Episode 4062 (05/07/2008)

“You know what they say: when in Rome, get on a plane back to America. This is The Colbert Report!

List and Shout: “Tonight, who is on the terrorist watch list? And why does the terrorist watch list know so many terrorists? Better put that list on the list.”

  • Desk Guest: Hasan Elahi, professor, artist, and self-surveiller

Primary Schooled: “And then, more analysis of the primaries. How many d*mn states do we have, anyway?”

  • Democralypse Now: The Delightful Dismemberment of the Democratic Hopescape

Tech Johnson: “Plus my guest George Johnson has written a book about the ten most beautiful experiments. I’ll conduct a beautiful experiment on how a guest responds to six minutes of sustained shouting.”


Trackingtransience.net – Hasan Elahi’s ‘livelogging’ site

In closing: That’s it for the Report, everybody. Goodnight.

Video Highlight — George Johnson: George Johnson and Stephen re-create one of the ten most beautiful experiments.

NOTABLE MOMENTS – Video links and more after the fold!


  • *The audience is crazy tonight!* I gotta record you people for my alarm clock.
    You know, I stopped by the drug store today to stock up on some Nair. It is spring, and I dare wear short shorts. Well, unfortunately they were out, and I think it is because Radio City Music Hall is holding auditions for the Rockettes.
  • I am not eligible because unfortunately, I am 5’11”. But I went over there anyway just to provide some sympathy for the girls who don’t make the cut. Because I know all too well the pain of losing a dance competition. RAAIIIIINNN! I offered these girls a warm shoulder to cry on, or any other of my warm body parts.
  • And then, and then, and then, I give them a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: the chance to audition for my own group of high-kicking gals. Stephen Colbert’s Shockettes. Yes, the Shockettes. It’s my elite corps of beautiful but deadly female bodyguards.
  • I got the idea from Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi who has his own cadre of sexy female protectors. Sure, he may have been a sponsor of terror but now he is our ally, plus, the man knows how to rock the peach satin.
  • These are his actual guards! They are almost as hot as President Bush’s elite female bodyguard. *Image of Barbara Bush* I wouldn’t attack him.
  • Now, a warning – auditioning for the Shockettes is not easy. You have to be able to kick the head off of this mannequin that looks exactly like Charlie Gibson. I believe he’s had some work done.
  • Or you could just kick the head off the actual Charlie Gibson. Video submissions only, please; I cannot be cleaning Gibson off the carpet all the time.
  • So ladies, if you are between 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-10, come on out. Oh, uh, that is before the four-inch heels, which according to my detailed sketches, are poison-tipped. I have a lot more sketches later if you want to see them.
  • And how do we know the watch list is working? Because the watch list is now up to 755,000 names. Hopefully, we will soon hit our target number of. . . everyone.
  • Unfortunately some extremist coddlers out there are trying to get well-known terrorist off the list. Nelson Mandela. Oh, oh, you can sense the menace in those eyes.
  • But now, even Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice wants Mandela removed from the list, saying his inclusion is, quote, ‘frankly, a rather embarrassing matter.’ Yeah, it does seem strange that the Secretary of State can’t get a Nobel Prize winner off the list – unless Condi’s on the list too. After all, she knew bin Laden was determined to attack the United States and did nothing. Mmm, curious.
  • My favorite terrorist is Hasan Elahi. Just saying his name makes my heart go up one terror alert level.
  • Why Elahi? Well, to begin with, he’s innocent. A quality so rare in someone so guilty.
  • In fact, he was the only person in Florida without gunpowder.
  • But the FBI refused to give Elahi a written letter clearing him of suspicion because he refused to change his name, religion, and skin color. Instead, they just asked him to check in with them periodically.
  • And here’s why I really like this guy. For the last six year, Elahi has taken the burden off government surveillance by surveilling himself. Every day, Elahi takes hundreds of photos of his whereabouts and sends them to the FBI. Pictures of the airports he travels through, the bathrooms he visits, even the meals he eats. With these pictures, he’s ensuring that he will never be arrested on suspicion of terror – though by judging by some of the meals he’s eating, Gitmo might be an improvement.
  • He is both an artist and a professor. I personally would not go within a mile of this guy. Fortunately, you can always find Elahi’s current location at his website, trackingtransience.net. Jimmy, put the website up there, let’s see where he is. Okay, he’s in New York, Jimmy can we push in? Okay, he’s on the upper west side, can you push in a little closer? Okay, he’s at my studio right now.
  • *Editor’s note: trackingtransience.net‘s servers were overloaded during the broadcast. . . the Nation went to see what Elahi uploaded from the studio*
  • Thank you for helping us fight the war on you. When did you first suspect that you were a terrorist?
  • You had red dreads? Oh, that is pure jihadi.
  • Elahi: So the secrecy applied to the information is what makes it valuable. So by me disclosing all this to everybody. . .
    • Stephen: It becomes worthless.
    • Elahi: Exactly, exactly.
    • Stephen: So if someone really wants to guard their privacy, they should make it something no one wants, by not having it any more.
    • Elahi: Exactly. By giving it up.
  • By doing the surveillance on yourself, you are taking away a surveillance job from an American citizen.
  • Elahi: Surveillance is an interesting thing, where you can actually see who’s actually watching at the other end.
    • Stephen: You’re actually surveilling the people who are checking out the surveillance of you.
    • Elahi: Yeah. Exactly.
    • Stephen: At any point will this site eat itself?
    • Elahi: You can try that. It’s interesting because sometimes when I’m looking through my log files, I get some really interesting hits – lots of .mils, lots of, like, the Pentagon, the Office of the Secretary of Defense –
    • Stephen: So you must be up to something.
    • Elahi: Yeah. The House of Representatives. I got one from EOP.gov.
    • Stephen: What’s EOP.gov?
    • Elahi: I couldn’t figure it out, so I went to EOP.gov, and there’s no website there. Turns out it’s the Executive Office of the President.
    • Stephen: *adorably amazed; audience ooohs*You’ve got a fan.
  • That proves that she [Hillary] is the real candidate of change! She has certainly changed the meaning of what a tie is.
  • He wins twelve primaries in a row; she wins Pennsylvania. This thing is a squeaker!
  • Sounds like somebody grew up with filtered water. What a phony.
  • Incidentally, John King is not only Senior Political Correspondent, he’s also senior sales agent at the Lake County Century 21. Top seller, top seller. You gotta earn that jacket – you gotta earn it.
    It is so important! Those of us in the news have to make sure the person who calls these races is free from outside influences. That’s why I’ve spared no expense when it comes to isolating our own projection expert, Justin Myers.
  • I keep Justin in this media isolation chamber. He – he has been in there since Super Tuesday, February 5th. Justin does not let anything distract him. Watch this: *bangs on door* Justin! Justin! If you’re working, don’t respond! Man, he works hard.
  • Man, I had no idea plywood went bad. *sprays the box with Febreze – do they consider that a positive product placement?*
  • We will pop this baby open in November and see what the results are.
  • Mr. Johnson, Dr. Johnson. I’m guessing it’s Doctor Johnson.
    • Johnson: No, just Mister.
    • Stephen: Do you have a Ph.D.?
    • Johnson: I have a Master’s Degree.
    • Stephen: Master Johnson.
    • Johnson: In journalism.
    • Stephen: In journalism? I thought you were a scientist.
    • Johnson: No, no. I tried to be a scientist.
    • Stephen: Thank God, because scientists are so. . . snooty.
  • What makes an experiment beautiful?
    • Johnson: Just kind of beauty in the classical sense, you know, like a Greek statue with nice clean lines, and well-proportioned.
    • Stephen: Like maybe the ladies got no top on.
    • Johnson: Yeah, yeah.
    • Stephen: Beautiful, you know, beautiful ‘experiments.’
  • What could be more beautiful of an experiment than to just look at something and saying, ‘God did it.’ That’s the most beautiful possible explanation because it involves salvation, and the afterlife. Why do we have to junk it up with thought?
    • Johnson: Yeah, but that’s just like saying ‘just because.’
    • Stephen: I say it all the time. You tell me you’ve never said that to your children? ‘Why do I do this?’ ‘Just because.’
  • *These two grown men turn into 13-year-olds with equipment from Michael Faraday’s current experiment on the table – 10,000 volts*
  • You’re generating some heat, that’s for sure.
  • Johnson: Touch it – you’ll feel it, but you won’t die.
    • Stephen: *touches the wire*Oh, that’s actually, that actually hurts like hell.
    • Johnson: *laughs, also touches the wire* Jeez!
    • Stephen: Hey, here’s an experiment. Will two grown men continue to touch something that hurts them?
    • *Both touch the wire at the same time – Stephen recoils sharply and curses, and we get a slow-mo replay*

Fangirl Suit Report: Black suit, crisp white shirt with French cuffs, black tie with white dotted pattern, WristSTRONG bracelet.

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

  • Intro – 5/08/08: Who is on the terrorist watch list? And why does the terrorist watch list know so many terrorists?
  • Stephen Colbert’s Shockettes: Stephen is holding auditions for his stealth gang of female body guards.
  • Terrorist Nelson Mandela: Nobel prize winner Nelson Mandela is on the terrorist watch list and not even Condoleezza Rice take him off the list.
  • Hasan Elahi: After being accused of terrorist activities, Hasan Elahi decided to create a website documenting his daily activities.
  • Democralyse Now – Justin Myers: Justin Myers has been in an isolation box working on election results for the show since Super Tuesday.


  1. W&M_NU says:

    I can’t believe you were able to get this up so fast! You’re amazing!

    I really enjoyed tonight’s episode – two grown men and simple electricity experiments… shocking (teehee).

    (reCAPTCHA: futile light – I guess that’s appropriate for this late at night)

    • yeah. Kinaesthesia and DB have been awesome at getting these up so quick. This was one of the best reports I have seen in awhile. Excep for Rain. I love both interviews and the swearing character break at the end was funny.

      ReCaptcha: computers ITHICA

      • ColbertGirl27 says:

        Yes. Thank you for posting these episode guides so quickly…but don’t kill yourself in the process! We’re already losing people left and right at TCR!

        That character break in the end was electric! I know it’s a bad pun, but I couldn’t resist. Just loved all the euphemisms in this segment and I love it when Stephen has guests on that have props!

        Also, when Stephen mentioned taking 1/5 of vodka for his 40th birthday, do you think this was a subtle reminder that his birthday is coming up? I believe he’ll be turning 44 on May 13, but in my mind Stephen never ages! Based on the electricity game this evening, I don’t think he’s maturing at all:)

        • AmandaIvy says:

          Haha, getting older doesn’t necessarily mean getting more mature. :)

          reCAPTCHA- Secretary Jan (lol)

      • Kinaesthesia says:

        MsI is pretty amazing at lightning-fast guides, too :) Thanks all for the compliments. It’s a labor of love.

        • Ms Interpreted says:

          Thanks, Kina.

          I don’t get them up quite as quickly as you and DB tend to, but I do try to get them up the night they air.

          I suppose I could get mine up faster, but I like looking up a bunch of extra links, and that sometimes sidetracks me (I’m easily distracted). You, on the other hand, add a ton of links and still get them up right away; I envy you that ability!

  2. The Colbert Bump is proven yet again. The #2 Google search for 5/7 was Hasan Elahi, and his popularity spiked as The Report aired. No surprise there.

  3. snoopypez says:

    Awww, no comment about the, um, dirty motion and dirty mind on Stephen? HILARIOUS. :D

    Well, to begin with, he’s innocent. A quality so rare in someone so guilty.

    That was a very SWC-esque line to me. Heee.

  4. laughing at nothing says:

    When Stephen licked the battery, it was obviously a gateway electric experience for him. Now he’s already experimenting with stronger current.

    As it is with this kind of slow slide into atomic power addictions, one bad jolt probably won’t stop him. Before you know it, he’ll be trying to stand between a giant stationary magnet and a large piece of metal “to feel the magnetism!”

    My reCaptcha is “here consoles” so I”ll add that lavender essential oil works like a miracle on burns. A drop or two on the wound and the pain is gone within 5-10 minutes — really. It also helps with quicker healing.

  5. prazzledazzle says:

    The electric-cursing part of the interview was the highlight of the show. I don’t know about you guys, but I really like hearing/seeing “Stephen” curse. To me, it’s like a character break x1000.

  6. TheLakeEffect says:

    Yes, I did have to link to those images of the Amazonian Guard. It’s all just too amusing.

  7. One of the Heroes says:

    I absolutely loved this episode!

    I’m glad Stephen had Hasan Elahi on the show. I tried to go to his web site but it was still overloaded.

    The Michael Faraday experiment was too funny. The two of them were just like little boys when they kept touching the electric current.

    “Stephen: *touches the wire*Oh, that’s actually, that actually hurts like hell.
    Johnson: *laughs, also touches the wire* Jeez!
    Stephen: Hey, here’s an experiment. Will two grown men continue to touch something that hurts them? *Both touch the wire at the same time – Stephen recoils sharply and curses, and we get a slow-mo replay* ”

    I loved it that they showed us the original character break as well as a slow motion version. Thanks TCR editors. You guys rock!

    How may more lives must be lost on the show? :-)

    • That was hilarious! I loved it when Stephen said, “Hey, here’s an experiment. Will two grown men continue to touch something that hurts them?” Hahahaha! It sort of reminds me when people say, “Ewww! This smells awful. Here, smell this…” I don’t know why, but it’s terribly sexy when Stephen swears…

  8. vigwig says:

    His face when he told Elahi he was a fan was so adorable. The discourse during the experiments was a howl. Is the “shocking” slo-mo available online? I only see the reg interview w/ Johnson.

  9. coquette says:

    Yes, I’m becoming worried about Stephen’s death-defying interviews. Licking meteors, making out with Jane Fonda, that shock thing was too funny. Seriously, how many d*mn states are there? I also loved indecision2008’s “North Indiarolina” blog.

    • One of the Heroes says:

      I loved the “How many d*mn states are there?” line. I think we are ALL ready for the primary season to be over so we can MOVE ON.

  10. the crowd really loved him in this ep…

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