonight, I’m urging you to invest heavily in Stephen Colbert’s Rat Rakes. Rakes for rats. Mark my words, Nation, rake-wielding rats are the next wave of cheap labor!

  • Well that’s it for Bears and Balls, remember – [Beeeees!] What? [We’ll be right back!]
  • It’s just me and Mistah Jo-ones!
  • What does that mean, we’re green collar, blue collar, white collar? Why the collar bubble? Is the real boom in the collar economy?
    • Jones: No, a green-collar job is a job that’s good for your pocketbook but it’s also good for the earth.
  • But you know what, when I was a kid, they promised me a jet pack. Where’s my jet pack? Where’s my little TV right here? I don’t understand!
    • Jones: Well, listen, I tell you what. If we’re gonna give a jet pack, it needs to be a solar jet pack.
    • Stephen: Are you interested in solar energy because that is a solar panel for a love machine up there? *gesturing at Jones’ shaved head*
  • Jones: If you think about it, the United States has 4% of the world’s population. We put out 25% of the world’s greenhouse gases and we also have 25% of the world’s prisoners.
  • Jones: We need to get into an economy where we’re conserving energy, we’re not wasting it, where we’re using clean renewable energy that we can make here in the United States, not importing it. So rather than just think about people picking up trash, we can think about people becoming solar engineers. People putting up solar panels on people’s houses – that’s good jobs that pay well. They’re good for the earth, they keep us out of wars for oil, which, you know, some people think we’re involved in right now. So we can build a green economy in this country.
    • Stephen: What would you call the economy of the dirty? Would you call that a brown economy, or a grey economy?
    • Jones: Yes. We would call that the grey economy. A pollution-based economy. Which frankly, right now, you know, it adds to cancer, asthma, with the industry prices going up, oil and everything else, we’re going to be in a situation if we’re not careful, where a huge part of our GNP is going to be going overseas, more and more, 100 dollars a barrel, 200 dollars a barrel. Instead of doing it that way, why don’t we create clean and green jobs here in the United States?
    • Stephen: So does the green economy actually clean up the grey economy?
    • Jones: Well, the green economy is the economy *laughs* – yeah, sure.
    • Stephen: Whatever, I mean, whatever! It’s your economy. It’s your unicorn herding.
  • I recommend you first get a president who used to work in the solar power industry.

Fangirl Suit Report: Black suit, White shirt with French cuffs, Black tie with white stripes. WristSTRONG bracelet.

Brent Glass: Stephen gets a surprise call from the Smithsonian’s National Treasure Exhibit.

More Video Highlights, courtesy of Comedy Central’s shiny new Colbert Report website


  1. AmandaIvy says:

    Lol at the top of the post, you have The Word as being “Sick Picks” but in the notable moments you have it as “Pick Sicks”.

    We got a toss!!! Yay! Even if Stephen “died”. *tear*

    I gotta admit, I was digging the black and white tie.

    Great show. And great job, NFZ staff, for getting these up so fast. You never cease to amaze.

  2. mrtigger001 says:

    man you guys are warriors. i was catching the 1:30AM EST showing of TCR and when I looked on NFZ the recap was already there.

  3. Kinaesthesia says:

    @AmandayIvy: ha, good catch. Even warriors make typos… or my brain was still stuck on brackets.

  4. ColbertFaninChicago says:

    When Stephen was on the phone with Mr. Glass, I kept thinking that he was trying to get him to say, “Yes, Stephen, you are well-hung.” I was actually surprised when it turned out to be “Stephen, you are a national treasure!”

    And is it me, or are the references to the Doritos starting to get a little stale? Pardon the pun, of course. It feels like that joke is wearing a bit thin.

  5. How do you guys get these up so fast? Man you are good. You had this up literally by !:30 like mrtrigger001 said.

  6. @ ColbertFaninChicago

    If he had said “Stephen, you are well-hung”, I think I would have died.

  7. IAMmissAMERICA says:

    Stephen did it! He’s a National Treasure…if only for the last two weeks of the exhibition.

    Visitors can’t be ignored, even by a huge government institution. I’m so happy to see Stephen’s impact on the Smithsonian.

    Make him a permanent treasure, Smithy, and everyone wins.

  8. EvilDevil says:

    the doritos jokes are suppouse to go stale, like all ‘endorsements’ overblown that matches stephen’s ego…

  9. I freakin’ died when he did the pirate thing and his beard was half off.
    and this gives me hope because I have another chance to see the portrait!!

  10. AmandaIvy says:


    I just saw a commercial that said the REM was going to be on TCR tonight!!!!!

    Now I can die a happy woman!!!!!!!

    ahem… now back to our regularly scheduled comments…

  11. One of the Heroes says:

    The whole segment with the pirate and then the portrait update was great! I will follow his orders and try to forget about the pirate joke so that he can fool me again next year. :-) He should use more of his kids’ ideas because it was perfect and he seemed to really enjoy himself.

    I also loved seeing the Atone-phone make an appearance last night.

  12. zonkbert says:

    Ok, I loved this episode. The Atone-phone is another one of Colbert’s subtle comedy stylings by implying Glass is apologizing through accepting the portrait. Brilliant.

    Health is a game of chance? I almost totally agreed with the sentiment. :)

    Where do I dump my tax return for them there rat rakes?

    And finally, I just might shave myself bald again for some of that solar loving action. But seriously, Greenforall is a very interesting concept and I am glad I was made aware of them. Good job, Stephen!

  13. laughing at nothing says:


    super LOL to the portrait comment.


    Stephen’s expression on the highlight video clip makes me start laughing every time I look at it. Every time I think of it actually. Excellent choice!

  14. zonkbert says:

    I just gotta add, Stephen should pay and not just wait to win for a prostate exam if it’s like squatting on a melon, LoL. His delivery on that line is perfect, btw.

    I take it, the majority of NFZ don’t get me and Stephen’s melon squatting woes? :)

  15. One of the Heroes says:

    I thought the it was funny when Stephen said “moving on” after he made the joke about the solar loving action…

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