Episode 4078 (06/12/2008)

“Tony Awards, it’s not too late to revise your list of nominees. Pow! This is The Colbert Report!

Seminole Idea: “Tonight: Are Native Americans’ needs being met this election? If not, would they settle for some lovely beads?”

  • “Stephen Colbert’s Make McCain Exciting Challenge!”
  • First guest: Winona LaDuke — former Green Party Vice Presidential candidate (2000, 2004) and Native American activist

Second segment

  • We the MEdiator: Clint Eastwood vs. Spike Lee

Vertigrow: “And my guest Dickson Despommier thinks the answer to our food crisis might be high-rise farms. It would sure make cow-tipping a lot more exciting.”

  • Guest: Dickson Despommier — “Vertical Farms” proponent


Honor the Earth
The Vertical Farm Project

In closing: “That’s it for The Report, everybody. Stick around for the rerun because I thought up some more questions for the guest, and I am really gonna nail him next time. Good night.”

Video Highlights: (Yes, I’m featuring two today)

Daily/Colbert – Ass-Sizzling Good: Stephen has a big lead story and you won’t believe who the guest is!

We the MEdiator – Clint Eastwood & Spike Lee: Clint Eastwood is not Spike Lee’s father and they are not on a plantation, although that’d make a hilarious antebellum buddy comedy.

NOTABLE MOMENTS — Video links and more after the fold!

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

  • Full Episode Video
  • Intro – 6/12/08: Are Native Americans’ needs being met this election? If not, would they settle for some lovely beads?
  • Stephen Colbert’s Make McCain Exciting Challenge! You the heroes have stepped up to answer John McCain’s call to spice up his speech in Stephen Colbert’s Make McCain Exciting Challenge.
  • Winona LaDuke: Stephen asks former Green Party vice presidential candidate and Native American activist Winona LaDuke what it’s like to be an oppressed elitist.
  • Dickson Despommier: Stephen asks Dickson Despommier if growing food in vertical towers is an elitist way to farm.


  • It’s summertime, and you know, when summertime rolls around – oh! What I would not do for a Klondike Bar. But evidently anything I would do is not enough for some people.
  • Let’s get right to it, folks, I’m sure you’ve all heard the exciting news; archeologists in Jordan have found the oldest church in the world, and get this — it was found in a cave!
  • Nation, we finally have proof positive that cavemen were Christians. Evolution, you had a nice run.
  • But even that exciting news is being overshadowed by the historic candidacy of a scintillating, once-in-a-lifetime politician: John McCain.
  • Look at that face; oh, he is out for blood! Because there is none in that face.
  • The Democrats cannot stop this man! They can only hope he gets sidetracked by a Murder, She Wrote marathon on TV Land.
  • Of course, McCain does have one tiny weakness: his rhetorical style can best be described as “tired mayonnaise”.
  • But McCain knows his limitations; that’s why last week, he clearly asked for our help by giving a speech in front of a green screen. Now I don’t want to bog you down with technical TV jargon but, basically, Jesus made green a magical color. Anything you film in front of it can become something else.
  • McCain needs all our help, folks. Which is why tonight I am proud to announce “Stephen Colbert’s Make McCain Exciting Challenge!”
  • Our first submission tonight was sent in by Michael Linback, who put McCain at a rave. Finally, a reason to use the words “McCain” and “ecstasy” in the same sentence.
  • Next up, there’s an action-packed one from Sarah McGarr. Great work, Sarah. It really feels like America is going in circles on the brink of a fiery crash.
  • And here, folks, is a very impressive effort from Drew Hudson. Thank you, Drew
  • And folks, if you want to make John McCain exciting, go to ColbertNation.com, download the footage and get involved. I want to make “Make McCain exciting” the clarion call of your generation. Just like, “Beat the Nazis!” or “Put a man on the moon!” Only this will be much, much harder.
  • Nation, our country’s Native Americans are so greedy. How many sports mascots do they need? Now they’re hogging even more attention; they act like they own the place.
  • This year, the presidential primaries went all the way to Montana and South Dakota, where the candidates “reached out to American Indian communities” and “voiced a commitment to native peoples”. Interesting fact: the Chippewa have seventy words for “pander”.
  • Nation, this year could be the “Indian Summer of Love”. Senator Obama often meets privately with Native American leaders and has become one tribe’s honorary member [clip from CNN on Obama’s being given a Crow Indian name meaning “One who helps people throughout the land”]. I assume that land is Iran.
  • Senator McCain also has an Indian name, “One who helps people with an income above $200,000”.
  • This attention is historic, folks. According to Jacqueline Johnson, the Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians, “This is a phenomenal year for us… this has never, ever happened before.” ‘Never ever’, Ms. Johnson? What about President Bush’s strong leadership on tribal sovereignty? [Clip of Pres. Bush: “Tribal sovereignty means that: it’s sovereign. You’re a — you’re a — you’ve been given sovereignty and you’re viewed as a … sovereign entity.”] Basically, sovereign.
  • What more could Native Americans possibly want? Well, here to tell us what more they could possibly want is former Green Party Vice Presidential candidate and Native American activist, Winona LaDuke.
  • Now, you actually ran as the running mate of Ralph Nader in 2000; what is the Ojibwe word for “thank you”?
    • LaDuke: Oh, it’s “migwetch”.
    • Stephen: Well, migwetch for putting Bush into office.
  • Native Americans, and I should mention that I’m 1/13th Chickasaw —
    • LaDuke: Thirteenth is not actually a fraction that —
    • Stephen: For me it is … it’s very rare. We have not been treated very fairly over the years. Which of the Presidential candidates running this year do you think Native Americans would most want to be lied to by?
    • LaDuke: You know, the 200 years of white guys in office did not do too well; did you notice that?
    • Stephen: I did. Worked out pretty well for me … ’cause I can pass as Anglo.
  • Obama has gotten a Crow Indian name, now; does he need any more diversity? Why doesn’t he just become like, a Hasidic Jew and take female hormones; then he could be all things to all people?
  • LaDuke: Don’t you want to know your Indian name?
    • Stephen: I would love to. I assumed it was “Buffalo sack”.
  • *LaDuke gives Stephen the Ojibwe name meaning “Smartypants” (something like “Giboodiyez”?)*
  • I got an idea, why don’t Native Americas make a deal with Obama, and every state you help him win, you get to keep?
  • You’re Native American, you work with some very poor Native Americans communities, and yet you went to Harvard. What is it like being an oppressed elitist?
  • Welcome back. Nation, you know, there’s only one thing more American than a big feud: me. Which is why I’ve taken it upon myself to pick the winner in high-profile celebrity fights. This is “We the MEdiator”!
  • Tonight: Clint Eastwood vs. Spike Lee. Full disclosure, I am a huge Clint Eastwood fan. My only criticism? He’s a little soft on crime. [Clip from Dirty Harry] Shoot him! What are you waiting for?!
  • This dust-up with Spike Lee started last month when Spike said of Letters From Iwo Jima and Flags of Our Fathers, “Clint Eastwood made two films about Iwo Jima …. and there was not one Negro actor on the screen.” ‘Negro’, Spike? This is the tewnty-first century; the polite term is ‘Nubian’.
  • Clint responded the way anyone would when a respected fellow filmmaker raises a legitimate concern about your work, by inviting Spike Lee to “… shut his face.”
  • It is those nuanced debating skills that would make Clint Eastwood a great television pundit. Plus, his experience working with Clyde has prepared him for working with Glenn Beck, who also throws his feces.
  • But Lee did not shut his face. No, he opened it, saying, “First of all, the man is not my father and we’re not on a plantation.”
  • Touché, Mr. Lee. Although that would make a hilarious “fish out of water” antebellum buddy comedy. Think about it. You could both direct it.
  • Just as I was waiting for Eastwood to come back with some witty rejoinder like squinting, Spike folded, saying, “I’m going to take the Obama high road and end it right here.” Which leaves Eastwood free to take the McCain high road and stay in this conflict for the next 100 years.
  • So I am giving this one to Eastwood. Spike Lee, Clint will explain why there were no black soldiers in Letters From Iwo Jima after you explain why there were no suicidal Japanese soldiers in Jungle Fever.
  • My guest thinks the answer to our food crisis could be vertical farms. I believe that means the corn will grow sideways. Please welcome Dickson Despommier!
  • Now you have a radical idea here; this is — on its surface, this seems crazy, like the ramblings of a syphilitc brain. You say that the future of farming should be in these vertical towers of, sort of, spiral farms that go up … What’s the benefit of that?
    • Despommier: Right, so let’s talk about farming the way it is today, first.
    • Stephen: [singing] The farmer in the dell …
  • Could the homeless just graze?
  • What’s this gonna do to like, the ‘family farm’? What’s it gonna do to our tradition? We’re an agrarian society at heart.
    • Despommier: That’s gone already.
    • Stephen: But we can still pretend we’re that way [Despommier: That’s true]; this will keep us from even pretending we’re that way.
    • Despommier: In fact, we’ve just passed a farm bill for $300 billion that still pretends that that’s the way we farm, but that’s not the way we farm now. Farming is failing throughout the whole world, so if we don’t — if our farming doesn’t fail, well, what about Africa, what about South America, what about — ?
    • Stephen: Isn’t there a little bit of self-fulfilling prophecy here, because you want the farms to fail. Because if … farms fail, they’ve gotta turn to you with your crazy farm tower [Despommier: laughing], and go, “Do something for us here!”
  • Why vertical? What’s that do for you?
    • Despommier: Well, vertically, it puts it inside the city limits; it puts your food where you live. And it allows you to control the growth of that. So therefore, you don’t have to worry about insect pests and weather events that spoil the farms —
    • Stephen: Plus, it’s pleasantly phallic.
    • Despommier: [speechless for a second, then laughs] Exactly. Exactly.
  • You know, you could actually build something like that and actually put a revolving restaurant on the top, and then all the food from the restaurant could be harvested from the tower below, and you could power the grid of the farm by hooking generators up to the customers and use the energy of them patting themselves on the back.

Fangirl Suit Report: Black striped suit (black on black stripes), silver/pearl shirt with French cuffs. Black tie with diagonal silver-grey stripes. WristSTRONG bracelet.


  1. coquette says:

    “tired mayonnaise.” Sweet.
    I loved the little flag and the $24 payment. I wonder if he will put the flag on his bookshelf?

    • Jenny with a Y says:

      I enjoyed last night’s segment with Winona LaDuke.

      Stephen’s new Indian nickname, “Smartypants”, makes me laugh.

      This was almost as bad as the “Childrens do learn” statement that President Bush made earlier in the year: “Tribal sovereignty means that: it’s sovereign. You’re a — you’re a — you’ve been given sovereignty and you’re viewed as a … sovereign entity.” January 2009 cannot come soon enough for me.

      • I know what you mean… Bush always sounds like he’s giving a book report on a book he didn’t have time (or couldn’t be bothered) to read. And whenever he talks to foreign dignitaries, I feel like he’s my socially inept uncle who’s always going to say something that will embarrass the rest of the family.

        Only 220 days to go… :-/

      • I know, right? He broke every single rule of properly defining a word (aka: using it and several versions of it in it’s definition) that I remember learning in grade school. After watching the footage on his trip overseas on TDS, I think most of Europe will be just as glad when he’s gone as we will.

  2. What was the $24 for?

    • Ms Interpreted says:

      Shoot, knew I was going to forget to add that!

      Back in 1626, Peter Minuit bought Manhattan Island for the Dutch West India Company. He “paid” the American Indians sixty guilders, roughly the equivalent of $24 (according to the British Concise Encyclopedia, 2008).

      Sorry, I meant to include that in the guide.

      • mrtigger001 says:

        Very interesting nugget of history. I would never have caught that. Thanks.

        Overall, a pretty darn funny episode tonight. Jokes were definitely better. Oh, and one of my friends attended the taping for this and I’m awaiting her testimony on what the whole Klondike thing is about.

        • Flatpoint Grief Counselor says:

          can’t wait to hear the Klondike story…

        • I bet anything it was probably an inside joke from his pre-show question-answering with the audience. I assume the same was the case for Jon and his reference to what to say when someone asks you what your favorite show is. Hehehe…

  3. storm_03 says:

    After the toss last night, John said that Steve Carell will be on the daily show next week! And Mike Myers to talk about “The Love Guru” … Oh six degrees at its best!
    I really, really hope Stephen pops by for Steve, that would just be amazing!
    I can’t wait so see what happens =)

  4. The Chia blimp joke just floored me! For some reason, Chia Pet jokes always make laugh.

    • Jenny with a Y says:

      I liked the Chia blimp joke too but thinking about those stupid Chia pets caused an earworm. The Chia pet jingle is stuck in my head now.

  5. eirracoes says:

    Anybody know what the opening Klondike bar bit was about?

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