Episode 4049 (04/15/2008)

This is The Colbert Report! And these are The Roots!

Bitter Poll: Tonight, are candidates condescending to working class voters? No, but it is soooooo cute that you think that.

The Wørd: Tradition

Thrilla in Phila: Then, I take a tour of Philadelphia, because every Philly needs a stud.

Obama Woman: Plus Michelle Obama makes her first late night appearance on my show. Yes We Can! Book Michelle Obama!

In closing: Please rise for ‘The Roots’ [The Roots bust out with a rocktastic “Star-Spangled Banner”]


  • But it does prove he’s the candidate of hope. He certainly gave hope to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
  • Now, folks, personally I love being condescended to. And so do the wonderful people of Pennsylvania! Whoo! Go Sixers, Flyers, Phillies and Eagles! Whoo!!
  • Dick Cheney has a similar story, onlyt it ends with him shooting his father in the face. [Department of Justice Said It Was Okay.]
  • My problem is not that Senator Obama condescended, it’s that he did it the wrong way. This is how you do it: Sucking down pizza, raising the roof, eating Huckaburgers and shaving old men. That gives voters like me a sense that the candidates are just like me. [Stephen Shaves Old Men]
  • Stephen Pandering To Opera Buffs?
  • Nation, in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed here in Philadelphia. In 1787, the Constitution was adopted here. Then absolultely nothing happened until I arrived.
  • And of course, no trip to Philadelphia is complete without running the Rocky steps. Or maybe it is.
  • Little help …
  • Can I lick it?
  • I’m asking you, from one man who loves America to another man who loves America, I’m asking you, let me tongue the crack of Liberty.
  • But there was still Indepence Hall, where I was determined to touch something Founding Fatherey.
  • Nice hat.
  • That man had a big old behind. Look at that think. He had some Colonial junk in his Founding Father trunk.
  • Triumph!
  • From the Michelle Obama interview:
    • Stephen: Big story this week, everybody knows you and your husband are “elitists.” Tell me about your elite upbringing on the south side of Chicago. How many silver spoons in your mouth? Michelle: We had four spoons. And then my father got a raise at the plant and we got five spoons. Stephen: That sounds posh.
    • Stephen: I hope I’m not out of place by saying this, but you’re a very good looking lady. Michelle: Well, thank you, Stephen. Stephen: Do you think your husband will be Okay with me having said that? Michelle: You know, he might be a little ruffled ….Stephen: Ruffled enough to come on my show and try to punch me? Because that would still be a booking that I would win. Michelle: Well maybe if you sang to me, it would make him a little bit jealous. Stephen: L is for the way you look at me, O … Michelle: He has a better voice, I’m sorry.
    • Editor’s Note: At this point in viewing the show, my husband looked at the TV and said, “Wow, she is kind of a b*tch.” I gotta admit, she kinda lost me at that moment.
    • Stephen: He has a better voice? All right. I blew it out last night singing with John Legend.
    • Stephen: Speaking of living with you, let me ask you. Do you ever get tired of the campaign slogans? I mean, when he comes home, do you ever say, You know what, right now, you’re my husband, and I “hope” that you will “change” the cat litter?
    • Stephen: Speaking of changing the face of America, let’s talk about the average, ordinary people out there. We have been having school kids send in drawings of the candidates. We have a bunch of them up on the map in basically the area … Michelle: I see ears. Stephen: Yes. I think that many children think your husband’s head has handles.
    • Editor’s Note: Loved the ‘Good Times’ Obama!!

Fangirl Suit Report: Black suit, Slightly gray tinged shirt with barrel cuffs, black silk tie with gray box pattern.

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

  • Intro – 4/15/08 – Are candidates condescending to working class voters? No, but it is so cute that you think that.
  • Nice Roomba – Benjamin Franklin is curious about a modern-day invention.
  • The Word – Tradition – Senator Clinton is not an elitist. She respects the American people — unless they want Obama.
  • Independence Park – Stephen tours Independence Park in hopes of tonguing the crack of Liberty.
  • Interview – Michelle Obama – Stephen tries to make Barack Obama jealous by singing to Michelle Obama.
  • The Roots – The Roots perform the Star Spangled Banner.


  1. AmandaIvy says:

    I was hoping they’d do a segment on places he visited while in Philadelphia. I still think they should have let him “tongue the crack of Liberty”. They have to keep with this tradition of licking things.

    Oh well, he still got to touch the walking stick. It’s not as good as licking the Liberty Bell, but it was still hilarious.

  2. ColbertGirl27 says:

    @ AmandaIvy: I wish he had licked the Liberty Bell as well…as they are both national treasures! They might still do another segment of his visiting places around Philly.

  3. I am so not impressed when bands destroy their own equipment. I think I’m getting old because I kept thinking about how they were messing up the floor.

    I thought Michelle Obama did a good job of having fun while still getting her message across during the interview, and I enjoy her dry sense of humor. DB, I thought her response to his singing was rude too, but I think she meant for it to come off as more light-hearted than it did. Either way, Colbert knows his fans would love to be serenaded. Plus Colbert had a great comeback, as usual.

    And I cannot believe I looked away right when he touched (I’m assuming) the walking stick ={

  4. Yeah, ouch. I couldn’t believe Michelle Obama stopped Stephen from singing after barely one line! Of a song about Love!

    But she seemed to be holding herself in very tightly. It’s gotta be hard to be in a position where any misstatement you make could be used against you by the opposition. It was interesting to see her drop the stiffness and engage in some animated conversation with Stephen once the segment was over and the cameras pulled away. I wish they could have filmed *that*.

    On a different topic, how cool was the live version of the Colbert Report theme? I am thinking I will really miss the expanded version of TCR … I’m even getting used to that weird echo in his voice at the beginning of the shows that comes from being in a larger space, I assume.

  5. TheLakeEffect says:

    IF one were to speculate, one could suggest…

    “Michelle Obama Ends Serenade: Afraid of Falling in Love With Stephen Colbert.”

    There, I said it. Fair and balanced media, do your thing!

  6. One of the Heroes says:

    “I’m asking you, from one man who loves America to another man who loves America, I’m asking you, let me tongue the crack of Liberty.” LMAO! By the time he touched the walking stick, I was in tears I was laughing so hard.

    I thought the Michelle Obama interview was excellent. I agree with everyone that I would have liked to hear more of Stephen’s. Unfortunately, Michelle Obama has to be so careful about what she says publically during this primary season. I’m sure she would have been a little looser if that were not the case. She was great though, especially considering that this was her first late night show appearance.

    I agree with you about the band destroying their instruments.

  7. I thought Michelle handled it well, her timing on that singing remark was kind of off, but I can imagine the tension of doing well with Stephen in front of that HUGE audience!

  8. lulubelle says:

    Oh how I wish Michelle Obama would have let him sing but she was being so careful not to draw her husband into a duel with Stephen. Perhaps this leaves an opening for a singing challenge between Obama and Stephen istead of the grit-off. Or, even better, maybe we could see who can sing the best with a mouth full of grits!

  9. AmandaIvy says:

    @ TheLakeEffect–

    Lol. That’s probably why she ended the song so abruptly. It would be inappropriate for her to fall in love with Stephen at a time like this.

    I was actually half expecting Stephen to start singing and then Obama come out (surprise, America!), and then jokingly threaten Stephen. But alas, it didn’t happen. It was still a great show though… even with the guitar smashing (That irks me too, Jawz).

    …And a singing grit-off would be so awesome!

  10. So was the guitar smashing a protest statement after the national anthem (a la Hendrix/Woodstock) or just random theatrics?

  11. All things considered, I think she did a good job. I have to also say that “Stephen” was on his very best nailing behavior last night, but I was really hoping he would’ve had the chance to finish singing. Loved the line about licking the crack of liberty! I also love how whenever Stephen is in a museum of any kind that his character regresses to one of a 5-year-old. Great episode!

  12. PS– I had my Mom on the phone while she was watching the field piece and she laughed so hard at the Liberty Bell joke, she was in tears. Hahahaha!

  13. ColbertGirl27 says:

    @The LakeEffect: I totally agree with that headline. Brilliant. How could you not fall in love with Stephen when he starts singing to you? Wish I had heard “O-V-E” in addition to “L”. Sigh.

    @AmandaIvy: That would have been a brilliant performance piece if Obama had come out and sung as well!!!!!!! You should be on their staff. Great idea. Maybe it will happen after Obama becomes the nominee.

    I wasn’t into the smashing of guitars either, but oh well.

    I know this is more superficial, but is anyone else crazy for Michelle Obama’s fashion?! I always love what she wears. Far less stuffy that most First Ladies’ fashion statements.

  14. AmandaIvy says:

    @ ColberGirl27–

    Aww… I’m honored that you think I could be on their staff. (I’d LOVE to be on their staff.)

    That makes me warm and fuzzy inside. :)

  15. looped linear says:

    Good show, but I hope he’s going to be as easy on Hillary as he was on Michelle….maybe she should send Bill along to do the interview.

    “…can I touch it?….can I touch it?…” .LOL

    *Loved * the shot of him riding the Philly Phanatic.

  16. @ looped linear:

    I don’t know that he should have to go as easy on Hillary. After all, Hillary is an actual candidate. Michelle Obama is the spouse of a candidate.

  17. One of the Heroes says:

    I agree. I would have expected Stephen to be tougher on Barack Obama if he had been on the show rather than Michelle Obama. I think he should treat Senator Clinton the same way he’d treat any other Presidential candidate.

  18. IAMmissAMERICA says:

    There’s still time for Mr. Obama to appear. And then Hillary’s spouse can take his turn.

    Nice fake out Stephen! Touched it!

    A perfectly good guitar…

  19. @ IAMmissAMERICA:

    Oh, it would be AWESOME if Bill and Stephen faced off. Stephen could totally dial it all the way up with Bill (after all, he’s not just a spouse — he’s a former President).

    I just realized as I’m typing this that this comment and my last one could come off as anti-Hillary, but I really don’t mean them that way. I just mean to say that both Bill and Hillary are professional politicians — they deserve and can handle a full-on satirical critique (as would Barack).

    Michelle Obama, by contrast, is not a politician and is not attempting to advance her own cause — she’s supporting her husband. She doesn’t deserve a full-on confrontation.

  20. IAMmissAMERICA says:

    No, not full-on.

    But it was just a little disappointing, she made all the right statements, and there could be no leveling of them.

    At this time, so close to the primary, they both had to be too careful.

    But yes, Bill! I don’t know if Hillary would permit it.

    Maybe Stephen can halt the Democralypse Now.

  21. Hillary definitely should NOT allow Bill to appear in public — he has been the single most detrimental element to her campaign (well, that and the bogus “sniper fire” incident).

    But it would still be awesome if Bill was on the show.

    And the “Democralypse Now” opening bit never get old — love it.

If you're new to our Zoner community, please read the No Fact Zone Comment Policy before commenting. Thank you!