Episode 4092 (07/22/2008)

“I am a man of few words, but I say them over and over and over. This is The Colbert Report!”

Win Beneath Our Wings: “Tonight! The Air Force unveils a new strategy in the War on Terror. Terrorists, kindly switch over to Nightline.”

  • Obama’s overseas trip
  • Using counterterrorism funds for “comfort capsules”

The WØRD: Fight to the Furnish

Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dessert: “Then, Elton John has a creamy treat he wants you to put in your mouth. FCC, I await your call.”

  • Ben & Jerry’s introduces Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road
  • “South Carolina is so gay”

Spellings’ Error: “And Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings is here to talk about No Child Left Behind. Don’t tell her, but I wrote all my questions on my hand.”

  • Main Guest: Margaret Spellings, U.S. Secretary of Education

In closing: “Well, that’s it for the show, folks. Join me tomorrow, when my guest will be someone I stare at while thinking about myself. Good night!”

Video Highlight:

South Carolina Is So Gay — South Carolina is a state where big strapping straight men reenact Civil War battles and then shower together for historical accuracy.

NOTABLE MOMENTS — Video links and more after the fold!

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

  • Full Episode Video
  • Intro – 7/22/08 : The Air Force unveils a new strategy in the war on terror. Terrorists, kindly switch over to “Nightline.”
  • Obama’s Trip: All of the big anchors are covering Barack Obama’s trip, which means Stephen Colbert is America’s most trusted remaining name in news.
  • The WØRD – Fight to the Furnish: Thank you, Air Force for using your anti-terror funds to defeat Al Qaeda in style.
  • Elton John’s New Ice Cream: If Ben and Jerry make Stephen share a freezer with Sir Elton John, he insists they print on his label “May contain trace amounts of sequins.”
  • Margaret Spellings: Stephen asks Margaret Spellings if federally mandated spanking would help our kids do better in school.


  • Oh! Can you feel it, Nation? My power, my gravitas. You’re not imagining things; it is growing.
  • See, all the networks are off covering Barack Obama’s big trip. Brian Williams, Katie Couric, Charles Gibson, all out of the country. Which means, right now, I, Stephen Colbert, am America’s most trusted remaining name in news.
  • I am the Edward R. Murrow of who’s left.
  • I’ve always known I was in the line of succession to the title of “America’s Anchor”, right behind Animal Planet‘s Jeff Corwin. [shakes fist] CORWIN!! It actually goes: the monkey, Corwin, then me. But I thought in order to attain the crown, I’d have to arrange for Wolf Blitzer to have a beard trimmer “accident”.
  • Turns out the ticket to being #1 is just not being important enough to be invited on Obama’s trip. Not that I’d want to go. I mean, what’s the big deal? Senator Obama is on a run of the mill congressional fact-finding mission.
  • But John McCain is fighting back, folks, photo-op for photo-op! Obama lands in Jordan in what I believe is a Transformer, and McCain arrives in Kennebunkport in his own advanced military vehicle. I believe that is the Bradley M-1 “Fairway Master” assault cart. It sends a much more powerful message than McCain’s previous mode of transportation: old-timey bi-cycle.
  • Nation, it doesn’t get a lot of coverage, but America is still fighting the War on Terror … We still haven’t caught Osama bin Laden, despite the administration’s best efforts to let Pakistan look for him.
  • But I just learned of a brand new weapon to defeat the terrorists, and it’s tonight’s WØRD: Fight to the Furnish.
  • Nation, the military’s anti-terror budget is sacred [i.e. God Only Knows].
  • That money can only be used for crucial programs like surveillance satellites, Predator Drones, and finding out which Army translators are gay [Conjugating More Than Verbs].
  • That is why I was happy to hear that the Air Force wants to use $16.2 million of anti-terror money to design in-flight “comfort capsules” so generals and government VIPs can travel on military planes in “world class” comfort. Now before you rush to judgment over the words “comfort capsule”, you should know that they’re also known as “luxury pods”. Isn’t that better? A number of generals were involved in their design, like suggesting the type of carpet. [No Persian Rugs!]
  • You see, fighting terrorism requires sacrifice. But flying coach? They say waterboarding’s torture! [At Least The Drinks Are Free]
  • Now, some are questioning these “comfort capsules.” Mainly, lower-ranking military officers. One of them told the Washington Post, “This whole program is an embarrassment.” Excuse me, sir, but an “embarrassment” would be designing “comfort capsules” without changing the leather “… from brown to Air Force blue …”!
  • Plus, it’s not as if in-flight comfort is reserved for the top brass alone. The generals may get these elegant-yet-functional plush recliners, but the troops get this [photo of bare bones, non-reclining seats affixed to the walls of the plane]. Wow. Those seats look like they come pre-moistened with the finest American ass-sweat.
  • Plus, these “luxury pods” are the best weapon we have to win the War on Terror. Remember how Reagan beat the Soviets? [By Trading Arms For Hostages?]
  • He did it with a missile defense system called “Star Wars”. Wasn’t really effective, but it cost a hell of a lot of money [Like “Episode One: The Phantom Menace”].
  • Now, in response, the U.S.S.R. tried to match our arms buildup, and it bankrupted their country [Only Remaining Currency: Gymnasts And Brides].
  • I say we, folks, can do the same thing with bin Laden. Just imagine him sitting in his dingy cave, when he reads by the glow of his dialysis machine about the generals’ thirty-seven inch flatscreen TVs with stereo sound, or the leather recliners that swivel so that “… the longitudinal axis of the seat is parallel to the longitudinal axis of the aircraft.” Bin Laden’s chair doesn’t swivel or recline, because it is a rock [Folds Out Into Slab For Guests].
  • He’ll know then that he has a serious comfort gap, and the only way he can close it is by diverting money from terror training camps into interior design [Flip This Cave].
  • He then starts loading up on throw pillows and side tables, and we follow the UPS trucks from Crate & Barrel right to bin Laden’s secret lair. [Death To High Shipping Prices!]
  • So, Air Force, thank you for using your anti-terror funds to defeat al Qaeda in style.And that’s The WØRD [Fight to the Furnish].
  • Folks, when Ben & Jerry’s named an ice cream flavor after me last year, it was a great honor. The introduction of AmeriCone Dream showed that these subversive, radical multi-millionaire businessmen had finally turned a corner.
  • For years, they had handed out frozen tributes only to anti-Americans, with flavors like Cherry Garcia, Phish Food, and Kim Jong-Dill. Not one of their more popular flavors.
  • But AmeriCone Dream restored balance to the freezer case. Now when some reefer-ed up Berkeley grad student stops by the grocery store to pick up a pint of Half-Baked, he is confronted by my stern sobering judgment. My stern, delicious, fudge-covered crispy waffle cone caramel swirl judgment that would totally satisfy your munchies.
  • Need proof? Willie Nelson eats it!
  • So imagine my shock, folks, when I learned that Elton John is getting his own Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
  • Flamboyant music icon and noted crocodile-apologist Sir Elton John now has his own flavor, Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road. Hey, Ben & Jerry’s! I thought you had a pro-environment agenda. Do you know how many neon ostriches died just to make this man’s sunglasses?
  • Sir Elton’s flavor is made up of chocolate ice-cream, peanut butter cookie dough, white chocolate chunks and something called “butter brickle”. I assume that’s some sort of English treat made from candied lamb cartilage.
  • *Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road and hello, character break!*
  • Ben, Jerry, if you make me share a freezer with Sir Elton, I insist that you print on AmeriCone Dream’s label, “May contain trace amounts of sequins”! I further demand grocery stores move me to a more masculine aisle. Put my ice cream next to that “Brawny” guy. But not too close; it’ll melt. That guy is hot!
  • While we’re on the subject of British homosexuals …
  • Nation, I am flaming! Flaming mad at a new ad campaign aimed at gay tourists that appeared on the London subway.
  • The Tube ad says that my home state, “South Carolina is so gay.”
  • First of all, England, to paraphrase the Bard, methinks thou doth “gay it up” too much. After all, your monarch is a cross-dresser. That has got to be a dude!
  • South Carolina is not gay! It still flies the Confederate flag, for Pete’s sake! And nothing about the Confederacy was gay, not even Confederate General Pierre Gustave Toutant de Beauregard, whose nickname was “The Little Creole”.
  • Thankfully, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford — friend of the show — had the courage to have the campaign pulled. That was not an easy thing to do, because there was a lot of bureaucracy between the Governor and the guy who placed the ad. So in the end, the Governor had to “reach around” to yank it.
  • In its place — hi, Mark! — in its place, the Governor proposed an alternative ad for gay tourists: “South Carolina: We’re just polite and well-dressed.”
  • Now, to be fair, similar ads were posted about places like Boston, Las Vegas and Atlanta, none of which reported any controversy. That’s because those cities are so gay! Georgia, Atlanta? Come on! This is how a straight congressman from Georgia described himself: *clip of Rep. Gingrey saying, “Indeed, I am a Georgia peach.”*
  • Now sure, South Carolina could lose a few tourism bucks over this, but it is worth it to preserve our masculinity. Because South Carolina is not “so gay.” If anything, it is so not gay. I mean, look at our State Seal! That is a pair of balls right there; nothing more manly than that! And there, on the left, on the palm tree is another pair of balls. While on the right, there’s a beautiful woman kept separate from the balls, because ladies don’t know how to treat them.
  • Point is, men know what men like.
  • South Carolina is a masculine state; it is very butch. It is where big, strapping, straight men reenact Civil War battles, then shower together for historical accuracy.
  • My guest tonight is the Secretary of Education. Wow, all that education and still only a Secretary? Please welcome Margaret Spellings!
  • *She’s WristSTRONG!*
  • Let’s get right into it; No Child Left Behind. It’s a big initiative from the Bush Administration. Why can’t we leave some children behind?
    • Spellings: Because it’s just not right.
    • Stephen: You know they’re going to leave us behind, right? They’re going off to this place called “the future” that we’re not invited to! Okay? And they don’t care, they’ll go!
    • Spellings: Well, our job is to make sure they do care.
    • Stephen: All right. I just — I don’t understand why we’re helping them.
    • Spellings: Because they’re the future of our country!
    • Stephen: They’re trying to replace us.
    • Spellings: They’re the future of our country. They really are.
    • Stephen: Then we’re the past.
    • Spellings: Well, eventually we will be.
  • Spellings: No Child Left Behind basically says we’re going to find out how well every student is doing, every year, and we’re going to give ourselves a goal, hold ourselves accountable for every single one of them being on grade level …
    • Stephen: What do you do to the schools? What do you do to the kids? Can you spank the children? Is that allowed under No Child Left Behind?
    • Spellings: Well, in some places … well, those are state laws. Some places, states do allow for that sort of thing.
    • Stephen: But there’s no federally mandated spanking …
    • Spellings: No, no, there’s no federally mandated spanking.
  • *Federally mandated spankings? That’s so wrong …*
  • But do you impose any sanctions on the schools?
    • Spellings: Yeah, well, we give schools a chance to serve kids, and if they don’t, certain things happen …
    • Stephen: But are sanctions the right way to fix problems? I mean, hasn’t the Bush administration taught us that sanctions don’t work? It’s much better just to bomb these schools and then occupy them.
  • You say that No Child Left Behind will be one of the top achievements of the Bush administration. [Spellings: In my humble opinion, it is.] Okay. But what about all the others? What about … let’s just list them. [Spellings: laughing]
  • Of the two candidates coming up right now, McCain and Obama, which one would leave the most “Child” behind?
    • Spellings: Well, obvously, no one is for leaving children behind.
    • Stephen: *raises hand*
    • Spellings: Maybe you. They’re not. They’re not, they’re not.
    • Stephen: I have the courage. I have the courage to leave Child behind. Not all of the children. Just the one that smells like bologna. You know that kid. Every school’s got one! [Editor’s note: So true!]
    • Spellings: Well, they’ve become television personalities.
    • Stephen: [choked up] You know me too well.

Fangirl Suit Report: Grey striped suit, silver shirt with French cuffs. Navy tie with grey geometric pattern. WristSTRONG bracelet.


  1. That main character break and the few smaller ones in this episode were so cute and squee-worthy!

  2. prazzledazzle says:

    They aired this at the same time as the 1:30am re-airing of the Law & Order episode. I had to think which one was more worth watching, but in the end, I just flipped the channels every 2 minutes. Now I have to watch both online -___-

  3. Jenny with a Y says:

    This was a fun episode. I know I will end up watching it several more times. The material was funny and the character breaks were priceless.

  4. I can’t say enough about how much I loved The Word last night, not to mention the whole ice cream bit (BTW, I’m finding it harder to locate Americone Dream even at the places I used to find it. Wonder what’s going on…)

    These two lines in particular made me laugh considerably:

    You see, fighting terrorism requires sacrifice. But flying coach? They say waterboarding’s torture! [At Least The Drinks Are Free]


    He did it with a missile defense system called “Star Wars”. Wasn’t really effective, but it cost a hell of a lot of money [Like “Episode One: The Phantom Menace”].

    (One a semi-related note to the latter, has anyone else seen the previews for that Clone Wars animated deal? They just don’t know when to stop, do they… *sigh*)

  5. looped linear says:

    Good show. I was wondering if he’d deal with the ‘so gay’ ad.

    And this made me choke on my drink:

    ” … sanctions don’t work… It’s much better just to bomb these schools and then occupy them. ” lolol

  6. laughing at nothing says:

    I thought it was one of the stranger episodes of TCR. Great guide writeup, Ms. Interpreted!

    @prazzledazzle: TCR going against Stephen’s appearance as “the fake Abraham Lincoln” on L&O is pretty funny in its own right, too.

    • Ms Interpreted says:

      One of the “stranger” episodes? :) Boy, that would be a tough call … there are so many things that TCR does that would sound strange if you tried to explain them, but that really fit right in when you’re watching. (Although that “snake marriage” segment might still top my list of “strange” stories …)

      Anyhow, glad you liked the guide!

  7. Well, aside from wanting to reach into my tv and smack the snot out of Margaret Spellings, it was a fun show. I love the character breaks!

    • Why do you want to smack Spellings? It was a fun show. I love the bombing schools and occupying them part. Good nailing. And then she nailed him at the end. Brilliant! A guest nailed HIM! The character breaks are cute too.

      • Probably because of the No Child Left Behind program. Depending on the district, the program often pushes kids, who clearly aren’t ready to move ahead, a grade level with the rest of their peers. It also requires teachers to teach to the standardized tests that are required, rather than just *teach*. The program is quite controversial in some circles of education today.

        • Michele says:

          Yes, I’m not a fan of NCLB and hearing her talk about how wonderful it is was rather disconcerting.

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